How to get an Insurance License- The First Step to become an Insurance Agent

Want to be an Insurance Agent but do not know where to start? Learn how to get your Insurance license and start your career as an agent or even run your agency!

Finally, you’ve got your graduate degree, and you’re looking for experience. You’ve heard that your neighbor next door is an insurance agent. To your surprise, you come to know they’re profitable with their agency. You want to earn like them and decide to be an agent. And to be an agent, you need an insurance license first. So, where do you start? 

In this blog, we’ll guide you throughout the entire process of obtaining your insurance license in simple steps. For people looking to start a career in insurance, and for those planning to change their career, this blog will cover all your questions. We will also give you some bonus hacks on how you can boost your insurance career from scratch in the end too. So, stay tuned!   

Step 1: Find your Area of Specialization- Decide what line you want to sell!

Before diving into insurance, you need to know different areas of insurance lines. Known as ‘lines of authority,’ these are the areas where you will specialize as an agent and sell your products. Here are some of the most common lines of insurance: 

  • Property and Casualty Insurance: Series of policies covered for personal/commercially owned properties and the liabilities to the third party that is caused by them. It includes homeowners, auto, renters, condo, flood, and earthquake insurance coverages.  
  • Life Insurance: Policies and annuities to cover the beneficiary in case of the insured’s death.  
  • Health Insurance: Coverage that ensures the cost of an individual’s medical and surgical bills.  

To clarify, it is not compulsory to only select one area. You can combine these lines and specialize in them according to your interests and skills. 

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Step 2: Check the requirements and build your understanding!

There are some basic requirements that you need to meet before you apply for your insurance license exam. After deciding on the markets you want to sell in, you need to check if you’re eligible to apply.

Most of the applicants are confused about this stage. But don’t worry! It is not as complicated as you think.

Before moving on, you need to know that every state has a commission of insurance that facilitates the mandates. You can check out the list of all 50 state insurance boards on the website of ACCI.

Here are some of the things you should complete before applying for your insurance license.

Complete the prelicensing education for the line of authority you selected. 

Most states require applicants to complete a pre-license coursework before registering for state licensing exams.

The hours and the cost for the course may differ according to the state. For example- In Georgia, you need to take 20 hours of pre-licensing course for each line of authority. For you to obtain a P&C license, you’ll have to take 40 hours long courses.

Similarly, in California, along with the 20 hours education course, applicants should also receive an additional 12 hours of education for the state’s insurance codes and ethical policies.

Tip: Applicants should always follow-up with their state’s insurance board. You need to make sure you fulfill every requirement. 

After the completion of this course, you will receive a certificate. Hold on to it; you’ll be needing it at the time of your exam.

Step 3: Register for the State examinations (and ace it)!

Now it all comes to testing your knowledge. You need to give exams for every line of authority you’ve selected. For instance, if you pass the exams for Property and Casualty, you’ll be able to sell products in both areas. In most states, Property and Casualty are usually combined lines. In other words, you can give a single exam to get a P&C insurance license.

The National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) has listed down all the state-specific requirements and fees for you to check out.

Also, you can live in a state and wish to sell policies in a different state. For this, all you need to do is apply your insurance license for the insurance board of the state you want to sell policies and continue this process!

You can check out various guides for state exam preparations on the internet too. The pass scores are 70% or higher. So, make sure you take enough simulation exams before you give the real one!

Now you can register for the exam by sending an application which you can find on the state insurance department’s website.

Some important tips to remember before giving the actual exams:

  • Be thoroughly prepared. The test will be in a controlled environment. Make sure you rely on your knowledge.
  • Be calm and confident. Remember that these exams sure are challenging, but they’re not impossible.
  • Study for one exam at a time. You don’t want to stress yourself with two different headaches and ruin both. Focus on one and ace it!

Step 4: Apply for your Insurance License- submit your background check documents and your fingerprints

Almost all the state requires applicants to provide their fingerprints, a background information report, and work-history report. You need to submit all these documents to the concerned state insurance department before you apply for your insurance license.  

Most importantly, for your background check, having a criminal record may make the process more difficult. Having severe cases will decrease the chances of them selecting your application.  

Hold on to the fingerprint card, which you’ll be needing to apply for your insurance license.  

After you submitted all these reports, you can now apply for the license. You can usually upload all the documents in the state insurance department’s website. These documents include the state exam certificate, fingerprint card, background report, and a citizen affidavit.  

The state insurance board will review your application and your documents. If all submissions are acceptable, you will get your insurance license within 7-10 business days!  

In case any requirements not met, or any clarifications are required, you will need to contact the state insurance department regarding the status of your license.  

You’ve got your Insurance License. Now what? 

By following these steps, you can obtain your Insurance License. You can finally work as an insurance agent and start selling policies.

You now need to decide whether you want to be a captive or an independent agent. After all, we want all our fellow agents to be free and explore endless opportunities. How? By going independent!

In addition, you can check out a cheat-sheet we made for you on how to become an independent insurance agent.

Similarly, you can also work for an insurance agency to become fully independent and make full use of all the benefits you get by working for an agency.

So, are you thinking of applying for your insurance license? Take this blog as your guide and go for it!

Did you think we missed out on anything? Let us know with your thoughts in the comments below!

Learn how you can flourish as an agent after one call!

Schedule a call right now and learn how you can ease your work, sell more, and increase your profits!