Anyone involved in the solicitation, selling or negotiation of insurance products must have an insurance license. These licenses are issued by insurance commissioners in each state, and insurance professionals must obtain a license in each state in which they plan to operate. Separate insurance licenses are required for different categories of insurance – Life and Health or Property and Casualty, for instance – with most states allowing individuals to hold more than one license. Here, we'll go over the basics on how to get an insurance license.
Research state-specific requirements
There is no nationwide standard for insurance licensing, so regulations vary to some degree from one state to another. However, in general, you can expect to be required to undergo a background check, complete a state-approved insurance training course and achieve a passing score on a state-administered insurance licensing exam for each license you choose to pursue.
Requirements that may be state-specific include the exact license or licenses you will need to apply for to meet your professional goals, since insurance products grouped under a single license differ from state to state. Educational qualifications for licensing vary between states as well – the number of classroom hours required to become eligible to sit for licensing exams, for instance
The best source of accurate information on these requirements is the Insurance Commissioner's office in your state. Most have official websites that provide this information online, or you can contact them by phone with questions on how to get your insurance license.
Prepare for your licensing exam
Once you know the requirements in your state, you are ready to fill out your licensing application. Generally, this includes submitting a work history and a background history, so make sure you have that information on hand. In many states, fingerprints must be submitted with applications to enable thorough background checks. Your state's Insurance Commissioner's office may provide fingerprinting services or be able to direct you to a local notary publics, police stations or other establishments that offer these services to the public.
Next, you will need to locate state-approved insurance pre-licensing courses in your area – contact the Insurance Commissioner's office for help – and get yourself enrolled. These courses typically cover basic insurance regulations and concepts, as well as ethics and practice standards. Depending upon state requirements, you may be able to choose between classroom and online options to complete your insurance course .
Once you have completed the course and have the required classroom hours under your belt, your next step is to register for and take your licensing exam. Earning a passing score on that exam is the final step in earning your insurance license.
Resources for Insurance Brokers in New York
The first step towards a career in the insurance industry is completing a certification and license in the field. Find out which path to follow with one of Bryant & Stratton College's insurance programs.>