Research what it takes obtain and maintain an insurance license. Learn about the duties of this job, the education requirements and salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Career Information At a Glance
$63,730 (for all insurance sales agents) *
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do I Need an Insurance License?
Insurance licensing is managed by each state's regulatory department, with reciprocity between states in some cases. Licensing falls under two broad categories: producing and adjusting. Requirements vary by state, so you may need to contact the licensing board of the state you wish to work in to verify your need for a license.
Producing, or selling, insurance is virtually always licensed, and surety bonds may also be required. In some states, if you are working for an insurance company in either capacity (producing or adjusting), you may be covered under the company's license and not need to obtain one individually.
Claims adjusters, appraisers and investigators who work for a company are frequently covered by the company's license, but public adjusters are generally required to hold their own, and may be required to hold a surety bond. Whether you are personally required to have a license or not, you will likely need to take continuing education (CE) credits to maintain licensing for you or your employer.
How Can I Get a License?
While each state maintains its own insurance license
guidelines, you usually need to fill out an application form and be at least 18 years old. Some states require you to take specific courses prior to taking a licensing exam, while others only require the exam itself. Some states may allow you an exemption from taking the exam if you have a professional designation or certification. Generally there is a fee for taking the exam.
In some states you must not have a record of violating laws or regulations which would affect your ability or trustworthiness to hold a license. If you are looking to hold a license as an owner of a business, you may be required to meet business incorporation standards and maintain current registration. Licenses are available for various types of insurances, and you may be able to hold more than one type of license at a time.
How Do I Maintain My License?
In most cases, insurance licenses must be renewed every two years. Most states require that you take yearly CE courses, write articles or lecture on insurance topics to retain a license. If you allow the license to expire, there is typically a limited time period after expiration when you can renew your credential. If you allow the license to expire and this time period to lapse, you may need to reapply and go through the initial exams again.
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