How to Get an Insurance License

In the insurance industry, a license is essential to a successful career. Whether you want to be an insurance agent, broker, or adjuster, having the proper permit shows your credibility and professionalism in the industry. However, the procedure for obtaining an insurance license varies depending on your location and the sort of insurance you intend to offer.

How to Get an Insurance License

This tutorial will detail the general steps for obtaining an insurance license. To become an insurance sales professional, the first step is to get a permit from your state’s insurance regulating department. Here’s how to obtain one.

Complete the Minimum Eligibility Conditions

You must first meet some minimal standards to obtain a life insurance license. These may differ by state, but usually, aspiring life insurance agents and brokers must:

  • Most states require a minimum age of 18 to apply for a license.
  • Be clear of any fraudulent or felony charges.
  • Not owing any federal or state income tax.
  • Complete a background check.
  • Some states additionally require insurance agents and brokers to be current on their child support payments to be licensed.

If you meet all of these conditions, you can go to the next phase.

Complete the Pre-licensing Coursework

Completing a pre-licensing course is required to prepare for the state licensure exams. Depending on your preferences, you can take the subjects online or in a traditional classroom setting.
Each course requires a minimum number of hours. The coursework covers topics such as

  • Policy types,
  • Industry laws,
  • Insurance principles,
  • and Ethics.

Many aspiring life insurance agents and brokers also enroll in health insurance courses. This permits them to expand and sell health insurance policies.

Pass the Exam

To pass the state insurance licensure exam, you need to take the test after completing your pre-licensing coursework. If you’re aiming for a life insurance license, you’ll need to pass the Life, Accident, & Health (LA&H) test.

The exam length and format can vary depending on your location, with typically 50 to 200 questions to be completed in two to three hours. These exams are monitored by a proctor in a classroom setting.

You’ll need to achieve a passing score, usually around 70%, but this can differ by state.

The insurance licensure exam covers a wide range of topics and can be quite challenging. The passing rates for health and life insurance exams are approximately:

  • Life insurance: 62.9%
  • Health insurance: 60.4%
  • Life & health insurance combined: 64.8%

Your test results are valid for two years, during which time you must apply for your life insurance license. If you don’t apply within this timeframe, you’ll need to retake the exam to obtain your license again.

Choose your Specialization

Determine which kind of insurance you wish to sell or handle. This could include life insurance, health insurance, property and casualty insurance, or all of the above. Your decision will determine the type of license you need to obtain.

Apply for your license

After passing the exam, you can apply for an insurance license through the proper channels. This may include filling out paperwork, presenting documentation, and paying any required costs. To avoid delays in completing your application, ensure that you have included all relevant information.

Background Checks

Licensing may require criminal and financial background checks. Prepare to present accurate information and reveal any pertinent details that may impact your licensure eligibility.

Comply with regulatory requirements

As a certified insurance professional, you will be subject to several regulations governing your behavior and business activities. To maintain the integrity of your license, you must adhere to ethical standards, keep correct paperwork, and follow all applicable laws and regulations.

Consider further certifications

While not necessarily required, gaining extra certificates or designations can help you gain a reputation and marketability in the insurance sector. Investigate chances to obtain specialist qualifications in fields such as underwriting, risk management, or insurance product lines to distinguish yourself from competitors.

Stay Engaged and Network

To succeed in insurance, it’s important to stay engaged and network beyond merely earning a license. Stay current on industry developments, join professional organizations, and network with peers and mentors to broaden your knowledge and prospects in the sector.

Which are the two most common license types?

  1. Property and casualty licenses are required for agents who intend to offer clients who require auto, house, and business casualty insurance.
  2. Life, health, and accident licenses are required for agents who want to service individuals who require insurance and annuities for life events such as life insurance, accidents, or health insurance.

Your job path may need you to get various licenses. You will need to obtain the information from your state’s Department of Insurance or the company you intend to represent.

Captive Insurance Agent

A captive insurance agent Exclusively represents one company, usually a large national insurer. They receive training and support from this company but can only sell its products and cannot work with competitors.

Captive agents often sign non-compete agreements, restricting them from selling for other insurers for a set time. Commission rates may be lower due to the support provided by the company.

Independent Insurance Agent

On the other hand, an independent insurance agent works with multiple insurance companies. They offer clients quotes from various insurers to find the best policies and prices.

While independent agents have more flexibility in product offerings, they receive less training and support from the insurance companies they represent.

They also need to establish their brand in the market instead of relying on the marketing of well-known insurers, making it a more challenging path to become independent.

Frequently Asked Question

What are the requirements for pre-licensing education?

Pre-licensing education requirements vary by jurisdiction, but they typically include completing a set number of hours of coursework on insurance laws, regulations, ethics, and sales techniques. These courses can be completed online, in a classroom, or through self-study programs.

What is the insurance license exam like?

The license exam is often multiple-choice and conducted by the state’s insurance regulating authority. It tests your understanding of insurance principles and laws. The number of questions and time permitted for the exam might vary, and a passing score is normally required, which varies by state.

How long does it take to get an insurance license?

The time it takes to earn an insurance license varies based on factors such as your jurisdiction’s regulations, the amount of pre-licensing coursework required, and the scheduling of the licensure exam. In general, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months.

Do I have to renew my insurance license?

Yes, insurance licenses must be renewed regularly, which may include completing continuing education courses and paying renewal costs. The renewal period and conditions differ by jurisdiction.

Can I choose my insurance specialization?

Yes, you may frequently select the sort of insurance you want to sell or handle, such as life insurance, health insurance, property and casualty insurance, or a mix thereof. Your choice will influence the type of license you must receive.

How can I get an insurance license?

To obtain an insurance license, you must normally complete pre-licensing courses, pass a licensure exam, and submit an application to the appropriate regulatory authorities in your state or country.

Can I operate as an independent insurance agent, or am I required to work for a specific company?

You can opt to operate as a captive insurance agent, representing only one company’s products, or an independent insurance agent, who works with multiple insurance companies to offer clients a range of options. each option has its advantages and considerations.


Obtaining an insurance license is a big accomplishment for anyone pursuing a career in the insurance sector. Understanding the licensing criteria, passing the relevant courses and exams, and adhering to regulatory standards can lead to a productive and gratifying career as a licensed insurance professional.

Remember to stay informed, always enhance your abilities, and maintain the highest levels of professionalism while serving your clients and community.

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