Search and verify licenses

Insurance License

If a person wants to become a well-paid part of any insurance company or launch his own business, there are some details to pay attention to. For this reason, we have prepared this guide and have included information on how to get an insurance license and what requirements there are.

Finding your insurance license number

Insurance license number, generally referred to as National Producer Number (NPN), is an individual identifier. It is assigned to insurance agents and business companies for safety measures and identification.

If you need to find your insurance license number, you can look for it online from the National Insurance Producer Registry. You may look for the number by Individual SSN, Agency FEIN, or License Number.

Get a copy of your insurance license

If you need or want to have the printed version or another copy of your insurance license, you may have it in a few easy steps. Just go through this NIPR link, select the licensing state and the tool will lead you to the official website of the state in question.

Once you visit the website, you will find the instructions, and, thereby, obtain a copy of your insurance license. Whether you will need to pay for the copy or not mainly depends on the state and the Department of Insurance.

How often do you have to renew your insurance license?

The expiration date can be found on the insurance license and it will show how long the license is good for. In general, most US states require renewing an insurance license every two years. Some licenses expire on the birthday month of the license holder.

In most cases, the renewal period is connected with completing the necessary hours of continuing education and credits. In addition, those hours are the best way to refresh memory and gain an understating of new industry trends. Moreover, they ensure that an insurance agent is competent and a professional in his/her job.

There are other renewal requirements as well, including submitting an application, required documents, and fees.

Learn how to obtain a non-resident insurance license

A non-resident insurance license is necessary when a person lives in one state, but works in another. Thus, if you plan to work in a particular state, you will need to contact the state’s insurance licensing department. This way you will find out whether the state offers non-resident insurance licenses or not.

It is important to know that states have different licensing requirements based on your status as a resident or a non-resident applicant. Hence, you may come across various requirements, which include passing examinations, completing the required education, and so on.

Even though there may be certain differences and claims, most states establish the following licensing process:

  • Providing proof of completing insurance education
  • Taking and passing an insurance exam
  • Completing an application and providing required documentation
  • Passing a background check and having your fingerprints taken

Checking the credentials of an insurance agent

It is extremely important to know whether an insurance agent has the credentials to sell, solicit or negotiate insurance. Every client wants to work with a professional, who has what it takes to sell insurance products.

What is more, a license ensures that a person has completed the required hours of education and passed state exams. In addition, conducting a search and checking the credentials of an insurance agent is more than necessary.

If you want to verify an insurance agent, a license search is a good idea. Just enter the license number and select the state to search. It is also possible to search by the first and last name of the license holder or by the company name.

Whichever search method you use, the online tool will provide a wealth of information about the licensee, including the license status.

Given these points, you may also verify an insurance agent’s license by using state verification tools. Those tools can be found on the official websites of the state Department of Insurance.

Steps to get a license to sell insurance

Each state has its own rules and regulations for insurance licensing, but you may see the common steps of licensure below.

Step 1: Preparation and pre-licensing courses

Some states require insurance applicants to complete a certain number of pre-licensing hours and obtain a Certificate of completion. Those courses are convenient, reliable, and offer knowledge with the help of instructors, who have been in the field long enough.

In comparison with this, certain states do not demand any pre-licensing hours at all and leave the preparation 100% up to you.

Step 2: State insurance license exam

Then, an applicant must take the state licensing insurance exam and pass it with a good score. There is going to be one exam for each combined line of insurance that an agent wants to carry.

It is essential to register for the exam beforehand, pay the examination fee, and reserve your spot. Otherwise, an applicant may not be allowed to take the exam on that day.

Some states have it that you take the test in the presence of a proctor, who is there to ensure that you do not cheat.

Not only does an applicant need to study hard for the exam, but he/she must also obey the rules set forth by the testing facility. To clarify, there are certain items and your personal belongings that you cannot take to the examination room.

Step 3: Background check

Submitting your fingerprints and initiating the background check process is another major requirement. An applicant must maintain a good and “clean” background record in order to be eligible for licensure.

In case there are any felonies, criminal acts, and thefts, a person may not be eligible for the insurance license.

Step 4: Applying for the license

Submitting the application for the license is the last step and you must apply to the state’s Department of Insurance. In addition, you must also pay a fixed fee for the license and receive it after some time.

How to pass an insurance license exam

Compared to other exams, insurance license exams are not that hard to pass. Nevertheless, an applicant will need to study hard in order to pass.

One of the main guarantees of passing is starting the studying process early. It does not matter if you attend special courses or not as long as you take your studies seriously.

Another key point is taking as many practice tests as you can. The reason for this is that you will learn what is going to be on the exam, as well as its format.

On the examination day, it is compulsory to follow instructions and not to violate any rules. Doing so will prevent you from finishing your test and the testing facility will forfeit the examination fee.

How hard is an insurance license test?

An insurance license test is a state exam, which covers everything you need to know as an insurance agent. It covers insurance products, general knowledge, and insurance policies. The test also touches on state rules and laws, which regulate the insurance industry.

The insurance test is not impossible to pass and one can achieve positive results providing that they prepare well. The Health insurance and Casualty insurance exams tend to be a little harder than others.

On average, 70% of the students pass on their first try, as the passing rates are high. If a student fails, he/she can retake the exam as long as they pay the examination fee. Most states do not have limitations on the number of times you can take the exam.

Transferring an insurance license to another state

If you hold an active insurance license in one state and move to another, you may need to transfer your license. You will only need to contact the licensing department of the state where you want to live and apply for a new license.

To qualify for the license, an applicant must be a resident of that state and have a valid insurance license.

Note that you will need to request a license with the equivalent lines of authority that you carried in the previous state. You will also need to submit proper forms of identification, your current insurance license and complete the application form.

In most cases, states do not require retaking the state licensing exam as part of licensure.

Costs associated with an insurance license

Becoming a licensed insurance agent is not cheap as there are some fees associated with getting the license. The fees vary greatly from state to state, starting from $50 and up.

Most states, like Wisconsin and Louisiana, require completing pre-licensing education and an applicant must pay for it. On the other hand, there are some states, for example, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Maine, that do not require finishing certain hours of education and you can study on your own.

Pre-licensing courses have various fees, which depend on the course provider and the state.

There are also required fees connected with taking the state licensing examination, submitting an application, and receiving the license. You will also need to pay some money for completing the background check.

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