Posted by: Kaplan Financial Education
Updated: March 16, 2018
Selling insurance is rewarding, has amazing growth potential, and is a great way to start your career or make a much-needed change. So, if you think the insurance field is right for you, your first question is probably, “How do I become an insurance agent?” Here are the steps you can take.
The first thing you want to do is decide what type or types of insurance you’d like to specialize in. In the industry, these are referred to as “lines of authority.” Here’s a rundown of the most common:
Another option is becoming an adjuster, which is the business of investigating and adjusting claims on an insurance policy. Insurance adjusters also solicit for the adjustment business.
In a number of cases, you don’t have to pick just one line of authority. Individuals often combine certain lines, such as property and casualty insurance.
After you’ve decided what kind of insurance insurance agent you want to be, the next step is to understand the basic requirements:
Now that you have a basic idea of what you need to do, it’s time to decide whether you want to sell insurance in your home state or some other state. (You can also sell in more than one state, but you also must abide by the rules for each.) As you saw in Step 2, each state regulates its own insurance licensing process, and each state’s regulations or rules are slightly different, so this is why deciding on where is so important.
After you’ve made your decision, check with the department of insurance in that state for the rules. The state bodies of government that regulate insurance have different names, so a good way to find out the name of the state’s insurance body is to go to the official website of the state and search for the insurance licensing rules. Most state insurance web pages are quite helpful and often have handbooks you can download and read to get all the information you need. You’ll find out exactly how many hours of education (if any) you need, how to register for the exam, where to go for the exam, how you’ll get your score, and—if you pass—how you’ll get your license.
Each state website will also tell you what kind of continuing education you need to keep or renew your license.
Now is also the time to research any agencies for which you want to work. Many have additional requirements for candidates or agents to follow that you’ll need to be aware of if you want to work there. Also, some agencies will hire you before you have a license, and they might have specific processes you need to follow.
You’ve done your research and know what you want to do. So, it’s time to get out there, get the hours of education required by the state and agency of your choice, take the exam, and pass it. Armed with your license and your knowledge, you’re ready for an exciting and rewarding career as an insurance agent. Good luck, and don’t forget about keeping up with your continuing education.
As an aspiring insurance professional, wouldn’t it be great if you could sit down with a room full of successful insurance veterans and ask them for their advice? The Kaplan Financial Education team interviewed over 100 insurance professionals to develop this exclusive eBook for those who are considering the insurance industry.
To learn more about insurance licensing in your state and to enroll in a Kaplan study program, please visit our Insurance Licensing page or call customer service at 800.824.8742. For more information about our Insurance Continuing Education offerings in each state, please visit our Insurance CE page.