Considering a Career in Life & Health Insurance? Here’s What You Need to Know

Confident Woman with her arms crossed ready for a new career

Selling life and health insurance is a rewarding opportunity where you get to help individuals, businesses, and families get the coverage they need for greater financial security and peace of mind.

Life insurance policies are designed to keep families afloat if something happens to a family breadwinner. Surviving family members (spouse and children) receive a lump sum of money to cover mortgage payments, funeral costs, debts, and other expenses.

Health insurance policies help people manage their medical costs. A typical plan helps pay for everything from doctor’s visits to hospitalizations to major surgery.

There are so many great reasons to make a move into the insurance industry. As a licensed insurance agent you can:

  • Make a difference in your community
  • Secure a stable career in a lucrative industry
  • Learn a variety of skills
  • Set yourself up for career advancement

As an L&H agent, you’ll help individuals, families, and businesses secure important coverage. But you need to be licensed before you can sell life insurance policies or health plans.

Whether you’re still exploring the possibility of becoming a Life & Health insurance agent or you’ve decided this is the career for you, here’s what you need to know.

What are the benefits of being a Life & Health insurance agent?

Easy entry – One of the most attractive aspects of becoming a Life & Health agent is that there are few barriers to entry. You don’t need a college degree or any vocational training. You just need to get licensed.

In-demand industry – The job outlook for insurance agents is very good, with 6% growth expected between 2021 and 2031. While life insurance can be a bit more challenging to break into, health insurance is always in high demand. A handful of states still require eligible residents to have health insurance. This includes California, which accounts for 12% of the nation’s population.

High earnings potential – The median pay for an insurance sales agent is around $24 an hour or $50,000 a year, but many agents make more than this. Life insurance, in particular, offers big commissions—sometimes 100% or more of the premium. There is lots of money-making potential, especially for more experienced agents.

What is the Life & Health (L&H) exam?

person taking a written exam

The Life & Health state licensing exam tests your knowledge about life and health insurance products. It also tests you on state and federal insurance laws and regulations.

The insurance industry is regulated differently in each state. While the core information is similar across states, no two state exams are exactly alike. Details like the number of questions on the exam and the passing score vary.

For example, the Montana Life and Health exam has a total of 198 questions (178 scorable questions plus 20 “pretest” questions, which don’t count toward your score). The passing score is 75.

Compare this to Texas, where the passing score is 70 and the exam has fewer questions (145 in total).

Regardless of where you live, the state exams are challenging. But with the right study materials, you’ll greatly improve your odds of passing. America’s Professor can help you get ready for the exam.

What topics does the L&H exam cover?

The Life and Health exam covers a broad range of topics. These industries are complex, especially health insurance. You need to be prepared to answer questions about things that aren’t common knowledge.

In general, the exam covers:

  • Types of life insurance policies (e.g., term life insurance, universal life, etc.)
  • Types of health insurance policies (e.g., PPO, HMO, etc.)
  • Policy provisions
  • Contract law
  • Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security
  • State laws and regulations

Here’s an example of the kind of question you might see on the Health and Life insurance exam:

Which of the following terms refers to the amount of money that an insured is entitled to withdraw from an annuity?

  1. Defined benefit
  2. Vesting
  3. Build up
  4. None of the above

Unless you currently work in the insurance industry, you probably won’t know the answers to  questions like this offhand. And the questions regarding state-specific laws are even more challenging.

Enrolling in an exam prep course designed for your state exam will give you the best chances of passing your exam.

How do I take the exam?

Most states use one of these test providers to administer the exams:

You will need to create an account on your test provider’s website to register for the exam. The provider will give you resources for your state exam and tell you how to schedule your exam and where to take it.

Many states now offer online proctored exams. Proctored means someone monitors you through your webcam while you take the exam. Taking the exam online can save you time and money, since there is no traveling or hotel expenses.

What’s the best way to prepare for the exam?

Man studying and taking notes for an exam by a computer

Unless you have years of industry experience (and even if you do), the best way to prepare for your state L&H exam is to enroll in a high-quality insurance exam prep course with a reputable provider. Some states even require you to complete a pre-licensing course before you can sign up to take the exam.

A good exam prep course will not only teach you what you need to know to pass the exam, but how to study to maximize your chances of success. Here are a few things to look for in a course provider:

Quality study materials – Look for a provider that offers streaming video lectures that are accessible 24/7, plus a hardcopy textbook, so you can highlight sections and take notes.

Support – Many online course providers promise the world but aren’t there when you really need them. Make sure the company you choose has a customer service team you can call or email when you have issues or questions.

Experience – Choose a provider with a solid understanding of insurance, and one that offers a program closely based on the questions you’ll actually see on your state exam.

Great reviews – What are your peers saying about the course you are considering? Reviews can tell you a lot about the provider—how they teach, the level of support they provide, and the quality of their study materials.

With so much at stake, you want to make sure you show up for your exam prepared. That starts with choosing a good exam prep course.

Why study with America’s Professor?

For more than 30 years, America’s Professor has been helping students prepare for their insurance licensing exams.

We use real-world examples to help you make sense of complex insurance terms and concepts and retain the information, so you’ll be fully prepared and confident come exam day.

When you sign up for an AP insurance exam prep course, you’ll get instant 100-day access to our streaming lectures, which you can watch anytime, anywhere it’s convenient for you (internet access required).

We’ll also mail you a hardcopy textbook, which you can use to study right up until the day of your exam. And it’s all backed by our exceptional customer service.

Ready to start your new career? See what our students are saying about AP and enroll in a course today!

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