Starting a Career in Property & Casualty Insurance? Here’s What You Need to Know
Being a Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance agent is a rewarding and potentially lucrative career where you get to help individuals, businesses, and families get the coverage they need to protect their property.
What Is Property & Casualty Insurance?
The term “property and casualty” simply refers to insurance products that protect against liability and cover property damage and loss.
Licensed Property and Casualty insurance agents are authorized to sell much more than just auto and homeowners’ insurance. They may also sell:
- Umbrella policies (liability protection)
- Earthquake insurance
- Flood protection
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Inland marine insurance (covers business equipment and materials)
- Watercraft insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Commercial liability coverage
Benefits of Being a P&C Agent
There are many great reasons to make a move into the insurance industry. As a licensed insurance agent you’ll learn a variety of important skills and secure a stable career in an “evergreen” industry. Here are just a few of the benefits of becoming a P&C agent:
You don’t need a fancy college degree or vocational training to become a P&C agent. It’s a great career choice with few barriers to entry. To get started, you just need to pass the P&C insurance licensing exam.
The products P&C agents sell are always in demand. Anyone who owns a home, car, business, or any kind of property is a potential client. Every state except Florida requires drivers to have some amount of auto liability coverage. And products like homeowners’ insurance and workers’ compensation are often required by lenders, businesses, or government agencies.
Good job prospects
The job outlook for insurance agents is very good, with 6% growth expected between 2021 and 2031. The median pay for an insurance sales agent is around $24 an hour or $50,000 a year, but many people make more than this. There is plenty of money-making potential, especially for more experienced P&C agents.
Whether you’re still exploring the possibility of becoming a P&C insurance agent or you’ve decided this is the career for you, here are some important things to know:
1: You Must Be Licensed to Sell Insurance
Insurance is regulated at the state level. As of 2023, every state requires sales agents to have the appropriate license to sell insurance. Even customer service agents who discuss insurance products over the phone must be licensed.
Getting licensed means passing your state’s insurance licensing exam. Most people need a minimum of 7-10 days of study time to prepare for the exam. If you work or go to school full time, it may take longer.
In general, you should plan to dedicate 35-40 hours studying for the exam.
Once you pass your licensing exam, you can apply for your license. You must complete an application, provide any required documents, and pay the application fee. Your state may also require fingerprints and a criminal background check.
Once you receive your license, you can start working as an insurance agent. Most states require you to complete continuing education periodically to renew your license. Renewals happen every 1-3 years, depending on your state.
2: The Licensing Exam Is Challenging
The insurance industry is regulated differently in each state. No two state exams are exactly alike, although the core information will be similar. Details like the number of questions on the exam and the passing score are different for each state.
The Property & Casualty exam tests your knowledge on a range of topics, including dwelling and homeowners’ insurance, auto insurance, commercial liability policies, workers’ compensation, and more. It also tests your knowledge about state and federal insurance laws and regulations.
Some state exams also include questions about things like completing an insurance application, insurance fraud, and insurance marketing rules.
No matter what state you’re in, the insurance licensing exams are challenging. You need to be prepared to answer questions about things that aren’t common knowledge.
3: Being Prepared Is Everything
It’s not enough to skim the test content outline (TCO) for your state or take a few practice exams you find online.
Only an exam prep course can give you the foundational knowledge you need to pass your exam. Choose a comprehensive pre-licensing education course through a reputable provider. Here’s what to look for:
Quality study materials – Make sure the provider you choose offers streaming video lectures that are accessible 24/7, plus a hardcopy textbook, so you can highlight important sections and take notes.
Experience – Choose a provider with expert knowledge of the insurance industry. Make sure the program is closely based on the questions you’ll actually see on your state exam.
Support – Look for an exam prep provider with a customer service team you can call or email when you have issues or questions.
Great reviews – Reviews can tell you a lot about how the course provider teaches the material, how much support they give their students, and the quality of their study materials.
With so much at stake, you want to make sure you show up for your P&C exam prepared. That starts with choosing a good pre-licensing course.
Get Ready for Your P&C Exam with America’s Professor
For more than 30 years, America’s Professor has been helping students prepare for their P&C 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. It’s why so many of our students say our program is the best Property and Casualty test prep out there.
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!