Becoming an Insurance Agent in Washington
Becoming an insurance agent in Washington State is a great opportunity for career growth and advancement. Long hours of study and preparation are needed in order to pass the insurance agent exam needed for licensing. Sometimes, more than one exam may be required, depending on the type of insurance an agent plans to sell. Taking the proper courses and training can help prepare a student to become a professional insurance salesperson.
The State of Washington does not require a college degree in order to become an insurance agent, although it can be helpful. If college is an option, consider a degree in either business or economics, as these will be more useful. Areas of study should include courses in finance, math, accounting, economics, business and public speaking.
What is required before the insurance agent exam can be taken is a minimum of 20 or 40 hours of pre-licensing education, or PLE, for each major line of authority desired, depending on the specific line. Major lines of authority fall under life, disability, property, casualty and personal coverage. In order to sell all lines, 20 hours of PLE is needed for each. The courses can be done either in-person or through self-study. Either must be purchased from an approved provider.
For self-study courses, look for those that offer video lessons in addition to printed reference material and coursework. These can be helpful in explaining concepts illustrated in the printed materials. Be sure the courses offer practice quizzes and tests, as this will prepare candidates for the real exam.
Residents of Washington State are required to submit their fingerprints prior to applying for their license. The fingerprints are required for a background check. The fingerprinting reservations MUST be scheduled through MorphoTrust USA. They are also conducting and processing the background check. Non-residents do not have to comply with this requirement.
Taking the Exam
The insurance agent exam in Washington is made up entirely of multiple-choice questions. Typically, the test is focused on definitions of standard terminology, and on the numbers used such as dollars amounts and numbers of days. The distribution of questions seems to average about one-third on terminology, one-third on number questions and one-third on story problems that ask applicants to reason their way through a situation.
Several variations of the test are used so no 2 people next to each other are taking the same test at the same time. Most states administer 4 basic tests – Life, Disability, Property and Casualty. Washington also gives tests on Personal Lines for agents who want to sell homeowner and auto insurance. Each exam has two sections. Applicants must score a 75% or higher on each section in order to pass.
With the proper training, a prospective insurance agent can get the licensing needed to begin a lucrative career in the insurance industry.
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A good deal of preparation is needed to pass the insurance agent exam in Washington State. An applicant will have to be tested for each major line that the applicant wants to sell. Residents of the state will also have to provide fingerprints and submit to a background check. The fingerprinting reservations MUST be scheduled through MorphoTrust USA. They are also conducting and processing the background check.
America’s Professor is an approved source for self-study materials and license prep in the State of Washington, with over 30 years of experience in teaching pre-licensing courses. Their goal is to bring live, on-site courses to students’ homes and provide them with a real classroom atmosphere.