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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.

Educational Requirements

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.

Other Requirements

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.

video courses online sample questions
Washington Online Video Courses Washington Sample Practice Exams



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.

Company Bio

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.

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Kenya Battle
Kenya Battle
3 years ago

If you can’t afford the fees of the course is their any assistance with the fees?

R. Russell
R. Russell
3 years ago

My boss wants me to solicit quotes for his commercial insurance accounts and send them to the client. Can I communicate with clients and quote their insurance without a license ? Am I covered by my bosses license for other states, if I solicit insurance in multiple states without a license? I’m just getting started and my boss wants me to jump in and deal with the clients, including sending certs, endorsements, etc. The accounts are large commercial multi-state accounts including Work Comp. I have underwriting experience, but I am not an agent, and I dont want to be practicing… Read more »

2 years ago

Does this include the state exam, or is that a separate cost?

We make every effort to ensure that the content on our site is accurate but it’s always recommended to you contact your state’s Insurance Licensing Department or Test Provider for information. Thank you. – The AP Team