Steps to Getting Your Insurance License

It’s never been a better time to become a licensed insurance agent, whether you want to specialize in property and casualty insurance (to sell products like homeowner’s insurance and auto insurance), life and health insurance, or another area. America’s Professor makes it easy to study for your licensing exam without having to take time off from work or school, stand in registration lines, or drive to and from insurance license classes. Read more below about the steps required to become a licensed insurance agent.

Step 1: Decide

Step 1 To Getting an Insurance License


Your first step is determining which type of license you need. If you already have your sights set on a specific job—with an auto insurance company, for example—you can skip ahead to the next step.

But if you’re still undecided, think about the types of products you want to sell. The two most popular insurance licenses are P&C (Property & Casualty) and L&H (Life & Health).


Property & Casualty agents sell products like auto, homeowner’s, and boat insurance. If you like dealing with tangible assets like homes, personal property, and businesses, specializing in Property and Casualty insurance is a good fit.

P&C also deals with products like flood insurance, workers’ compensation protection, and liability policies for protection against lawsuits. As a licensed P&C agent, you would be authorized to sell all these policies and more.

While it’s possible to get a Property license only or a Casualty license only, nearly all students decide to get a combined Property & Casualty license. It makes sense, since policies covering cars or homes, for example, will also cover the liability involved in owning (or operating) such property.


If you like dealing with investments, estate planning, health insurance, and long-term care, a Life & Health license might be the best fit for you.

You can pursue a separate license for Life only or Health only (Health is often bundled with “Accident & Sickness”). But most people go for a combined Life & Health license. Doing so will broaden your options and make you more attractive to employers.


Step 2: Prepare

Step 2 To Getting an Insurance License

Once you’ve decided which type of license you want to obtain, your next step is choosing the best insurance exam prep course.

America’s Professor offers the highest quality insurance pre-licensing courses online. Enjoyable and informative, each course resembles a live, on-location class—only more convenient! Our knowledgeable instructors will walk you through all the material you’ll need to know to pass your licensing exam.

Unlike most online courses, AP’s whole course is presented with streaming split screen video. On your left, you will see your professor. On your right, you will see the material: either the text or instructor-provided examples on a whiteboard. As a key element of the course, the video will provide an overview of all concepts, present interesting examples, and guide you through the textbook (included with your course). Our textbook is constantly revised to reflect the newest information in the industry.

As part of our courses, we also offer a test bank, featuring over 700 questions to give you a complete understanding of the material and to put you at ease with the questions you will confront in the insurance licensing exam. This is a vital part of the process, as it lets you see where your strengths are and where you need more practice.

Choosing a comprehensive course, like those offered by America’s Professor, is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you’re well prepared and ready to pass your insurance licensing exam the first time.

Note: Some states require you to complete a pre-licensing insurance education course before you can register to take the exam. You may need to provide a certificate of completion showing that you have passed the course.

Step 3: Pass

Step 3 To Getting an Insurance License

Passing the exam is your next step. Each state has different license requirements, which will also vary depending on the type of insurance license you’re going for (Property & Casualty, Life & Health, etc.).

All 50 states require you to be licensed in order to sell insurance policies or even discuss insurance transactions. There is no “general” insurance license that allows you to sell insurance in every state. You must obtain a resident producer license in the state where you live as well as a non-resident license for each additional state where you intend to sell or discuss insurance. Some states also require license applicants to be sponsored by an employer.

There is typically a fee to take the state licensing exam, ranging from $50-$100 per testing session, on average. The testing facility is often held at a state facility. You should expect anywhere between 100-150 multiple-choice questions on the exam.

Once you pass the exam, you’ll be fingerprinted (most states) as part of the background process. The fingerprint/background check usually runs in the $50 range and should be scheduled right after you schedule your exam. A technician is usually on-site to take fingerprints, but you may need to go to a separate facility.

The exams for all lines of authority consist of two parts: a national section, which covers insurance broadly, and a “state-rules” section, which covers specific laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to your state.

In most states, the pass rate for the exam is 70. Your exam will be scored on the spot, so you will know right away whether you passed.

If you don’t pass, you can retake the exam after a mandatory waiting period, which ranges from 24-72 hours in most states. You must pay an additional fee for every exam attempt. Having to retake the exam is a hassle, so don’t take it lightly.

The national first-time pass rate (all lines) is between 50% and 60%. Enrolling in an exam prep course and putting yourself on a strict study schedule will give you the best chances of passing the exam on your first try. Plan to study for at least 35-40 hours. This is the minimum amount of time most students need to fully absorb and remember the information.

Students who complete an exam prep course through America’s Professor have a much higher first-time pass rate than the national average. When you enroll in an AP course, you’ll get instant 100-day access to our streaming videos and lectures, followed by a hardcopy textbook in the mail.

If you need more time to study or guidance over the phone, we’re here for you. Our customer service team will support you through the entire process, until you get your license.

Step 4: Apply

Step 4 To Getting an Insurance License

After you pass the exam, you can formally apply for your insurance license through NIPR.

It may take a few weeks to receive your license in the mail, especially if your state requires fingerprints and a background check as part of the license approval process.

In many states, a technician is on-site at the exam center to take fingerprints, but not always. You may need to go to a separate facility. And if you take the exam online, you will need to go to a facility to get fingerprinted.

To speed up the process, you should make an appointment to get fingerprinted (or find out if your testing center takes fingerprints) and schedule your background check right after you schedule your exam.

It can take several days to several weeks for a background check to come back. In Texas, for example, it takes an average of 3-7 days to complete a background check, and sometimes longer.

All in all, the process can take several weeks.

Once you have received your license in the mail or online, you’re on your way to becoming a fully-fledged insurance agent!

Most people start by working as a captive agent, which means they are contracted to work for a single insurance company and sell only that insurance company’s policies. Others work as independent agents, selling policies for multiple insurance companies. Learn more about captive vs. independent insurance agents.

Get Started Today!

The comprehensive online insurance exam prep courses by America’s Professor make passing your insurance license exam easier than ever before. Enroll in a course today, and read what our students have to say about our courses and teaching methods.