Getting an insurance broker license is as simple as following the steps outlined by the particular state in which you are trying to do business. Often, the first step is to become familiar with the terminology used by the Department of Insurance, or other agency overseeing the insurance industry in the state. Some have moved away from calling the product an insurance broker license. Education and testing requirements will also likely be in place.
First, it is important to understand the difference between an insurance agent and an insurance broker. Though the two may seem like very similar terms, but they are not interchangeable. An agent is usually an individual who works for a certain company, and tries to sell insurance products offered specifically by that company. A broker is not limited to one insurance company, and can provide at offerings from many different companies. There are advantages and disadvantages to each system.
Second, determine what different types of insurance licenses are in your state. Some states no longer have an insurance broker or agent license. Considering that the requirements for the two are virtually identical, they have moved to something called an insurance producer license. This will allow any individual holding the license to sell insurance products, whether they are interested in being an insurance broker or and insurance agent.
Third, look at the educational requirements for an insurance broker license, or whatever it may be called in your jurisdiction. Some states may simply require the individual to pass a written test. Others may require a certain number of hours of training. The individual may have the option of completing this training online. Otherwise, signing up for a classroom course will be the only other option.
The fees and deadlines are another issue to consider. Some states may have an open testing policy where all an individual needs to do is show up at a testing center and take the test. Others may offer the test only a few times a year. Often, the fees have to be paid before the individual is permitted to take the test. Therefore, those who are in a rush to get an insurance broker license need to make sure they plan ahead.
Finally, for those who may be wanting to sell insurance in more than one state, it is necessary to look at the insurance broker license requirements in each state in which one intends to work. Some states will allow a broker to sell with a valid license from another state. Some will require the individual to at least take the test for that particular state. In most cases, additional classroom training will not be required if the broker has a valid license from another state.