Insurance Continuing Education Requirements, Options, and Benefits
Any agent selling any type of insurance is required to complete a certain amount of insurance continuing education courses every 1-2 years. Whether you sell life insurance, health insurance or property and casualty insurance; continuing education is required. Insurance agents need to contact their state to see what insurance classes they need to take and how many hours they need. Many states require an agent to complete their continuing education requirements every other year by their birthday. But, some states require a certain amount of hours every year. Some states also lessen the amount of continuing education credits needed depending on how long you have been licensed. Usually, the longer you have been licensed, the less insurance education you have to complete.
Many agents choose to do their insurance continuing education online because the courses are usually a little easier and more convenient than sitting in a classroom. Most continuing education courses are a simple textbook to read followed by a multiple choice exam. Some states require a monitored exam while others allow an open book exam. If you are in a state that allows an open book exam the agent is able to refer back to the textbook while completing the exam. The only real reason a producer sits in the classroom is because they are scared to take exams. If you attend a class in person you just sign a document stating you were present and avoid any type of test.
Once an agent completes a course the approved provider will contact the state for the agent. Most providers will contact the state within 24-48 hours to ensure the agent meets their deadline. Please check with your state to receive a list of insurance continuing education providers available in your state. You would not want to do your insurance continuing education courses with a company that is not state approved! Insurance agents who fail to meet the required deadline could face fines and may also have their license suspended.
Everything being said, insurance education courses are mandatory but will also help the agents learn about new products they can sell to their clients. The more products available to their clients the more money the agent can make. When completing insurance education, agents will also learn about any new laws, rules and regulations in the insurance industry. This will benefit the client because they know they are working with an ethical and responsible agent. Insurance agents also want to keep up with new products to stay competitive in the marketplace.