Property and casualty insurance is a growing field with a need for licensed agents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2008 that there were 434,800 insurance sales agents in the United States. The job outlook for this occupation is expected to increase 12 percent during the years 2008 to 2018. Every agent selling property and casualty insurance must have a state-issued license. There are many online sources available for pre-licensing training.
Each state has its own requirements for property and casualty licensing. Check with your state's department of insurance for the specific state requirements. All states require the passing of an examination. General guidelines for most coursework include 20 to 40 hours of general insurance courses, 6 to 12 hours of ethics training and practice examinations.
The insurance industry is moving toward uniform state licensing standards, meaning that if you are licensed in one state to write property and casualty insurance, it is becoming easier to be licensed in another state. Many states offer nonresident licensing, and for a fee you can become licensed in another state as long as you have a state-issued license in your state of residence. Some states require additional state-specific classes.
Many online courses are available for property and casualty licensing classes. The advantages of taking the course online as opposed to in a classroom setting are being able to work at your own pace and at a time that is convenient for you. Make sure the course you select is pre-approved by your state's department of insurance.
As a licensed property and casualty agent, you will be selling products to protect individuals and businesses from financial losses. Property and casualty training classes involve studying the topics that will appear on the state licensing examination. Some of the subjects of study are insurance regulation, property insurance, casualty insurance basics, dwelling and homeowner's insurance, flood insurance, auto insurance, business owners and the commercial package policy.
Once you complete all the required hours of coursework, you will schedule a time to take the examination to receive your property and casualty license. Contact your state's department of insurance for a listing of all locations that give the examination and the schedule of testing dates. Most of these tests are completed on a computer. Get plenty of rest the day before you are scheduled to take your examination.