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To engage in the business of buying and selling insurance on behalf of a commercial insurance company, you have to become a licensed commercial insurance agent. A person who is licensed to become a commercial lines agent is also licensed to do personal lines, thus the process is the same for licensure. Without a license, you are prohibited from performing many of the tasks necessary to solicit, recommend, secure and bind insurance coverage. If you are serious about becoming an insurance agent, take the time to gather the necessary information from your state's Insurance Department to satisfy their licensing requirements.
Satisfy the age requirement. To become a licensed commercial insurance agent you must be at least 18 years of age. If you're under 18 you can spend some time volunteering in an insurance agency to get hands on experience and general knowledge about the insurance field. However, you must wait until you're 18 to obtain a license.
Take the necessary insurance educational courses. Each state requires licensed insurance agents to take a certain number of course hours before sitting for the exam. Contact the State Insurance Department for your state to find out the class room hour requirement. The National Association of Insurance Commissioner's website (www.naic.org) has links to the Insurance Department of reach state.
Sit for and pass the insurance licensing exam. Once you satisfy the classroom requirements, register to take the commercial insurance agent's exam. Although the types of questions vary from state to state, you will be tested on your property, casualty and sometimes life and health insurance knowledge. Before taking the exam, however, spend a little time reviewing old licensing exams. Books like Property and Casualty Insurance License Exam Cram are helpful in giving you an idea of what to expect.
Work for an established commercial insurance agent. Passing the licensing test means that you are legally able to engage in the business of buying and selling insurance; however, it does not mean that you have the real life hands on knowledge on how to do it. The licensing exam teaches theory, spending a few months, or years working for an established commercial lines agency will give you practical knowledge that the school books cannot teach. If you want to be a successful insurance agent, you should get hands on experience before going out on your own.
Satisfy the continuing education requirements. Most states require licensed agents to keep abreast of the latest developments in the insurance industry. Therefore, you will have to satisfy the state's continuing education requirement.
Do not wait until your license is about to renew to begin taking the continuing education classes.