How To Become An Insurance Agent in Alabama
What Kind Of Agent Are You Going To Be?A majority of people who are applying for their insurance license have a plan in already in place of where they are going to use it. If you don't yet have a plan on how you will be using your insurance license, this is the place to start. Here are some of the questions that you should ask yourself:
- What type of insurance am I going to sell?
- Am I starting my own agency or working inside of an existing agency?
- It may depend on how your agency is set up to tell you what type of licenses you need to hold.
- What types of licenses does my company require me to hold?
1. Pre-License Education
The first step in getting an Alabama insurance license is taking pre-license education courses. These are state required courses pertaining to the subject matter that will be on the license exam. To fill the pre-license requirement, you must complete twenty (20) hours of education coursework per line of authority that you wish to hold. You will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Keep this certificate, as you will need it when taking your exam.
Example: If you want to get a Life Insurance license, then you would need to take twenty (20) hours of coursework. If you are going for Life & Health (L&H), forty (40) hours is your requirement. For Life & Health (L&H) and Property & Casualty (P&C), you will need eighty (80) hours total of pre-license education.
Most applicants choose to take these courses online, as it fits their schedule better, but there are also in-person courses available. You should choose which format in which to take your courses based on your preferred method of learning. The goal isn't just to get the courses out of the way, it's to prepare you to pass your license exam on the first attempt.
2. Insurance License Exams
The next step after completing all of your pre-license coursework is to take the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each line of insurance you wish to carry. Life& Health (L&H) and Property & Casualty (P&C) lines are combined as one test each, so you wouldn't take four tests, you would only take two altogether. You must pass your exams within one year of completing your pre-license education course.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching you. For people who haven't tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam.
The fee for each attempt of the exams is $75.00 for each "combined producer exam" (P&C and L&H). When you show up you must have a photo ID and the original pre-license education certificate. You have three (3) hours to complete the exam, which is one hundred fifty (150) questions long. A passing score is 70%, so you must answer one hundred five (105) of the question correctly. Here is a copy of the L&H examination outline and the P&C examination outline. You are also limited on the number of times that you can take the exam. If you fail any exam twice, you must wait ninety (90) days to retake the exam for that line.
Exam pass rates in Alabama in 2015 were 47% for Property & Casualty and 60% for Life & Health.
Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It's extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.
Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn't the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.
Note: StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Alabama Department of Insurance website.
3. Fingerprinting And Background Check
Alabama requires that all insurance license applications provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. If you have any prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. For more information on this topic, call the Alabama Department of Insurance at (334) 241-4126 or email the License Department. There is a $47 fee for fingerprinting services.
Your fingerprint results only remain in the state system for thirty (30) days. If you wait longer than this to apply for your license, you will need to re-fingerprint and pay the fee again. Apply for your license within thirty (30) days of having fingerprints taken!
Apply for and schedule your fingerprinting at with 3M/Cogent.
4. License Application
Once you have completed your exams and fingerprinting, you are now ready to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have passed the exam for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.
The fee for an online application is $80, and NIPR will charge a $5 transaction fee for a total of $85. If you apply for your additional lines of authority, only the $5 transaction fee will be charged on later additions.
Again, you must apply within thirty (30) days of completing your fingerprints to avoid additional work and fees.
Fill out your online application on the NIPR website.
After filling out the application, you have ten (10) days to complete the next step of submitting proof of citizenship.
5. Proof Of Citizenship
Within ten (10) days of submitting your license application, Alabama mandates that you must submit proof of citizenship. To do this, you will upload a single file that includes the front and the back of your identification (driver's license or other state ID). There are some states whose driver's license will not satisfy the requirement. A list of these states can be found here. If you have a question about which forms of ID will work, and which will not, please contact the Alabama Department of Insurance at (334) 241-4126 or email the License Department.
Submit your proof of citizenship on the Alabama Department of Insurance website.
6. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and have filled all the other requirements, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check will also be reviewed.
If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued quickly. If there are any items from your background check that need to be reviewed, it may slow down the process of issuance. If this is the case, the state may contact you to provide context to the issues that they have run into.
To check and see if your license has been issued, you may look yourself up in the State Based Systems License Look-Up System.
You've done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success! We're proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in April 2019.
Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. Huge Hammer LLC and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance. Disclosure: StateRequirement has an affiliation with Kaplan Education company, and may receive compensation based on user activity on this site. We truly believe that Kaplan offers excellent products and services, and compliments the mission of StateRequirement.
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