Getting your Iowa life insurance license is the first step toward becoming a life insurance agent. If you want to market and sell life insurance policies, follow this step-by-step guide for obtaining a life insurance license in Iowa.
The Iowa Insurance Division requires you to complete a four-step process to obtain your life insurance license — from taking the life insurance exam to applying for a license.
These steps will take a few weeks to complete so we recommend you bookmark this page so you can use it as a reference throughout the process.
How to Get Your Iowa Life Insurance License
- Complete an Iowa Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
- Take the Iowa Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Pearson VUE – $49)
- Complete an Iowa Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $50 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee)
- Watch for Your Application Results
Steps to Get an Iowa Life Insurance License
Obtaining your Iowa life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these four steps to start your journey toward becoming a life insurance agent. Once you earn this license, check out our guide on how to get your Iowa property and casualty (P&C) license as well.
Step 1: Complete an Iowa Insurance Pre-license Course
Before you take the Iowa life insurance licensing exam, it’s important to make time to acquire the knowledge you’ll need to pass this exam on your first attempt. Completing a pre-license education course will equip you with the necessary information and tools you’ll need to prepare for your exam.
While Iowa doesn’t have any formal pre-license education requirements, most insurance professionals opt to take a pre-license education course online. Others purchase books or self-study materials to prepare themselves for the exam.
A pre-license education course provides very specific industry knowledge that will be tested during the exam. There is very little information on the test that could be considered “common sense.” Pre-license education courses are self-paced and include study materials like practice exams and flashcards.
Beyond helping you effectively prepare for and pass the life insurance licensing exam on your first try, taking a pre-license education course also will give you a solid understanding of your duties as a life insurance agent.
Over 81% of our readers use Kaplan’s online courses — which come with a 93% pass rate — when preparing for their insurance license exam(s). For comprehensive study packages, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 2: Take the Iowa Life Insurance Licensing Exam
After you complete a prep course and your own independent studying, it’s time to take the Iowa life insurance exam.
Iowa uses Pearson VUE as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.
The Iowa life insurance exam outline contains a total of 77 scored questions that cover two sections: general and state-specific knowledge. The general section deals with basic life insurance product knowledge. The state-specific section covers insurance concepts and terms, rules, regulations, and practices specific to Iowa.
You’ll have 120 minutes to complete the exam. The Iowa life insurance exam fee is $49, which you must pay at the time of reservation by credit card, debit card, or voucher. The exam is a proctored test, meaning an official proctor will closely monitor you in a controlled environment.
If you happen to fail the Iowa life insurance exam, you can schedule an appointment to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt.
Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.
The best way to understand if you are prepared for the test is to take a Life Insurance Practice Exam.
Step 3: Complete an Iowa Life Insurance License Application
Once you pass the life insurance exam, you can apply for your Iowa life insurance license. The application fee is $50 plus a $5.60 transaction fee. You must apply online via the NIPR. Pearson VUE will electronically submit your exam results to the NIPR, but it’ll take up to three or four business days for you to receive your exam results.
The Iowa Insurance Division will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam. You should submit your completed license application within 90 days of passing the life insurance licensing exam.
To apply for a life insurance license in Iowa, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the Iowa Administrative Code.
Send any questions or supporting documents to email@example.com.
Step 4: Watch for Your Application Results
After you complete the previous three steps, the Iowa Insurance Division will review your application. You won’t receive any correspondence from the state regarding your license application.
According to the Iowa Insurance Division’s Producer Licensing Department, you should wait a few days after submitting your application before looking up your license number on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) State Based Systems (SBS) Lookup Search tool.
You can print your license from the NIPR website. There’s no charge to create an account or print a license.
You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in Iowa.
Next Steps After Securing Your Iowa Life Insurance License
Once you complete the above steps and have your Iowa life insurance license, here’s what you should pursue next.
Get Your FINRA Securities Licenses
Individuals planning to market and sell market-based life insurance products also must obtain the proper securities licenses. As a securities license holder, you can offer securities as part of your services. That’ll make you a credible authority in addressing all of your clients’ financial needs.
To learn more, check out our Securities Licensing guide.
To obtain these licenses, you’ll first need to take and pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. Professionals in the securities industry are required to take the SIE and a series of examinations administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
The SIE exam ensures every life insurance professional has a basic understanding of securities. While taking the SIE exam isn’t a requirement for all insurance professionals, those who don’t obtain at least one securities license limit their ability to work with clients. With a securities license, you can give your clients the option to invest in securities-related products as part of their life insurance plans.
To help you start preparing for the SIE exam, check out our full guide on How to Pass the SIE Exam.
Obtaining a license to sell securities also requires sponsorship from a firm, company, or organization regulated by FINRA. The sponsor will pay the testing fees required for your SIE exams and submit your personal information to FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD). The Series 6 and Series 7 licenses require a FINRA exam sponsorship before you can take the exam. The exam for a Series 63 license doesn’t require any sponsoring entity.
Once you get your securities license(s), FINRA will list you as a “registered representative.” By achieving the securities licensee designation, you’ll become a highly sought-after professional and set yourself up for a successful career in the insurance industry.
Series 6, 7, and 63 Licenses
Some of the most common securities licenses for insurance agents include the Series 6, 7, and 63 licenses because they allow licensees to sell almost every type of individual security.
The Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative) Securities License is the primary license sought by insurance sales professionals and financial advisors, allowing them to sell grouped securities related to insurance products.
Series 6 works together with Series 63 because they are the two partner licenses required to sell insurance policies tied to investments. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) oversees regulation of the Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) license.
The Series 7 license allows you to buy and sell securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) as part of an investment plan for your clients. To get a Series 7 license, you will first need to register as a new candidate with FINRA and pass the Series 7 exam. The Series 7 exam is commonly known as the General Securities Representative Qualification Exam, but is sometimes referred to as the “Series 7 Top-Off Exam.”
Get a Job in the Insurance Field
Once you earn your license, you can start applying for jobs in the insurance field. With a life insurance license, you can provide advice and recommend insurance products to clients, sell life insurance policies that pay a beneficiary upon an insured person’s death, and sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.
Find life insurance job postings on our Insurance Jobs Board.
When applying for an insurance-related job, potential employers will request your license number and National Producer Number (NPN).
Complete Continuing Education and Renew Your License
In Iowa, you must take 36 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to maintain your license in good standing. Three of those 36 hours must focus on ethics, and you must complete at least 18 of your required credit hours in a classroom setting.
If you have a non-resident license with good standing in your home state, you don’t need to take CE courses in Iowa. You can’t renew your license until you complete your continuing education hours and pay any outstanding fines. The Iowa Insurance Division also requires training for life insurance agents selling annuity products.
For more information about CE requirements, visit the Summary – Resident Iowa Continuing Education page.
In Iowa, you also must renew and manage your life insurance license every two years. To avoid delays in renewing your license, you must complete your CE hours at least 90 days before your license expires. The Iowa Insurance Division will send you a courtesy renewal reminder via email approximately 60 days before your license expiration date. The renewal fee is $50.
Learn how to renew your license with our Iowa Insurance License Renewal guide.
Iowa Insurance Division Contact Information
Iowa Insurance Division
1963 Bell Ave., Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: (515) 654-6565
License Search: Iowa Insurance License Lookup
Iowa Life Insurance License FAQ
How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in Iowa?
How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in Iowa?
According to the Iowa Insurance Division’s Producer Licensing Department, you need to wait a few days before looking up your license number on the NAIC SBS Lookup Search tool and selecting Iowa as your jurisdiction.
Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in Iowa?
Yes. Iowa provides a 180-day, temporary life insurance license. You can direct questions regarding this process to the Iowa Insurance Division’s Producer Licensing Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-725-0690.
Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in Iowa?
No. An emergency license isn’t available for life insurance agents in Iowa.
Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in Iowa?
Probably. While you can sell certain basic life insurance products with just a life insurance license, a securities license removes the limits on what you can sell and puts you in a much better career position. As a securities license holder, you can provide your clients with products tied to the securities market as part of their retirement and life insurance plans. But, you’ll need FINRA accreditation to obtain your securities license.
What can I sell with a life insurance license in Iowa?
With an Iowa life insurance license, you can sell life insurance policies that pay a designated beneficiary when the insured person dies. You also can sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.
How much can you make with a life insurance license in Iowa?
According to ZipRecruiter, life insurance agents earn an average of $79,730 per year.
What are the limitations of an Iowa life insurance license?
Unless you have multiple licenses to sell various types of insurance products (e.g., the combined life and health insurance license), having an Iowa life insurance license only qualifies you to sell life insurance policies as well as retirement plans and annuities. You can’t sell other types of insurance. A securities license on top of your life insurance license removes that limitation and enables you to offer securities, including stocks and bonds.
Can I cancel my life insurance license in Iowa?
Yes. To cancel your license, download and fill out the Individual Producer Voluntary Surrender Request Form. Email your completed form to email@example.com or fax it to 515-281-3059, Attn: Producer Licensing.
How hard is it to get a life insurance license in Iowa?
The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!