How to Get a Life Insurance License in West Virginia

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

Getting your West Virginia life insurance license is the first step toward becoming a life insurance agent in the state.

The West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner requires you to complete a five-step process to become a life insurance agent in West Virginia — 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 West Virginia Life Insurance License

  1. Complete a West Virginia Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
  2. Take the West Virginia Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Pearson VUE – $86)
  3. Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (IdentoGO – $45.75)
  4. Complete a West Virginia Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $55 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee)
  5. Watch for Your Application Results

Life Insurance License West Virginia

Obtaining your West Virginia life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these five 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 West Virginia property and casualty (P&C) license as well.

Step 1: Complete a West Virginia Insurance Pre-license Course

Before you take the West Virginia 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.

In West Virginia, you must take a 20-hour, pre-license course on life insurance. After completing the course, you’ll need to present a valid photo ID and an original certificate of completion from the approved prelicensing education provider when you arrive to take your exam. Your pre-license course certificate will remain valid for 12 months.

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.

Recommended

Doing a pre-licensing education course dramatically increases your chance of passing your exam on your first attempt, which can end up saving you both time and money in the long run. For pre-licensing education, StateRequirement recommends:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Step 2: Take the West Virginia Life Insurance Licensing Exam

After you complete a prep course and your own independent studying, it’s time to take the West Virginia life insurance exam.

West Virginia uses Pearson VUE as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.

The West Virginia life insurance exam outline contains a total of 78 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 West Virginia.

You’ll have 120 minutes to complete the exam. The West Virginia life insurance exam fee is $86, 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 West Virginia life insurance exam, you can schedule a time to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt. There’s no limit to the number of attempts you can make on the same exam.

Tip

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: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

After you take the West Virginia life insurance exam, you must get a fingerprint-based background check from IdentoGOThe fee for fingerprinting services is $45.75 to cover the cost of comparing your prints against criminal history records. 

To set up a fingerprinting appointment, go to the IdentoGO website or call 855-766-7746. Use service code 228NS5 when making your appointment.

At your fingerprinting appointment, you’ll receive a receipt that contains a 12-digit transaction control number (TCN) number specific to your fingerprinting session. Don’t throw it away! Keep the original receipt for your records. You’ll also need to submit your TCN number with your life insurance license application. 

Your fingerprints only remain valid for 30 days so you’ll need to follow the next steps quickly.

Step 4: Complete a West Virginia Life Insurance License Application

Once you pass the life insurance exam and complete the background check, you can apply for your West Virginia life insurance license. The application fee is $55 plus $5.60 transaction fee, and you must apply online via the NIPR.

The West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner 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 12 months of passing the exam.

To apply for a life insurance license in West Virginia, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the West Virginia Insurance Code and the West Virginia Administrative Code.

Send any questions or supporting documents to OICAgentLicensing@wv.gov.

Step 5: Watch for Your Application Results

After you complete the previous four steps, the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner will review your application and background check. It reviews applications in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes seven to 10 business days from the date you submit your application.

Once the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner finishes reviewing your application, it’ll email you with its decision or ask you to provide more information.

You can print your license from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) State Based Systems (SBS) License Manager page. There’s no charge to print a license. If you don’t remember your license number, you can find it by using the NAIC SBS Lookup Search tool.

Congratulations!

You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in West Virginia

Steps After Securing Your West Virginia Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your West Virginia life insurance license, there are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to a) excel as an insurance agent, and b) maintain your life insurance license.

Let’s take a brief look at these below.

Obtain All Relevant Securities Licenses

If you’re planning on selling advanced life insurance products, you’ll likely need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and obtain the relevant securities licenses (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 63).

For more information on this step, you can have a look at our in-depth Securities Licensing overview.

Choose a Means of Selling

You’ll have to decide whether you’d prefer working as a captive agent employed by one company, or running your own business as an independent agent.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely benefit from working as a captive agent, but this will ultimately depend on your personal aspirations and opportunities.

Develop Your Marketing Approach

To succeed as an insurance agent, you’ll need to adopt a marketing approach that’s effective for you.

We recommend finding and sticking to a niche, as well organizing all client appointments for the start of your week. This is because this can improve your overall client conversions.

Keep Your License Valid

In West Virginia, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to renew your license and keep it in good standing.

Out of these, three hours must relate to ethics.  

Tip: To avoid delays in renewing your license, you should ideally aim to have completed all of the required CE at least 90 days before your license is due to expire. This will ensure that your CE provider has enough time to report the completion of your coursework to the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner. 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay a $50 fee to renew your license (an additional $50 is levied for late filings).

For a more in-depth look at each one of these steps, check out our Steps After Getting Your Insurance License guide.

West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner Contact Information 

Mailing Address

West Virginia Lottery Building
900 Pennsylvania Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302

Phone: 304-558-0610

Email: OICAgentLicensing@wv.gov

Website: http://www.wvinsurance.gov/

License Search: West Virginia Insurance License Lookup

West Virginia Life Insurance License FAQ

How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in West Virginia?

Obtaining a life insurance license in West Virginia requires these fees:
Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $149+ via Kaplan Education Company
Exam Fee: $86 via Pearson VUE
Fingerprint-Based Background Check Fee: $45.75 via IdentoGO
Application Fee: $55 + $5.60 transaction fee via the NIPR

How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in West Virginia?

This process typically takes 7 to 10 business days. You’ll receive an email once the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner reviews your application.

Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in West Virginia?

No. West Virginia doesn’t provide a temporary life insurance license.

Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in West Virginia?

No. An emergency license isn’t available for life insurance agents in West Virginia.

Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in West Virginia?

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 West Virginia?

With a West Virginia 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 West Virginia?

According to ZipRecruiter, life insurance agents earn an average of $79,730 per year.

What are the limitations of a West Virginia 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 a West Virginia 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 West Virginia?

Yes. You may surrender your license by completing the Agent/Agency License Surrender Form and then emailing it to OICAgentLicensing@wv.gov or faxing it to 304-558-4966.

How hard is it to get a life insurance license in West Virginia?

The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!

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