October 12, 2022

California Insurance License Exam

Written by: Ethan Peyton

Cartoon woman holding California Insurance License Exam document

    Passing your California insurance license exam is a pivotal part of becoming a licensed insurance agent in the state of California.

    In this guide, we’ll break down the general information that you need to know in order to pass your exam, outline the differences between each examination line, and offer tips on both: how to prepare for your California insurance licensing exam, and on what to do after you pass.

     

    California Insurance Exam Basics

    General Information

    The state of California uses PSI Services to administer its insurance agent licensing. This means that you can register and book all of your licensing examinations through the PSI website. Your test can be carried out online or in person.

    Each major insurance line examination includes both general and state-specific material.

    The general questions test your federal insurance product and agent knowledge, whereas the state-specific questions test you on the California insurance regulations and laws that you will need to know in order to operate as an insurance agent.

    Score Explanation

    As soon as you finish your insurance exam, you will see a “pass” or “fail” score; a score report will also be emailed to you.

    If you failed your exam, your score report will include a diagnostic report that will show you how many questions you answered correctly. This can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses for any future re-examination attempts.

    You can request a duplicate score report by emailing PSI at scorereport@psionline.com. Keep in mind that you will need to include your name, examinee ID number, and confirmation number.

    Note: You will need to obtain a score of 60% or higher in order to pass your insurance license exam(s) in California.

     

    Cost

    Your California insurance license exam cost will depend on the number of examinations that you take. Keep in mind that there is a $33 convenience fee for in-person examinations:

    Examination

    Cost 

    Time Allowed

    Life, Accident & Health or Sickness

    $55

    195 Minutes

    Property & Casualty

    $55

    195 Minutes

    Life

    $55

    105 Minutes

    Personal Lines

    $55

    135 Minutes

    Note: You should focus on one exam at a time. This will likely increase the amount of time and effort you can allocate to each examination and should allow you to feel more prepared when you sit your exam.

    Recommended Pre-License Course

    Before taking your insurance exam, we recommend completing a pre-license education course. This is actually a requirement in the state of California, but it can also go a long way in helping you learn all of the information that you will need to know during your exam.
    4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

     

    California Life and Health Insurance Exam

    Below you can find the content outline offered by PSI.

    We recommend using it as a checklist when working through your pre-license education course. This way, you’ll be absolutely sure that you haven’t missed any topic that you will be tested on later on.

    Life Agent Examination Objectives

    75 questions

    I. General Insurance

    A. Basic Insurance Concepts and Principles
    B. Contract Law
    C. The Insurance Marketplace

     

    II. Life Insurance

    A. Life Insurance — Basics
    B. Types of Life Policies
    C. Annuities
    D. Life Insurance and Annuities — Policy Replacement and Cancellation
    E. The Individual Life Insurance Contract
    F. Taxation of Life Insurance and Annuities
    G. Group life Insurance Plans
    H. Social Security Disability Program
    I. Individual Underwriting, Pricing, and Claims

     

    III. Life Policy Riders

     

    California Accident and Health or Sickness Examination

    75 questions

    I. General Insurance

    A. Basic Insurance Concepts and Principles
    B. Contract Law
    C. The Insurance Marketplace

     

    II. General Concepts of Medical and Disability Insurance

    A. General Concepts

     

    III. Medical Expense Insurance

    A. Individual Insurance
    B. Group Medical Expense Insurance
    C. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
    D. Senior Health Products

     

    IV. Disability Income Insurance

    Individual Disability Income Insurance Underwriting, Pricing, Claims

     

    V. Long-Term Care Insurance

    A. Long-Term Care

    We recommend reading our in-depth How to Pass the Life Insurance Exam guide for a better overview.

     

    California Property and Casualty License Exam

    Below you can find the content outline offered by PSI.

    You should use this outline as a checklist when working through your pre-license education course in order to ensure that you haven’t missed any topic that you will be tested on later on.

    California Property Examination

    75 questions

    I. General Insurance

    A. Basic Insurance Concepts and Principles
    B. Contract Law
    C. The Insurance Marketplace
    D. Legal Concept: Tort Law

     

    II. Property Insurance

    A. Property Basics
    B. Policies
    C. Classes of Insurance

     

    III. Personal Lines Insurance

    A. Insurance on Residential Properties
    B. Homeowners’ Insurance Valuation
    C. Liability Coverage
    D. Government Risk Pools for Catastrophic Events
    E. Fire Mitigation and How It Affects Insurance Costs
    F. Inland Marine Risks

     

    IV. Commercial Insurance

    A. Businessowners Policy (BOP)
    B. Property Insurance
    C. Commercial Package Policy (CPP) Program

     

    V. Pet Insurance

    A. Definitions
    B. Pet Insurance Basics
    C. Disclosures
    D. Administrative Proceedings


    California Casualty Examination

    75 Questions

    I. General Insurance

    A. Basic Insurance Concepts and Principles
    B. Contract Law
    C. The Insurance Marketplace
    D. Legal Concept: Tort Law

     

    II. Casualty Insurance

    A. Casualty
    B. Policies
    C. Classes of Insurance

     

    III. Personal Lines Insurance

    A. Insurance on a Residence
    B. Marine
    C. Personal Auto
    D. Umbrella and Excess Liability Insurance

     

    IV. Commercial Insurance Coverages

    A. ISO Commercial Lines Insurance Programs
    B. Casualty Insurance
    C. Surety Bonds and General Bond Concepts

    We recommend reading our Property and Casualty Insurance exam article for a more in-depth overview.

     

    How to Pass the California Insurance Exam

    Passing your California insurance exam ultimately comes down to your mindset and degree of preparation.

    We have composed a few helpful exam tips and tricks that should help you perform as well as you can during your exam day.

    Get a Pre-License Course

    Getting a pre-license course can go a long way in helping you get accustomed to the prolific amount of content that you will have to memorize. It is also a legal requirement in the state of California.

    We recommend Kaplan’s course because it offers a variety of helpful features, including:

    • Online exam simulations
    • Live online training
    • Printable study guides
    • End of chapter reviews

    For more information, we recommend reading our Kaplan Insurance Course Review.

     

    Make Enough Time to Study

    Not leaving enough time to prepare is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you do not pass your exam on your first attempt.

    Remember, there are zero questions on your exam that are based on common sense or critical thinking. All questions are purely factual, and so will relate to how well you understand and remember the content that you have learned.

    We recommend allocating around one to two weeks to prepare for your exam, as this should allow you to go through all of the material at least twice.

     

    Control Test Anxiety

    Even though you cannot control whether you get exam anxiety or not, you can take a few steps when preparing to limit its effect on your performance:

    • Establish a consistent pretest routine — Acclimate yourself to exam conditions by following a specific routine on each practice exam at home. This should help you feel less anxious during your exam day.
    • Get plenty of sleep — Lack of sleep can exacerbate your anxiety and increase your self-doubt. Make sure you are consistently getting a good night’s sleep in the week leading up to your exam.
    • Study effectively — This sounds obvious, but make sure you are actually tailoring your studying to the exam that you are taking. Remember, there are no critical thinking or common sense questions involved.
    • Arrive early — If you are planning to sit your exam in person, we recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes before it’s due to start in order to get used to your surroundings and have time to check in with your center’s administrator.

    For a more in-depth overview of how you can prepare for your California insurance exam, we recommend reading our How to Pass the Insurance Exam article.

     

    Getting Your California Insurance License

    Your next steps will depend on whether you actually passed your exam, as well as on whether you plan to get licensed for any additional lines.

    You can apply for your license up to 12 months after you complete your exam, so if you would like to attempt passing additional insurance line exams before filing your licensing application with the CDI, you are totally free to do that.

    After you have passed your insurance licensing exam, you will need to:

    • Complete a fingerprint and background check
    • File your licensing application
    • Wait for your application to be reviewed

    Have a look at our How to Become an Insurance Agent in California review for more information on all the steps that you will need to take after passing your insurance exam.




    California Insurance Exams FAQ

    How often do I have to renew my license?

    You will need to renew your license every two years in order to continue operating as an insurance agent in California.

    For more information, see our guide on How to Renew Your Insurance License in California.

     

    How long is the California insurance exam?

    It depends on the exam you are taking. The California insurance exams can be anywhere between 98 and 210 minutes long.

     

    How many times can you take the California insurance exam?

    In California, a candidate that fails any insurance licensing examination ten times within a 12 month period is barred from taking the same exam for 12 months.

     

    How many questions are on the California insurance exam?

    This will depend on the exam in question. The number of questions in a California insurance exam can range anywhere between 60 and 150 questions.

    California Department of Insurance Contact Information

    Mailing Address:

    Producer Licensing Bureau
    320 Capitol Mall
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Phone: (800) 967-9331

    Email: Contact Form

    Website: https://www.insurance.ca.gov/

    License Search: California Insurance License Search and Lookup




    Ready for more?


    Start Studying

    Learn More




    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in October 2022.

    Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.

    When readers purchase services discussed on our site, we often earn affiliate commissions that support our work. Learn More