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Insurance License Renewal Articles
A successful insurance agent pays just as much attention to their own professional requirements and development as their clients’ insurance plans. One of the most important steps to being a successful insurance agent is knowing when and how to renew your insurance license.
The insurance license process is state specific and each license holder must follow the rules and regulations provided by their state. This includes the process of renewing your insurance license.
While there are only a couple of steps to renewing your insurance license, you must make sure that you follow the timeline requirements set by your state.
How Do I Renew My Insurance License?
As an insurance agent, you are responsible for keeping your license active. When you are ready to renew your insurance license, you can divide your effort into two steps. You will need to complete your continuing education hour requirements and submit your renewal through your state.
Step 1: Complete Insurance Agent Continuing Education
All states require that insurance license holders meet a minimum of continuing education (CE) hours to maintain the professional knowledge. These classes can be held online or in-person. Many require a proficiency test at the end to get credit, which is included in the cost of the course. Follow the same good study habits that you used to pass your licensing exam.
For insurance agent continuing education classes, StateRequirement recommends:
The exact number of required continuing education hours varies by state, but is typically around 20-24 hours of CE every two years. Within a state, the requirements might be different for types of insurance as well.
For example, California insurance agents licensed in property, casualty, personal lines, life or health insurance must complete 24 CE hours. Those licensed in limited lines automobile insurance only need to complete 20 hours.
You should give yourself plenty of time to complete your continuing education by the deadline, rather than waiting until the end. This allows you to learn new information that you can apply to your work as an insurance agent and makes sure that you are on track to complete your requirements on time.
Most states recommend that you finish your continuing education required hours 60 days or more before you plan to submit your renewal application. This allows time for the course completion to be documented in the system. If you try to renew before all of your CE hours are processed, you may face unnecessary delays.
Look ahead to classes available that may interest you. They should apply to the kind of insurance that you are licensed to sell, such as property or life insurance.
Step 2: Renew Through Your State’s Online System
After finishing your continuing education, you will need to renew your license through your state’s authority, such as the Department of Insurance or Department of Financial Services.
Your insurance license expiration date is often based on your birthday, with all renewal requirements due on that date. The expiration date should be printed on the front of your insurance license for reference. You can also check online using your social security number or National Producer Number (NPN).
Remember that you must complete your continuing education and renewal application before that deadline. Many states allow you to renew up to 180 days early, which we recommend to avoid missing your renewal deadline due to a class cancellation or longer than normal processing times.
If you do not renew your insurance license before its expiration, some states offer a grace period of up to two years for you to renew your license without submitting a new application. Your license will be inactive starting on its expiration date, which means that you are unable to sell insurance until you renew.
The best way to maintain a successful career as an insurance agent is to renew your license ahead of the expiration date.
Set a reminder in your calendar when you are first licensed. This will help avoid any forgotten deadlines. You may also want to set periodic goals to complete your continuing education requirements.
Insurance License Renewal FAQ
How Often Do I Need to Renew My Insurance License?
The best place to find out when you need to renew your insurance license is on the front of the license itself. The expiration date will be printed directly on the license. Make sure that you renew your insurance before this date. The expiration date or renewal date is most often set for two years, based on the requirement to complete continuing education hours every two years. You must renew by this date and meet your continuing education hours.
How Much Does it Cost to Renew My Insurance License?
If your state charges a renewal fee, it is often between $50 and $100. Some states divide their renewal fees into an application fee and an online processing fee. A few states do not charge a renewal fee at all, while a handful do not even require a renewal application as long as your continuing education requirements are met and documented. Check on your state’s requirements to learn more about the costs you can expect to renew your insurance license. Renewing your insurance license through the National Insurance Producer Registry comes with an additional processing fee of $5.60.
What are the Insurance License Continuing Education Requirements for My State?
Each state sets their own requirements for insurance licensing, including the hours of continuing education. You should check with your state to determine how many hours you need and if there are restrictions on what kind of CE will be accepted. Common topics of continuing education include insurance claims, ethics, client services, and tax updates. Some topics apply to all insurance agents, such as claims and tax updates. Other classes will be geared toward specific lines, such as property and casualty or life and health.
How Do I Document My Continuing Education Course Completion?
Sending in course completion paperwork to the state is typically the responsibility of the course provider. As the individual taking the course, you will not need to send in documentation. If you want to check your continuing education progress and make sure that all completed courses are in your state file, you can use your state’s online system to look up license information, including continuing education completion. Many states ask that you wait 60 days before looking up a completed course to allow time for the provider to send in documentation and the state to process it. This is one reason that it is so important to finish your CE hours early.
What is NPN for an Insurance Agent?
You will need your National Producer Number, or NPN, to renew your insurance license. This number is assigned to each individual working in insurance when they are first licensed. If you are unsure of your NPN, you can look it up on the National Insurance Producer Registry using your license number or social security number. Make sure that you look up and register for continuing education courses that apply to both your state and specific line of insurance.