Getting your Iowa insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in Iowa. Whether you’re interested in selling property and casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, or any combination of those lines of authority, this article has the information you need to get started.
The Iowa Insurance Division has a 5-step process on how to become an insurance agent in Iowa. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the Iowa insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your IA insurance license quickly and easily.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend using Kaplan’s online study packages, which come with a 93% pass rate.
How to Get Your Iowa Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in Iowa is easy! Just follow our step-by-step guide. Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can visit it again throughout this process.
Step 1. Which Insurance Licenses Do You Need?
The first step to getting your insurance license is choosing which licenses you need. The most common licenses new insurance agents get are the property & casualty license (P&C), life and health insurance license (L&H).
The types of insurance products and policies you’ll be selling will determine which licenses you need. Here are some examples of the types of policies you can market with each license:
- Property and Casualty Insurance License – Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, etc…
- Life and Health Insurance License – Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, Health Insurance, etc…
Most insurance agents and producers choose to get both P&C and L&H licenses, but if you plan on specializing in only one category then you don’t need every license.
Step 2. Iowa Insurance Pre-Exam Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, it’s time to begin studying for the Iowa insurance exams.
Iowa does not require you to take a certain amount of pre-license credits before testing. This means that studying for your exam is 100% up to you.
Most folks choose to take an insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. Others purchase books or other self-study tools to prepare themselves.
It’s wise to take a week or so to dedicate to your study of this exam. If you don’t feel as though you’re a strong test taker, take a little longer, but don’t let it drag out for long. We want you to pass your test the first time you take it, and we know that you can do it.
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 3. Iowa Insurance License Exam
The next step after completing all of your pre-license coursework or self-study is to take the Iowa producer licensing exam. You will take one exam for each line of insurance you wish to carry.
The State of Iowa and Pearson VUE allow for back-to-back exams in Iowa. This means that you can schedule exams for “like lines” together, and only pay the fee for one. Like lines are Property and Casualty, and the other is Life and Accident & Health.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching over 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:
- Life & Accident & Health: $69
- Property & Casualty: $69
- Life: $49
- Accident and Health: $49
- Property: $49
- Casualty: $49
When you show up you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.
- The Life Insurance exam consists of seventy-seven (77) questions.
- The Accident & Health exam consists of eighty (80) questions.
- The Property exam consists of eighty-three (83) questions.
- The Casualty exam consists of eighty-five (85) questions.
Each of the exams is broken down into two sections: general knowledge and Iowa specific. Be sure to study the Pearson VUE Iowa Insurance Exam Content Outlines.
To explain the scoring of this exam, we will quote the Pearson VUE Iowa Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook:
When candidates complete the examination, they will receive a score report marked “pass” or “fail”. Candidates who pass the examination will receive a score report that includes information on how to apply for a license. Candidates who fail the examination will receive a score report that includes a numeric score and diagnostic information relating to both the general portion and state portion of the examination, as well as information about reexamination. Reservations for reexamination are not made at the test center, and candidates must wait twenty-four (24) hours before making one.
Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It’s extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.
Looking for a guide to passing the insurance exam in Iowa? Check out our Iowa Insurance License Exam article.
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.
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. Check out our review of the Kaplan Insurance Course.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Pearson VUE Iowa Insurance page.
Step 4. Iowa Insurance License Application
Once you have completed your exams, 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 $50, and NIPR will charge a $5 transaction fee for a total of $55.
You must wait for two to three (2-3) business after passing the exam to fill out the application. This will allow the system to offer you the correct lines of authority to apply for.
If you wish to add another line of authority to your license at a later date, you will only pay the $5 NIPR fee.
Each resident and non-resident insurance producer licensed in Iowa must first fill out and submit your online application on the NIPR Iowa website.
Step 5. 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 initiated by the application 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.
After submitting the application, you won’t receive any correspondence from the state regarding your license. The instructions we received from the licensing department were to wait a couple of days, then look up your license number with the State Based Systems Iowa License Lookup Tool. This is also where you will go to print your license.
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.
After Getting Your Iowa Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in Iowa. A common question we hear is, “I have my insurance license, now what?” Here are a few things you can do or need to know:
- Get a job in the insurance field. Check out StateRequirement’s Insurance Jobs board
- If you’re going to sell advanced life insurance products, you’ll need to have the proper securities licenses. Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 are the most common among insurance agents, but you’ll need to begin with the SIE (Securities Industry Essentials) exam. Find out which licenses you need with our Securities Licensing Guide
- Every three years, you’ll need to renew your insurance license. Check out our guides on Iowa Insurance License Renewal and Iowa Insurance Continuing Education for more details
- Learn how to market yourself as an insurance agent: Have a look at our Insurance Agent Marketing article
- Interested in learning how successful life insurance agents operate? Check out our How Do Life Insurance Companies Make Money article
Iowa Department of Insurance Contact Information
Iowa Insurance Division
1963 Bell Avenue, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: (515) 654-6565
Fax: (515) 281-3059
License Search: Iowa Insurance License Search and Lookup
Iowa Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in Iowa?
In Iowa, license holders will need to renew their licenses every three years before the indicated expiration to continue their practice without any interruptions. You can learn more about how to get an insurance license renewal here: Iowa Insurance License Renewal.
How long does it take to get an insurance license in Iowa?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your Iowa insurance exam. Some people study for as little as one week and feel comfortable taking the exam. We recommend you take whatever amount of time you need to feel comfortable with the material. Check out our guide: How to Pass the Insurance Exam.
How much does the Iowa insurance license cost?
The total cost for your insurance course, application, and exam will be about $375. Sitting the actual state licensing exam will cost anywhere from $49 to $69 (depending on the lines you’re taking) while submitting your application will cost to NIPR will cost you $55. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, add $69 for each subsequent attempt.
How do I get a life insurance license in Iowa?
In order to get a life insurance license, all candidates are required to complete a pre-licensing education course approved by the State of Iowa, pass the life insurance examination, and then submit an application and a $55 fee to the Iowa Insurance Division. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
How do I get a property and casualty license in Iowa?
For a property and casualty license in Iowa, individuals need to finish the required pre-licensing education, clear the property and casualty insurance exam, and then apply with the appropriate fee. This is the same if you’re applying for a resident or non-resident license. For a more detailed look at the application process, see our Iowa Insurance License article.
Do I need business insurance in Iowa?
If you are operating a business based in Iowa, you probably need Iowa business insurance to protect your assets and operate in line with the Iowa Administrative Code. Some commonly required policies include workers’ compensation and general liability, though you’re encouraged to have some basic insurance product knowledge of optional policies like errors and omissions are highly recommended too.