How to Get an Insurance License in Massachusetts

Written by: Nik Ventouris

Last updated:

If you’re thinking about becoming an insurance agent in Massachusetts, the first step you’ll need to take in order to kickstart your career is to obtain a Massachusetts insurance license.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to become an insurance agent in Massachusetts, as well as what to do once you get licensed.

Tip: 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.

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Massachusetts Insurance License

In order to get your Massachusetts insurance license, you’ll need to complete the following four steps:

  1. Figure Out Which Insurance License You’ll Need
  2. Complete a Pre-Licensing Education Course
  3. Pass the Relevant Massachusetts Insurance License Exam(s)
  4. Submit Your Insurance License Application

Below we have explored each step in more detail.

Step 1: Decide Which Insurance Licenses You Need

The first step will be deciding what type of insurance policies you’ll want to sell — at least at the start of your career.

This is because the type of insurance policies you’re hoping to sell will dictate the type of license you’ll need. For example, you’d need a Property & Casualty (P&C) license to be able to sell auto, home, or business insurance.

Here’s a list of all the different types of insurance agent licenses that are available in the state of Massachusetts:

  • Life
  • Accident and Health or Sickness
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Personal Lines
  • Limited Lines Credit Insurance
  • Travel & Baggage
  • Variable Life and Variable Annuity Products

While there are a large number of different licenses to choose from, the vast majority of insurance agents will either obtain a Property and Casualty (P&C) or Life and Health license.

In fact, many agents actually opt to go for both of these licenses as it allows them to offer clients a much wider range of the most common insurance products.

However, if you already know you want to specialize in one particular type of policy, you’ll of course only have to focus on the specific license that’s relevant to this insurance type.

It’s worth noting at this point that if you’re looking to work as an insurance adjuster, you’ll need to obtain a separate DHS license — which you can find more information about in our Massachusetts Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete a Massachusetts Pre-Licensing Education Course

The next step you’ll want to take toward becoming a licensed insurance agent in Massachusetts is completing a pre-licensing education course.

Pursuant to state law (M.G.L. c. 175, §162L), pre-licensing education is no longer required for individuals seeking licensure as insurance producers.

Even so, we generally almost always recommend our readers to complete a pre-licensing course in the line of authority that they are pursuing.

This is because doing so is arguably one of the best ways to prepare for and pass the actual state licensing exam on your first attempt.

Due to the sheer number of pre-licensing education courses available, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed when deciding which one is right for you. To avoid this, we typically recommend making a decision based on the following factors:

  • The course’s flexibility (e.g., does it allow flexible learning, does it require completing within a short time-window, etc.)
  • The course’s price: This one is obvious; our only tip here is to not go too low, as from our experience you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to these
  • The course’s reputation: How reliable is each provider? The last thing you want is insufficient and/or incomplete resources before your exam

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:

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If you want more information before getting started, you can also have a look at our in-depth overview of the five best pre-license education courses in 2024.

Step 3: Pass the Relevant Massachusetts Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Massachusetts insurance license exam.

We say “relevant” because this will depend on the line you wish to specialize in; for example, if you’re planning to become a casualty insurance agent, you will need to pass the Casualty Insurance exam — which consists of 100 scored questions.

All insurance agent licensing examinations in Massachusetts are administered by Prometric and require a minimum passing score of 70%.

It should be noted that exam fees vary — ranging from $10 to $49 — depending on the insurance line of authority in question and on whether the exams are taken individually or combined.

Keep in mind that you can sit for more than one exam at a time (e.g., if you want to apply for both a P&C and a life and health insurance license).

Even so, we recommend avoiding this route; this is because passing your exam is hard enough as is, and there is arguably little to gain and a lot to lose with the added risk of confusing separate line material.

We found that the best approach is to study for one at a time, averaging between two to six weeks of study time per exam — depending on whether you are studying full time or part-time, as well as on how comfortable you are at taking proctored exams.

You should also note that applicants are allowed to attempt any given examination as many times as necessary in order to pass.

Having said that, after passing the exam, you will be required to obtain your license within 12 months; failing to do so will require you to retake the exam.

For more information, you can have a look at our Massachusetts Insurance License Exam guide.

Step 4: Submit Your Insurance License Application

With your exams out of the way, you’ll be ready to actually apply for your license.

In Massachusetts, you can do this via either:

  • Mail Submission: You can mail your application directly to the Division of Insurance. To do this, download and complete the NAIC’s Uniform Paper Application form, gather your original exam score report(s) — as well as any other required documents — and mail everything to: MA Division of Insurance, P.O. Box 370043, Boston, MA 02241-1743
  • Online Submission: Alternatively, you can apply online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) website. To do this, you will need to visit the NIPR website, complete the application, and submit it along with any required documents

Regardless of the submission method you choose, you will be required to pay a licensing fee of $225 when you submit your application. 

If you are applying for licenses in Property, Casualty, and/or Personal Lines, an additional $75 lead paint surcharge is required, which brings the total cost to $300.

Having said that, Massachusetts resident producer applicants who are either veterans or legally blind — provided they supply documentation verifying legal blindness — are exempt from paying the licensing and lead paint surcharge fees.

Note: Any misdemeanors or felonies may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you’re worried about this, you can contact the Massachusetts Division of Insurance by phone or email for more guidance on this topic. 

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance all that’s left to do is wait.

If everything on your application has been filled out correctly, your license should be issued within three to five weeks — which is the amount of time it typically takes for a license application and background check to be reviewed.

It’s important to be aware that the issuance of your insurance license can take a bit longer than this if there are any items from your background check that need to be looked over. However, the state will likely get in touch with you to give some context if they run into any issues.

In any case, the state will send you an email regarding the status of your license once this review has been completed, so keep an eye out for that!

Pro tip: 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.

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After Getting Your Massachusetts Insurance License

Once you’ve passed all required Massachusetts insurance exams for your chosen line of authority and your licensing application has been approved, you’ll be authorized to sell insurance in the state of Massachusetts.

At this point, there are four main steps that we recommend new insurance agents to take:

  1. Obtain Any Relevant Securities Licenses: If you’re planning on selling advanced life insurance products, you’ll need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and obtain the relevant securities licenses (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 63).
  2. 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.
  3. Develop Your Marketing Approach: To succeed as an insurance agent, you’ll need to adopt a marketing approach that’s effective for you. Finding and sticking to a niche, as well organizing all client appointments for the start of your week, are two great ways to do this.
  4. Keep Your License Valid: In Massachusetts, you will be required to complete 60 hours of continuing education (CE) during the first 36 months of your license being initially issued. For subsequent renewal periods, this requirement decreases to 45 hours of CE every 36 months.

Note: All resident producers holding Property & Casualty or Personal Lines authority who sell, or plan to sell, National Flood Insurance are required to complete a one-time, three-hour continuing education course relating to Flood Insurance.

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

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Division of Insurance
1000 Washington Street, Suite 810
Boston, Massachusetts 02118-6200

Phone: (617) 521-7794

Fax: (617) 753-6883

Email: producerupdate.mailbox@mass.gov

Website: http://www.mass.gov/doi

License Search: Massachusetts Insurance License Search and Lookup

Massachusetts Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Massachusetts?

Yes, you will need to renew your Massachusetts insurance license every three years. To do this, you will need to have completed 60 hours of continuing education within the first 36 months in order to keep your license active. Having said that, for subsequent renewals the requirement is lowered to 45 hours of continuing education every 36 months.

How long does it take to get an insurance license in Massachusetts?

Obtaining an insurance license in Massachusetts typically takes three to five weeks after you submit your application, assuming everything is in order. Interested in finding out more? You can have a look at our state-specific Insurance Licensing guide.

How much does the Massachusetts insurance license cost?

To obtain an insurance license in Massachusetts, you will need to pay an exam fee ranging from $10 to $49 per examination, in addition to a $225 application fee to the NIPR. Moreover, if you are applying for licenses in Property, Casualty, and/or Personal Lines, you will need to pay an additional $75 lead paint surcharge.

Is the Massachusetts insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the state exam will largely depend on your individual preparation and understanding of the material. Candidates are generally encouraged to study thoroughly for two to six weeks — as well as integrate practice exams into their preparation — in order to increase their chances of passing on their first attempt.

How do I get my insurance license in Massachusetts?

To get your insurance license, you will need to decide on the type of insurance you want to sell, pass the relevant Massachusetts licensing exam, and submit your insurance licensing application either by mail or online via the NIPR Gateway. For more information, you can have a look at our Massachusetts Insurance License article.

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