How to Get an Insurance License in Michigan

Written by: Will Bond

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How to Get an Insurance License in Michigan

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

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to become an insurance agent in Michigan, 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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Michigan Insurance License

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

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

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 Michigan:

  • Life
  • Accidents & Health
  • Variable Annuities
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Personal Lines
  • Credit Products
  • Crop
  • Travel
  • Limited Lines
  • Property & Casualty
  • Limited Life
  • Title
  • Surety & Fidelity

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 license — which you can find more information about in our Michigan Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Submit Your Insurance License Application

After choosing the insurance line you’d like to apply for, you’ll be ready to actually submit your application. In Michigan, this is done by filing an Electronic Resident Licensing (ERL) application through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) website.

Submitting this application will cost $10 (plus a $5 transaction fee); your application will be valid for 180 days from its entry into the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services’s (DIFS) database.

As part of your application, you’ll also need to answer several questions on your background, which will be reviewed by DIFS. Make sure to double check all information you provide in your application, as if it’s discovered that you answered a question incorrectly (whether or not you meant to), your application may be denied.

On top of this, DIFS will also carry out several background checks into your past and prior contact to ensure you meet the insurance producer regulations of the state. While your application won’t be automatically denied if you’ve committed a felony in the past, it will be denied if you don’t report this.

With that said, DIFS strongly recommends candidates not to apply for an insurance license in Michigan if they were convicted of a felony within the last 10 years, or if their felony involves any of the following:

  • Violence (or the threat of it) against another person
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • A felony of a fiduciary/financial nature (e.g., bribery, embezzlement, extortion, or fraud)

If you need to check your criminal record in Michigan, you can do so by navigating the Michigan State Police’s ICHAT (Internet Criminal History Access Tool).

Note: Be aware that if you’re planning on obtaining a license for multiple lines of authority, you’ll also need to complete the pre-licensing education, pass the relevant state exam, and pay a filing fee for each of these.

Step 3: Complete a Michigan Pre-Licensing Education Course

With your insurance license application submitted to DIFS, the next step you’ll want to take toward becoming a licensed insurance agent in Michigan is completing a pre-licensing education course.

However, not all courses will satisfy this requirement — in fact, there are several provisions that the course you take must meet under Michigan Compiled Laws § 500.1204a in order to qualify.

While this section contains a number of different course criteria, the most important one for you to be aware of is the minimum required hours of instruction. This requirement will vary depending on your line accordingly:

  • Life/Limited Life: 20 hours
  • Accident & Health: 20 hours
  • Life and Health: 40 hours
  • Property and Casualty: 40 hours
  • Property: 20 hours
  • Casualty: 20 hours
  • Personal Lines: 20 hours of Property and Casualty
  • Property, Casualty, and Personal Lines: 40 hours of Property and Casualty

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.

Note: After finishing a program of study meeting the requirements of the Michigan Insurance Code, you’ll be granted a certificate of course completion. You won’t need to take it with you to the exam as it will be automatically sent to the Michigan DIFS office by your course provider.

Step 4: Pass the Relevant Michigan Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Michigan insurance license exam within 12 months of the date you finished your pre-licensing education course.

We say “relevant” because this will depend on the line you wish to specialize in; for example, if you’re planning to sell accident and health insurance, you’ll need to pass the Accident & Health Exam — which has 100 scored questions.

In Michigan, all insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by PSI, and cost $41 per attempt. You can schedule your examination and pay the exam fee online through the PSI Exams website or via phone by calling (855) 579-4639.

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.

The passing grade — or “cut score” as it’s referred to in Michigan — you’ll need to obtain will vary depending on the insurance line you’re applying for.

  • Accident and Health: 76%
  • Casualty: 74%
  • Credit Products: 75%
  • Life: 72%
  • Life, Accident, and Health: 75%
  • Life, Variable Life, and Annuities: 73%
  • Limited Lines: 75%
  • Personal Lines: 75%
  • Property and Casualty: 74%
  • Property: 75%
  • Surplus Lines: 77%
  • Title: 74%
  • Variable Life and Annuities: 74%

Since these cut scores are continually subject to change, it’s a good idea to refer to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services’s most recent Examination Content Outlines.

It’s worth noting that, if you fail to achieve a passing exam score within 12 months of completing your prelicensing education course, you’ll be required to redo the PE coursework before you can attempt the state insurance exam again.

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

Step 5: Application Review

And that’s it! With your license application submitted to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services and all other requirements satisfied, all that’s left to do is wait.

If everything on your application has been filled out correctly, your license should be issued within 14 days — 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 Michigan Insurance License

Once you’ve passed all your exams and your licensing application has been approved, you’ll be a qualified insurance agent in Michigan.

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 Michigan, you’ll be required to complete at least 24 credit hours of state-approved continuing education every two years. Of these 24 hours, at least three must be dedicated to ethics coursework.

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

Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Contact Information

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30220
Lansing,  Michigan 48909-7720

Physical Address:
530 W. Allegan Street, 7th Floor
Lansing, MI 48933

Phone: (517) 284-8800

Email: difs-licensing@michigan.gov

Website: http://www.michigan.gov/difs

License Search: Michigan Insurance License Search and Lookup

Michigan Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Michigan?

Yes, Michigan insurance licenses expire every two years. This means that you’ll need to carry out your license renewal by completing 24 credit hours of continuing education every two years before your license’s expiry date. It’s important to note that, as part of these 24 hours, you’ll be required to complete three that are specifically dedicated to ethics.

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

The time it takes to obtain an insurance license in Michigan varies depending on several factors, including the type of license you want, how long you need to prepare (e.g., if you decide to use practice exams etc.), and the amount of exam attempts you take. Once you submit your application to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, it will typically be processed within two weeks.

How much does the Michigan insurance license cost?

In Michigan, it costs $15 to submit an insurance licensing application to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services and $41 to take any state insurance exam. However, the total cost of obtaining your insurance license will also include the cost of your pre-licensing education course, which can vary greatly depending on the educational provider you choose.

Is the Michigan insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the Michigan insurance license exam will ultimately depend on your individual preparation, insurance line (e.g., the property and casualty exam), and knowledge of the material. To read more about the exam process and ensure you pass on your first attempt, check out our Michigan Insurance License article.

How do I get my insurance license in Michigan?

After choosing the resident license you want to obtain and submitting an application to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, you’ll need to complete a qualifying pre-licensing education course before passing the relevant state licensing exam and waiting for your application to be reviewed.

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