Getting your New York insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in New York. 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 New York Department of Financial Services has a 6-step process on how to become an insurance agent in New York. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the New York insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your NY 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 New York Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in New York 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. New York Insurance Pre-License Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, you must now take your New York insurance pre-license education courses.
Most folks choose to take their insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. The types of licenses you choose (also known as “lines of authority”) will determine which courses you take.
Each line of authority in New York varies in required pre-license education hours. This means that if you wish to get a Property and Casualty license, you must take ninety (90) hours of pre-licensing, and for Life, Accident, and Health you must also take forty (40) hours.
You will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Keep this certificate, as you will need it when taking your exam.
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. New York Insurance License Exam
The next step after completing all of your pre-license coursework is to take the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each combined line of insurance you wish to carry. Life, Accident, & Health (LA&H) and Property & Casualty (P&C) are a total of four lines, but the licenses and exams are presented at two combined lines.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching 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 New York licensing exam administered by PSI costs $33 for each attempt. When you show up you must have two forms of ID, including a photo ID, and the original pre-license education certificate.
If you schedule an exam and cannot provide proper forms of ID, it is deemed a missed appointment and you will forfeit your $33 fee.
The Life, Accident, and Health exam is One hundred fifty (150) questions long, and you have two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) to complete the test. Here is a copy of the Life, Accident, and Health Test Outline, provided by PSI.
The Property and Casualty exam is One hundred fifty (150) questions long, and you have two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) to complete the test. Here is a copy of the Property and Casualty Test Outline, provided by PSI.
You must score 70% or higher on each of these tests to pass. If you fail, a diagnostic report indicating your strengths and weaknesses will be provided as part of your regulations exam score results.
The exam results are valid for two years, so you must apply for your license within that time, or take the tests again.
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 New York? Check out our New York 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.
Step 4. New York 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.
You must wait 48 hours after passing the exam to apply for your license.
The fee for an online application is $40 per line of authority.
Fill out your online application on the New York DFS License Application page.
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 from the application will also be reviewed.
The state of New York states that there are no standards on how long it will take to review your application, as, “every application is different.” 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.
You will not receive any correspondence regarding the acceptance or rejection of your application. The only way you will get this information is to perform a name search in the New York Insurance License Lookup Tool.
If you have not yet received your license, and suspect an error, contact the licensing department at 518-474-6630 or email the License Department.
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 New York Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in New York. 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 two years, you’ll need to renew your insurance license. Check out our guides on New York Insurance License Renewal and New York 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
New York Department of Insurance Contact Information
New York State Department of Financial Services
One State Street
New York, New York 10004-1511
Phone: (518) 474-6630
License Search: New York Insurance License Search and Lookup
New York Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in New York?
The insurance license period in New York is two years. Insurance agents and brokers must complete 15 hours of continuing education (CE) in each license period to renew or relicense their license. Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: New York Insurance License Renewal.
How long does it take to get an insurance license in New York?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your New York 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 New York insurance license cost?
In New York, the licensing fee for each major line of insurance (such as Life and Health, Property and Casualty) is $80 for a full license period of more than one year. The fee for each attempt of the exams is $33. Course providers offer practice exams as part of their insurance course, which may cost from $100 to $300.
How do I get a life insurance license in New York?
If you’re working towards your life insurance license in New York, you must follow a series of steps designed to ensure that as an insurance sales professional you are well-equipped to operate in the insurance industry. You must complete pre-licensing education, pass the licensing examination, file your license application, and pay the applicable fees.
How do I get a property and casualty license in New York?
If you’re pursuing a property and casualty license in New York, you must complete the required pre-licensing education, followed by successfully passing the state licensing exam. Upon passing the exam, you can then proceed to apply for the P&C license, allowing you to practice as a licensed insurance professional in the state.
Do I need business insurance in New York?
If you’re forming a business based in New York (for example, an insurance company), you may need New York business insurance to protect your business from various risks and liabilities. You must ensure that you get comprehensive coverage and financial protection for your company in the face of unexpected events or legal challenges.