How to Get an Insurance License in Ohio

Written by: Will Bond

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How to Get an Insurance License in Ohio

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

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

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

  1. Figure Out Which Insurance License You’ll Need
  2. Ensure You Satisfy the Eligibility Requirements
  3. Complete a Pre-Licensing Education Course
  4. Pass the Relevant Ohio Insurance License Exam(s)
  5. Complete a Fingerprint and Background Check
  6. 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 producer lines of authority that are available in the state of Ohio:

  • Life
  • Accident & Health
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Personal
  • Variable
  • Auto
  • Rental
  • Credit
  • Crop
  • Travel
  • Funeral

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 Ohio Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Ensure You Satisfy the Eligibility Prerequisites

For the Superintendent of Insurance to issue you an a resident insurance producer license, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet all of the following criteria according to Section 3905.06 of the Ohio Revised Code:

  • Be at least eighteen years of age
  • Have not committed any act that is a ground for the denial, suspension, or revocation (e.g., providing misleading or untrue information on your application or being convicted of a felony)
  • If applying for variable life-variable annuity line, register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after passing at least one of the following exams:
    • Series 6
    • Series 7
    • Series 63
    • Series 66
    • Any other FINRA exam that the superintendent has approved
  • Consent to and pass a criminal records check (can be done later)
  • Have proof of your legal authorization to work in the US
  • Be honest, trustworthy, and otherwise suitable to be licensed

After ensuring you meet all these requirements, you’ll be ready to move on to the next stage of your journey toward getting an Ohio insurance license.

Step 3: Complete an Ohio Pre-Licensing Education Course

The next step you’ll want to take toward becoming a licensed insurance agent in Ohio is completing a pre-licensing education course. This is mandatory for all major lines (e.g., Life, Accident & Health, and Property) and the Surety Bail Bond line.

According to Rule 3901-5-07 (F) of the Ohio Administrative Code, qualifying courses must contain at least 20 hours of pre-licensing education for each line of authority you intend to pursue. This would mean, for example, that you’d need to complete at least 40 hours of prelicensing education if you wanted to obtain a Property and Casualty license.

In addition to this minimum hour requirement, your course provider must also submit a notice of completion to the superintendent within 15 days of you finishing the course.

Finally, with the exception of those who took their courses in a physical classroom, all applicants must also obtain a grade of at least 70% on a final examination given by their course provider.

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: Upon completing your pre licensing course, you’ll be handed a Course Completion Certificate — make sure to keep it on hand as you’ll need it for the next step.

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

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Ohio 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 property and casualty insurance agent, you will need to pass the Property and Casualty exam — which has 150 scored questions.

In Ohio, all insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by PSI, and cost $49 to apply for. To schedule your actual state licensing exam, you’ll need to either submit an application online or call the Candidate Service Center on (855) 807 3995.

After reserving your exam, you’ll need make sure to bring all of the following to the test center on the day of your exam:

  • A paper copy of your Course Completion Certificate
  • A valid government-issued ID (e.g., your driver’s license or passport)
  • A supplementary form of ID (e.g., credit card or birth certificate)

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.

In order to pass, you’ll need to obtain a minimum grade of 70%, though there’s no limit on the number of times you can sit your exam to achieve a passing score. Be aware that once you do pass, you’ll need to submit an application for your license within 180 days in order to avoid having to re-take.

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

Step 5: Complete a Fingerprinting And Background Check

The final step you’ll need to complete before you can submit your insurance agent license application is to submit a full set of your fingerprints to the Superintendent of Insurance, which is required under Section 3905.051 of the Ohio Revised Code.

This process costs no more than $72.25 and will initiate a background check into your past conduct to confirm you meet the state’s insurance agent regulations.

To organize a fingerprinting appointment, you’ll need to get in contact with one of Ohio’s Webcheck Locations; be sure to select a Webcheck vendor that offers both state and federal background checks, as not all do.

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

Step 6: Submit Your Insurance License Application

With your exams and fingerprinting out of the way, you’ll be ready to actually apply for your license, which, in Ohio, is done online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) website. For most insurance lines, the filing fee will be $10, though there are a few exceptions:

  • Surety Bail Bond: $150
  • Surplus Lines: $100
  • Managing General Agent: $20
  • Limited Lines – Portable Electronics: $3000 (10 or less locations) or $5000 (11 or more locations)

Be aware that if you’ve passed the licensing exams for multiple lines of authority, you’ll be required to submit an application (and pay the relevant filing fee) for each of these.

Note: If a licensing examination is required for your insurance line, you won’t be able to submit your application until you’ve successfully passed it.

Step 7: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application to the Ohio Department 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 seven to ten 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 Ohio Insurance License

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

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 Ohio, you’ll be required to complete up to 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years depending on your license type, often including at least three hours on Ethics. Note that CE is not required for limited lines licenses (except Surety Bail Bond).

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

Ohio Department of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Attn: License Division
50 West Town Street
Third Floor – Suite 300
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Phone: (614) 644-2665

Fax: (614) 644-3475

Email: licensing@insurance.ohio.gov

Website: https://www.insurance.ohio.gov

License Search: Ohio Insurance License Search and Lookup

Ohio Insurance License FAQ

How do I get my insurance license in Ohio?

While the process may vary depending on your specific insurance line in question, you’ll generally be required to complete the required pre-license education, pass the relevant state exam, request a background check, and submit an application to the Ohio Department of Insurance. This may differ for business entities. To read about each of these steps in greater detail, check out our Ohio Insurance License article.

How much does it cost to become a licensed insurance agent in Ohio?

Overall, you can expect to need to invest at least several hundred dollars in order to obtain an Ohio insurance license. However, this estimation can vary depending on the insurance line you’re applying for, the pre-license education course provider you choose, and the number of attempts you need at each exam.

How much do you make selling insurance in Ohio?

In Ohio, the average salary of a licensed insurance agent is just over $60,000. However, the income you could generate from selling insurance will vary depending on a number of factors, such as your experience, commission rate, and the types of policies you sell.

How do I become a title insurance agent in Ohio?

In order to get your Ohio title insurance agent license online, you’ll need to claim Ohio as your home state, pass the Ohio Title Insurance exam, and request a criminal background check before finally filling out and submitting the Producer Application for Title License to the Ohio Department of Insurance website.

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