How to Get an Insurance License in Puerto Rico

Written by: Will Bond

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How to Get an Insurance License in Puerto Rico

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

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

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

  1. Figure Out Which Insurance License You’ll Need
  2. Meet the Licensing Requirements
  3. Complete a Pre-Licensing Education Course
  4. Pass the Relevant Puerto Rico Insurance License Exam(s)
  5. Submit Your Insurance License Application
  6. Post a Valid Bond in the Name of the Government of Puerto Rico

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 licenses that are available in the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico, along with their corresponding names in Spanish:

  • Life Insurance (“Vida”)
  • Disability Insurance (“Incapacidad”)
  • Property and Casualty Insurance (“Propiedad y Contingencia”)
  • Health Services (“Servicios de Salud”)
  • Life Insurance and Variable Annuities (“Variables”)
  • Title Insurance (“Título”)

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 a 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.

Note: If you’re looking to qualify as an independent adjuster in Puerto Rico, you’ll need to apply for a separate license.

Step 2: Meet the Licensing Requirements

To qualify for an insurance license in Puerto Rico, you’ll need to meet certain specific conditions beforehand.

Although some licenses might have additional criteria, the following basic requirements are typically always needed under Title 26, Chapter 9A, Section 950i of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have completed your high school education (or equivalent)
  • Reside de facto in Puerto Rico and have been a bona fide resident for a year prior to applying
  • Give the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) no reason to believe you’ll use your insurance license to negotiate a controlled business
  • Pass the relevant exam for your insurance line
  • Not be the director, employee, stockholder, or partner of any other Puerto Rican insurance producer or company
  • Have a place of business in Puerto Rico that’s accessible to the public (not required for life or disability insurance producers)
  • Post a bond of at least $10,000 in the name of the Government of Puerto Rico (this can be completed later)

In addition to having to meet the above requirements, the Commissioner will not grant you an insurance license under Section 949m of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code if you are:

  • Untrustworthy or incompetent and cannot prove to the Commissioner’s satisfaction that you’re qualified to hold a license
  • Impaired from performing your duties as an employee of either the US or Puerto Rican government, any Puerto Rican agency or city, or certain military units, under the Ethics in Government Act of Puerto Rico
  • An employee, director, official, officer, or stockholder of any person or affiliated business entity directly or indirectly engaged in lending money

Note: You won’t need to meet the one year residential requirement in Puerto Rico if you’ll be moving from a US state or jurisdiction.

Step 3: Complete a Puerto Rico Pre-Licensing Education Course

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

While pre-licensing courses aren’t mandatory in Puerto Rico — unlike in many other US jurisdictions — we strongly recommend completing one anyway since they can go a long way in helping you pass your insurance exam on your first try — which will save you both time and money in the long run.

This is because many of the features that come with these courses — such as live tutoring, study calendars, and hundreds of practice exams — are designed to enhance your understanding of the material, making you more comfortable and confident on the day of the exam.

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:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

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 4: Pass the Relevant Puerto Rico Insurance License Exam(s)

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

We say “relevant” because this will depend on the line you wish to specialize in; for example, if you’re interested in managing cancer insurance, you would need to pass a Limited License Producer exam under Puerto Rico Insurance Code Art 9.141 (3)(4).

In Puerto Rico, all insurance licensing exams cost $150 to take and can either be scheduled through the Examination Portal or by emailing a request directly to dperez@ocs.pr.gov.

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.

As is the case in a number of US jurisdictions, exam scores in Puerto Rico are only valid for 12 months after the examination date — meaning you’ll need to submit an application for an insurance license within this time to avoid having to retake.

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

Step 5: Submit Your Insurance License Application

With your exams and fingerprinting out of the way, you’ll be ready to actually apply for your license. In Puerto Rico, all insurance producer applications are submitted online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) alongside one of the following filing fees:

  • Resident License: $1050
  • Non-resident License: $1682

Keep in mind that if you’ve passed exams for multiple insurance lines you’ll need to fill out a separate application and pay one of the associated fees above for each one.

Note: While NIPR won’t verify whether you’ve completed the relevant insurance exams before letting you apply, the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Insurance will not approve your application without it.

Step 6: Post a Valid Surety Bond

After NIPR processes your application and verifies your information, you’ll be required to submit a notarized bond in the name of the Government of Puerto Rico to the OCI for your insurance license to become valid.

The purpose of this surety bond is to provide a safety net for anyone harmed due to your potential mistakes or negligence; if you mess up and someone suffers financially as a result, the surety bond steps in to compensate them.

This bond’s value must typically be no less than $10,000, however the Commission may consider a higher amount for experienced producers applying for a new license in Puerto Rico, depending on their past business volume in other jurisdictions.

The bond you obtain must be effective by the date your license would become valid and be issued by an authorized surety insurer.

Alternatively, you can also submit a professional liability policy from an authorized insurer — as long as it’s at least equal to the bond amount and has been approved by the Commissioner.

Note: This bond requirement is not imposed on applications for non-resident insurance licenses.

Step 7: Application Review

And that’s it! After submitting your license application and surety bond with a Notary’s certificate to the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, all that’s left to do is wait.

If everything on your application(s) has been filled out correctly, your license(s) 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 OCI 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!

Once your license has been granted, the Commissioner will issue your Certificate of Evidence plus an identification card. You’ll be required to carry this card around with you while working, as well as visibly display the certificate in your place of business according to Section 952d, Chapter 9A, Title 26 of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code.

Note: While insurance licenses typically only last a period of two years, the Commissioner can choose to issue licenses with effective terms of up to 30 months for new applicants.

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.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

After Getting Your Puerto Rico Insurance License

Once your licensing application has been approved and you’ve obtained the appropriate proof of financial liability, you’ll be a qualified insurance agent in Puerto Rico.

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 Puerto Rico, you’ll be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years by the expiration date on the last day of your birth month. As part of this general requirement, you’ll be expected to take three credit hours on professional ethics.

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

Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
361 Calle Calaf
PO Box 195415
San Juan, PR 00919 United States

Physical Address:

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
World Plaza Building
268 Muñoz Rivera Ave
San Juan, PR 00918 United States

Phone: (787) 304 – 8686

Email: cumplimiento@ocs.pr.gov

Website: https://ocs.pr.gov/English/Pages/default.aspx

License Search: Puerto Rico Insurance License Search and Lookup

Puerto Rico Insurance License FAQ

How to get a health insurance license in Puerto Rico?

To obtain a health insurance license in Puerto Rico, you’ll typically need to ensure you meet the OCI’s eligibility requirements, pass the required exam for your insurance line, submit an application, and post a valid surety bond. You can read about this process in more detail in our Puerto Rico Insurance License guide.

Does Puerto Rico have a Department of Insurance?

Yes, Puerto Rico does have a Department of Insurance, known as the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). It is responsible for overseeing all insurance licensing, consumer protection, and ensuring all members of the industry are in compliance with the territory’s insurance laws and regulations.

How does insurance work in Puerto Rico?

Insurance in Puerto Rico operates similarly to other jurisdictions, where individuals or businesses purchase policies from an insurance consultant to protect against financial losses or liabilities. These policies are offered by insurance companies and can cover various aspects such as health, title, and property or casualty lines, among others.

Can a non-US citizen get an insurance license?

Yes, non-US citizens can obtain an authorized person or insurance producer license provided they meet the OCI’s eligibility requirements, pass an exam specific to the license type they want (e.g., surplus lines broker), and get a surety bond. Additional requirements may apply to the following licenses: Insurance Consultant, Reinsurance Intermediary Manager, Reinsurance Intermediary Producer, Provisional Authorized Representative, Viatical Settlements Broker, and Viatical Settlements Investment Agent.

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