Getting your West Virginia insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in West Virginia. 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 West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner has a 6-step process on how to become an insurance agent in West Virginia. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the West Virginia insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your WV 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 West Virginia Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in West Virginia 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. West Virginia Insurance Pre-License Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, you must now take your West Virginia 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 West Virginia requires twenty (20) hours of pre-license education. This means that if you wish to get a Property and Casualty license, you must take forty (40) 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. West Virginia Insurance License Exam
The next step after completing all of your pre-license coursework or self-study is to take the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each combined line of insurance you wish to carry. Property and Casualty are combined as one exam. The same is true for Life, Accident, and Health.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching over 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 fee for each attempt of the exams is $86. When you show up you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.
Each test is split into two sections: General Knowledge and State Specific. Be sure to study the content outlines provided by Pearson VUE:
To explain scoring, we will quote the Pearson VUE West Virginia Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook:
The passing score of an examination was set by the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner. (in conjunction with Pearson VUE) after a comprehensive study was completed for each examination. Raw scores are converted into scaled scores that can range from 0 to 100. The scaled score that is reported to you is neither the number of questions you answered correctly nor the percentage of questions you answered correctly. With a passing score of 70, any score below 70 indicates how close the candidate came to passing, rather than the actual number or percentage of questions the candidates answered correctly.
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 West Virginia? Check out our West Virginia 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.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Pearson VUE West Virginia Insurance page.
Step 4. Fingerprinting And Background Check
The State of West Virginia requires that all insurance license applications provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check.
You will be given an insurance commissioner service code, which is a unique code that you need to register for fingerprinting when you apply for an insurance license in West Virginia. The service code for the Offices of the Insurance Commissioner is 228NS5.
If you have any prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. For more information on this topic, call the Department of Insurance at (304) 558-0610 or email the licensing department.
Fingerprinting must be completed through IdentoGO.
The fee for fingerprint services is $45.75. Your fingerprints will be submitted automatically to the Insurance Department.
Fingerprints are only good for thirty (30) days, so be sure to follow the next steps quickly.
Step 5. West Virginia Insurance License Application
After you have passed your exams and submitted fingerprints, the next step is to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you tested for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.
The fee for an online application is $50, plus a $5.60 fee from NIPR, for a total of $55.60.
If you wish to add another line of authority at a later date, you will only need to pay the NIPR fee. If it has been longer than thirty (30) days since your original application, you will need to redo your fingerprints.
Apply for your license online with the NIPR West Virginia site.
Step 6. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and passed your exams, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check will also be reviewed.
If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued quickly. 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.
After submitting your application, the review process should take about seven to ten (7-10) business days to complete. After this period, you will receive an email from NIPR regarding the issuance of your license.
You may also check your license status with the State Based Systems West Virginia Licensee Lookup Search tool.
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 West Virginia Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in West Virginia. 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 West Virginia Insurance License Renewal and West Virginia 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
West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner Contact Information
Licensing and Education Division
PO Box 50540
Charleston, WV 25305-0540
Licensing and Education Division
900 Pennsylvania Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302
Phone: (304) 558-0610
Fax: (304) 558-4966
License Search: West Virginia Insurance License Search and Lookup
West Virginia Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in West Virginia?
The insurance license period in West Virginia is two years. The license expiration date is the last day of the licensee’s birth month. You will be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education in order for you to renew your license. Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: West Virginia Insurance License Renewal.
How long does it take to get an insurance license in West Virginia?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your West Virginia 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 West Virginia insurance license cost?
For an individual resident or non-resident licensed insurance producer, the fee is $50. For business entities (resident or non-resident), the licensing fee is $200. Additional costs may apply for an insurance course and exam, which could bring the total cost to about $375. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, add $88 for each subsequent attempt.
How do I get a life insurance license in West Virginia?
To get a life insurance license in West Virginia, you must complete a 20-hour pre-license course, pass the state licensing exam, get a fingerprint-based background check, and file an application through NIPR. Once you complete these steps, you can now sell life insurance products.
How do I get a property and casualty license in West Virginia?
To obtain a property and casualty license in West Virginia, complete a 40-hour pre-license course, pass the state exam, secure a fingerprint-based background check, and complete a a license application via NIPR. After you follow these steps, you will be able to sell property and casualty or personal lines policies.
Do I need business insurance in West Virginia?
If you are operating a business based in West Virginia, you probably need West Virginia business insurance to protect your assets and operate safely. The most common is workers’ compensation insurance, which is mandatory for businesses with employees to cover work-related injuries or illnesses.