How to Get an Insurance License in West Virginia

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Get an Insurance License in West Virginia

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

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

In order to get your West Virginia insurance license, you’ll need to complete the following five steps:

  1. Figure Out Which Insurance License You’ll Need
  2. Complete a Pre-Licensing Education Course
  3. Pass the Relevant West Virginia Insurance License Exam(s)
  4. Complete a Fingerprint and Background Check
  5. 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 agent licenses that are available in the state of West Virginia:

  • Life
  • Accident and Health or Sickness
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Property and Casualty
  • Surplus Lines
  • Personal Lines
  • Variable Life and Annuities
  • Title
  • Travel
  • Surety
  • Credit
  • Car Rental
  • Self Storage
  • Crop

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 West Virginia Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete a West Virginia Pre-Licensing Education Course

In accordance with West Virginia’s Insurance Commissioner, all prospective insurance agents are required to complete 20 hours of approved pre-licensing education per line of authority (eg., Personal Lines, Property, Life, etc.).

Upon completion of this requirement, you will be given a Certificate of Pre-Licensing Completion (PL 789E), which will remain valid for six months. Make sure that you do not lose it, as you will need to bring it with you to your test center in order to be allowed to sit your exam.

Note: 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.

Step 3: Pass the Relevant West Virginia Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant West Virginia insurance 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 life insurance agent, you will need to sit the Life exam, which has 78 scored questions (plus 11 pretest questions).

In West Virginia, all insurance exams are multiple-choice and administered by Pearson VUE.

Keep in mind that if you choose to take two single-line exams separately (e.g., the Property exam and the Casualty exam), you will need to pass both within 12 months of each other in order to be eligible for the relevant combined line of authority license (e.g., Property and Casualty, etc.).

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

Step 4: Complete a Fingerprinting And Background Check

The final step you’ll likely need to complete before you can submit your insurance agent license application is completing a fingerprinting and background check.

To do this, you’ll need to go to the IdentoGO website or call (855) 766-7746 and use service code 228NS5. There is a $44.50 processing fee for this.

You will need to bring an acceptable identification document to your enrollment appointment in order to avoid being denied, which includes:

  • A Driver’s License
  • A State ID Card
  • A Passport
  • A Government ID Card
  • An Employment Authorization Card
  • A Military ID Card
  • A Merchant Mariner Card (MMD)

Keep in mind that not everyone will need to complete a fingerprint background check. For example, this is not a requirement for non-resident licensees, adjusters, and limited-line applications.

Note: Your fingerprints will remain valid for 60 days; if you do not submit your application within this timeline, you’ll need to repeat this step. =

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 online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).

The cost for this is $50, plus a small transaction fee imposed via NIPR (i.e., $5.60).

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 a filing fee) for each of these.

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application to NIPR, all that’s left to do is wait.

If everything on your application has been filled out correctly, your license should be issued within a couple of 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 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 West Virginia Insurance License

Once you’ve passed all your exams and your licensing application has been approved, you’ll be a licensed insurance producer in West Virginia.

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 West Virginia, you’ll likely be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education (including three hours that relate to ethics) every two years in order to renew your license.

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

West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Licensing and Education Division
PO Box 50541
Charleston, WV 25305-0540

Physical Address:
Licensing and Education Division
900 Pennsylvania Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302

Phone: (304) 558-0610

Fax: (304) 558-4966

Email: OICAgentLicensing@wv.gov

Website: https://www.wvinsurance.gov/Divisions_Licensing

License Search: West Virginia Insurance License Search and Lookup

West Virginia Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in West Virginia?

This will depend on your line of authority, as well as on your residence status. Generally speaking, almost all license resident producers in the state are required to complete certain continuing education requirements in order to renew their license. Having said that, this is not the case for limited lines credit insurance licenses, any line where a licensing examination is not required, adjusters, and non-resident producers.

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

Your application can take anywhere between a few business days and a couple of weeks to be processed, depending on factors such as the quality of the documents submitted. Having said that, if you include the time it’ll take you to complete the required pre-licensing education (20 hours), pass the required exams, and complete a background check, it will likely be significantly longer.

How much does the West Virginia insurance license cost?

It costs $50 (plus a $5.60 processing fee) to submit an insurance license application in West Virginia. However, the total cost of becoming a licensed insurance agent will be higher as it’ll also include the cost of pre-licensing training, an exam, and a fingerprint background check — though this can vary if you’re applying as a business entity. For more information, check out our West Virginia Insurance License article.

Is the West Virginia insurance license exam hard?

Insurance license exams in West Virginia can be quite challenging, but this is the case in all states. In order to give yourself the best chances of passing on your first attempt, we recommend spending enough time preparing, investing in the right pre-licensing education, and completing several mock exams. See our state-specific Insurance Licensing guide for more information.

How do I get my insurance license in West Virginia?

In order to get a WV insurance license, you’ll need to complete an approved pre-licensing course, pass at least one state licensing exam exam — depending on the line of authority you want to apply for — complete a fingerprint check using the right Insurance Commissioner service code, and submit an online application through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). Keep in mind that this is the process for individuals, not business entities.

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