How To Become An Insurance Agent In New York
Getting your insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in New York. Life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, or business insurance all require a license to sell in any state.
Follow our step-by-step guide to get your insurance license in New York.
How To Get Your Insurance License In New York
Step 1. Which Types of Insurance Licenses Do You Need?
Depending on what type of insurance agent you want to be or what types of policies you need to sell, you will need to choose what type or types of insurance licenses you need to get.
These are examples of the types of insurance policies you can sell with each type of license:
- Property & Casualty Insurance License – Car Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, etc…
- Life & Health Insurance License – Life Insurance, Annuities, Health Insurance, etc…
Most insurance agents choose to get both of these licenses, but if you will only sell one type of policy then you just need to choose which license fits your needs.
Step 2. 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.
For required insurance pre-license courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3. New York Insurance License Exams
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 fee for each attempt of the exams is $33. When you show up you must have two forms of ID, including a photo ID, and the original pre-license education certificate.
Note: 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.
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.
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.
Note: 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.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the PSI New York website.
Step 4. 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 Licensing, What's Next?
Now that you have your license, use the StateRequirement Job Board to find the opening to your new career.
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
Email: [email protected]
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in March 2020.Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance. Disclosure: StateRequirement has an affiliation with Kaplan Education company, and may receive compensation based on user activity on this site. We truly believe that Kaplan offers excellent products and services, and compliments the mission of StateRequirement.