How To Become An Insurance Agent In New York

New York

What Kind Of Agent Are You Going To Be?

A majority of people who are applying for their insurance license have a plan in already in place of where they are going to use it. If you don't yet have a plan on how you will be using your insurance license, this is the place to start. Here are some of the questions that you should ask yourself:

  • What type of insurance am I going to sell?
    • Home & Auto? Life Insurance? Variable Life Insurance? This will tell you which "lines of authority" that you need to hold. The most common lines of authority are Property & Casualty (P&C) and Life, Accident, & Health (L&H).
  • Am I starting my own agency, or working inside of an existing agency? 
    • It may depend on how your agency is set up to tell you what type of licenses you need to hold.
  • What types of licenses does my company require me to hold? 

Answering these questions should give you tell you the types of insurance licenses you need. If you are still unsure of which lines to pursue, you can always ask the folks in the state licensing office at 518-474-6630 or email the License Department.

How To Get Your Insurance License In New York

 Pre-License Education

The first step in getting a New York insurance license is taking pre-license education courses. These are state required courses pertaining to the subject matter that will be on the license exam. To fill the pre-license requirement, you must complete a certain amount of credit hours depending on the lines of authority (types of licenses) you wish to attain.

The number of required hours for each line of authority varies. For the Property & Casualty lines, you must take ninety (90) hours of pre-licensing, and for Life, Accident, & Health you must 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.

Most applicants choose to take these courses online, as it fits their schedule better, but there are also in person courses available. You should choose which format in which to take your courses based on your preferred method of learning. The goal isn't just to get the courses out of the way, it's to prepare you to pass your license exam on the first attempt.

StateRequirement recommends Kaplan Education Company for all pre-license education courses.

You can find a list course of approved New York pre-license education providers on this New York Department of Financial Services page.

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 $40. When you show up you must have two forms of ID, including a photo ID, and the original pre-license education certificate.

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 Prometric.

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 Prometric.

You must score 70% or higher on each of these tests to pass.

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 Prometric New York website.

 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 $80 per line of authority. Depending on when you apply for your license, you may also apply for a prorated fee. Check the Life, Accident, and Health Fee Schedule PDF, and the Property and Casualty Fee Schedule PDF for more details on the application fees.

Fill out your online application on the New York DFS License Application page.

 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 license department at 518-474-6630 or email the License Department.

Congratulations!

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.

New York Department Of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address:

New York State Department of Financial Services
One State Street
New York, NY 10004-1511
Phone: 518-474-6630
Email: licensing@dfs.ny.gov
Website: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/

Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources, and was most recently updated in May 2018.

Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. Huge Hammer LLC 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.