Getting your Rhode Island insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in Rhode Island. 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 State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation- Division of Insurance Regulation has a 7-step process on how to become an insurance agent in Rhode Island. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the Rhode Island insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your RI insurance license quickly and easily.
How to Get Your Rhode Island Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in Rhode Island 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.
Insurance adjusters require a separate license. You can find more information on becoming an insurance adjuster here: Rhode Island Insurance Adjuster License.
If you plan on specializing as a life insurance agent, then you may also need to hold a certain FINRA securities license.
Step 2. Rhode Island Insurance Pre-Exam Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, it’s time to begin studying for the Rhode Island insurance exams.
Rhode Island does not require you to take a certain amount of pre-license credits before testing. This means that studying for your exam is 100% up to you.
Most folks choose to take an insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. Others purchase books or other self-study tools to prepare themselves.
It’s wise to take a week or so to dedicate to your study of this exam. If you don’t feel as though you’re a strong test taker, take a little longer, but don’t let it drag out for long. We want you to pass your test the first time you take it, and we know that you can do it.
For Rhode Island insurance pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3. Rhode Island 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 line of insurance you wish to carry. Pearson VUE does offer a “back-to-back” discount for these tests. This means that if you attempt two of the exams in the same sitting that you will get a two for one discount.
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 $80. When you show up you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.
Each of the exams is broken down into two sections: General Knowledge and State Specific. Rhode Island offers a partial pass on each exam, which means that if you take an exam, and pass only one of the sections, that you don’t need to retake that section as long as you pass the other half within one (1) year.
Be sure to study the Rhode Island Insurance Exam Content Outlines before attempting the tests.
To explain the scoring of the exams, we will quote the Pearson VUE Rhode Island Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook:
The passing score of an examination was set by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (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. To avoid misuse of score information, numeric scores are only reported to failing candidates. 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 Rhode Island? Check out our Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island Insurance page. Keep your score report, as you will need to send it in a later step.
Step 4. Rhode Island License Application
Once you have completed your exams and fingerprinting, 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.
The fee for an online application is $120, and an NIPR fee of $560, for a total of $125.60. If you wish to add another line of authority at a later date, there is a $50 license amendment fee.
Fill out and submit your online application on the NIPR Rhode Island page.
Step 5. Fingerprint-Based Background Check
The State of Rhode Island requires that all insurance license applicants submit a fingerprint based background check prior to licensing. 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 (401) 462-9520 or email the Insurance Department.
You must complete your fingerprint-based background check from the Rhode Island Attorney General – Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI). The fee for fingerprinting services is $5.
To set up a fingerprinting appointment, go to the Rhode Island Attorney General BCI website and click on the “Background Checks” link in the left-hand menu.
Keep all of the documentation that they provide you, as you will need to send it in the next step.
Step 6. Email Background Check and Exam Scores
After submitting your license application to the state, you will receive an email from the licensing department requesting your background check information and your exam score report.
Scan these documents and send them in a reply email.
Step 7. 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 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 you send in the requested documentation, the licensing department will take up to ten (10) days to review it, and then send you an email with verification that your license has been issued.
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 Rhode Island Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in Rhode Island. 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 Rhode Island Insurance License Renewal and Rhode Island 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
State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Contact Information
Division of Insurance Regulation
1511 Pontiac Avenue, Building 69-2
Cranston, Rhode Island 029301
Phone: (401) 462-9520
Fax: (401) 462-9602
License Search: Rhode Island Insurance License Search and Lookup
Rhode Island Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in Rhode Island?
Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: Rhode Island Insurance License Renewal
How long does it take to get an insurance license in Rhode Island?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island insurance license cost?
The total cost for your insurance course, application, and exam will be about $375. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, add $80 for each subsequent attempt.
How do I get a life insurance license in Rhode Island?
Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
How do I get a property and casualty license in Rhode Island?
Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
Do I need business insurance in Rhode Island?
If you are operating a business based in Rhode Island, you probably need Rhode Island business insurance to protect your assets and operate safely.