South Dakota Insurance License Exam

Written by: Ethan Peyton

Cartoon woman holding South Dakota Insurance License Exam document

    Passing your South Dakota insurance license exam is a pivotal part of becoming a licensed insurance agent in the state of South Dakota.

    In this guide, we’ll break down the general information that you need to know in order to pass your exam, outline the differences between each examination line, and offer tips on both: how to prepare for your South Dakota insurance licensing exam, and on what to do after you pass.

     

    South Dakota Insurance Exam Basics

    General Information

    The state of South Dakota uses Pearson VUE to administer its insurance agent licensing. This means you can register and book all of your licensing examinations through the Pearson VUE website. Your test can be carried out online or in person.

    Each major insurance line examination is entirely made up of bullet-point questions, and includes both general and state-specific material.

    The general questions test your federal insurance product and agent knowledge, whereas the state-specific questions test you on the South Dakota insurance regulations and laws that you will need to know in order to operate as an insurance agent.

    Score Explanation

    Each licensing examination has multiple versions (known as forms), which are made up of different questions. This means that your exam can be easier or more difficult than someone else’s, even if you’re being tested on the same line, on the same day.

    A statistical procedure known as equating is used to ensure that any differences in form difficulty are accounted for so that no one faces an unfair advantage or disadvantage.

    Example:

    Imagine that you have two forms of a Life, Accident & Health or Sickness exam.

    On Form X, the South Dakota Division of Insurance determines that correctly answering 30 questions demonstrates that you have the minimum knowledge necessary to pass your exam and become a licensed agent.

    On Form Y, however, the same level of understanding is demonstrated by answering 25 questions correctly. In this scenario, you would need 30 correct answers to pass on Form X, whereas you would need 25 correct answers to pass on Form Y.

    Following this, a second procedure known as scaling is used to translate this method into a numerical figure, which is then reported to the candidates that fail only.

    Note: A scaled score of 70 or above is needed in order to pass your insurance license exam(s) in South Dakota.

     

    Cost

    Your South Dakota insurance license exam cost will depend on the type and number of examinations that you take:

    Examination

    Cost 

    Time Allowed

    SD Life, Accident & Health, or Sickness Producer

    $95

    120 Minutes

    SD Property & Casualty Producer

    $95

    150 Minutes

    SD Property Producer

    $85

    120 Minutes

    SD Life Producer

    $85

    120 Minutes

    SD Casualty Producer

    $85

    120 Minutes

    Note: You should focus on one exam at a time. This will likely increase the amount of time and effort you can allocate to each examination and should allow you to feel more prepared when you sit your exam.

    Recommended Pre-License Course

    Before taking your insurance exam, we recommend completing a pre-license education course. This is not a requirement in the state of South Dakota, but it can go a long way in helping you get accustomed to the information that you will be expected to know.
    4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

     

    South Dakota Life and Health Insurance Exam

    Below you can find the content outline offered by Pearson VUE.

    We recommend using it as a checklist when working through your pre-license education course. This way, you’ll be absolutely sure that you haven’t missed any topic that you will be tested on later on.

    Life General Knowledge Content Outline

    50 scorable questions, plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. Types of Policies

    A. Traditional whole life products
    B. Interest/market-sensitive/adjustable life products
    C. Term life
    D. Annuities
    E. Combination plans and variations

     

    II. Policy Riders, Provisions, Options, and Exclusions

    A. Policy riders
    B. Policy provisions and options
    C. Policy exclusions

     

    III. Completing the Application, Underwriting, and Delivering the Policies

    A. Completing the application
    B. Underwriting
    C. Delivering the policy
    D. Contract law

     

    IV. Retirement, and Other Insurance Concepts

    A. Third-party ownership
    B. Life settlements
    C. Group life insurance
    D. Retirement plans
    E. Life insurance needs analysis/suitability
    F. Social Security benefits
    G. Tax treatment of insurance premiums, proceeds, and dividends

     

    Life South Dakota Specific Content Outline

    25 scorable questions, plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. SD Statutes, Rules, and Regulations Common to Life, Accident and Health, Property, and Casualty Insurance

    A. Director of Insurance
    B. Insurance Definitions
    C. Licensing
    D. Producer responsibilities
    E. Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association
    F. Marketing practices
    G. Policy delivery and receipt
    H. Insurance Fraud Regulation

     

    II. SD Statutes, Rules, and Regulations Pertinent to Life Insurance Only

    A. Marketing practices
    B. Policy replacement
    C. Individual life and annuity
    D. Group Life
    E. Annuities

     

    Health General Knowledge Content Outline

    50 scorable questions plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. Types of Polices

    A. Disability income
    B. Accidental death and dismemberment
    C. Medical expense insurance
    D. Medicare supplement policies
    E. Group insurance
    F. Individual/Group Long Term Care (LTC)
    G. Other policies

     

    II. Policy Provisions, Clauses, and Riders

    A. Mandatory and optional provisions
    B. Other provisions and clauses
    C. Riders
    D. Rights of renewability

     

    III. Social Insurance

    A. Medicare (Parts A, B, C, D)
    B. Medicaid
    C. Social Security benefits

     

    IV. Other Insurance Concepts

    A. Total, partial, recurrent, and residual disability
    B. Owner’s rights
    C. Dependent children benefits
    D. Primary and contingent beneficiaries
    E. Modes of premium payments
    F. Nonduplication and coordination of benefits
    G. Occupational vs. non-occupational
    H. Tax treatment of premiums and proceeds of insurance contracts
    I. Managed care
    J. Workers Compensation
    K. Subrogation
    L. Cost containment

     

    V. Field Underwriting Procedures

    A. Completing the application
    B. Explaining sources of insurability and HIPAA privacy info
    C. Initial premium payment and receipt
    D. Submitting application to company for underwriting
    E. Policy delivery
    F. Explaining policy to clients
    G. Replacement
    H. Contract law

     

    Accident & Health South Dakota Content Outline

    30 scorable questions plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. SD Statutes, Rules, and Regulations Common to Life, Accident and Health, Property, and Casualty Insurance

    A. Director of Insurance
    B. Insurance Definitions
    C. Licensing
    D. Producer responsibilities
    E. Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association
    F. Marketing practices
    G. Policy delivery and receipt
    H. Insurance Fraud Regulation

     

    II. SD Statutes, Rules, and Regulations Pertinent to Accident and Health Insurance Only

    A. South Dakota requirements (individual and group)
    B. Employer group Health insurance
    C. Medicare Supplement Insurance
    D. Long-term Care Policies
    E. Small employer medical plans
    F. ACA (Affordable Care Act)

    We recommend reading our in-depth How to Pass the Life Insurance Exam guide for a better overview.

     

    South Dakota Property and Casualty License Exam

    Below you can find the content outline offered by Pearson VUE. 

    You should use this outline as a checklist when working through your pre-license education course in order to ensure that you haven’t missed any topic that you will be tested on later on.

    Property General Knowledge Content Outline

    50 scorable answers plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. Types of Policies

    A. Homeowners
    B. Dwelling policies
    C. Commercial lines
    D. Inland marine
    E. National Flood Insurance Program
    F. Others

     

    II. Insurance Terms and Related Concepts

    A. Insurance
    B. Insurable interest
    C. Risk
    D. Hazard
    E. Peril
    F. Loss
    G. Loss Valuation
    H. Proximate cause
    I. Deductible
    J. Indemnity
    K. Limits of liability
    L. Coinsurance/Insurance to value
    M. Occurrence
    N. Cancellation
    O. Nonrenewal
    P. Vacancy and Inoccupancy
    Q. Liability
    R. Negligence
    S. Binder
    T. Endorsements
    U. Blanket vs. Specific

     

    III. Policy Provisions and Contract Law

    A. Declarations
    B. Insuring agreement
    C. Conditions
    D. Exclusions
    E. Definition of the insured
    F. Duties of the insured
    G. Obligations of the insurance company
    H. Mortgagee rights
    I. Proof of loss
    J. Notice of claim
    K. Appraisal
    L. Other Insurance Provision
    M. Subrogation
    N. Elements of a contract
    O. Warranties, representations, and concealment
    P. Sources of underwriting information
    Q. Fair Credit Reporting Act
    R. Privacy Protection (Gramm Leach Bliley)
    S. Policy Application
    T. Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)
    U. Territory

     

    Property South Dakota Content Outline

    25 scorable questions plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. SD Laws, Rules, and Regulations Common to Property and Casualty Insurance

    A. Director of Insurance
    B. Insurance Definitions
    C. Licensing
    D. Producer responsibilities
    E. Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association
    F. Marketing practices
    G. Policy delivery and receipt
    H. Insurance Fraud Regulation

     

    II. SD Statutes Pertinent to Property Insurance

    A. Binders
    B. Suit against insurer
    C. Rating
    D. Certificate of Insurance
    E. South Dakota Valued Policy Law
    F. Flood Insurance
    G. Inland Marine
    H. Cancellation and Nonrenewal
    I. Surplus lines

     

    Casualty General Knowledge Content Outline

    50 scorable questions plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. Types of Policies, Bonds, and Related Terms

    A. Commercial general liability
    B. Automobile: personal auto and business auto
    C. Workers Compensation Insurance, Employers Liability Insurance and Related Issues
    D. Crime
    E. Bonds
    F. Professional liability
    G. Umbrella/Excess Liability
    H. Businessowners Policy (BOP)

     

    II. Insurance Terms and Related Concepts

    A. Risk
    B. Hazards
    C. Indemnity
    D. Insurable interest
    E. Loss valuation
    F. Negligence
    G. Liability
    H. Occurrence
    I. Binders
    J. Warranties
    K. Representations
    L. Concealment
    M. Deposit Premium/Audit
    N. Certificate of Insurance
    O. Law of Large Numbers
    P. Pure vs. Speculative Risk
    Q. Endorsements
    R. Damages
    S. Compliance with provisions of Fair Credit Reporting Act

     

    III. Policy Provisions

    A. Declarations
    B. Insuring agreement
    C. Conditions
    D. Exclusions and Limitations
    E. Definition of the insured
    F. Duties of the insured after a loss
    G. Cancellation and nonrenewal provisions
    H. Supplementary payments
    I. Proof of loss
    J. Notice of claim
    K. Arbitration
    L. Subrogation
    M. Loss settlement provisions including consent to settle a loss
    N. Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)

     

    Casualty South Dakota Content Outline

    25 scorable questions plus 5 pretest questions.

    I. SD Statutes, Rules and Regulations Common to Life, Accident and Health, Property, and Casualty Insurance

    A. Director of Insurance
    B. Insurance Definitions
    C. Licensing
    D. Producer responsibilities
    E. Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association
    F. Marketing practices
    G. Policy delivery and receipt
    H. Insurance Fraud Regulation

     

    II. SD Statutes Pertinent to Casualty Insurance

    A. Binders
    B. Suit against insurer
    C. Rating
    D. Certificate of Insurance
    E. South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan (Assigned Risk)
    F. Private-passenger automobile insurance
    G. Workers Compensation

    We recommend reading our Property and Casualty Insurance exam article for a more in-depth overview.

     

    How to Pass the South Dakota Insurance Exam

    Passing your South Dakota insurance exam ultimately comes down to your mindset and degree of preparation.

    We have composed a few helpful exam tips and tricks that should help you perform as well as you can during your exam day.

    Get a Pre-License Course

    Even though this is not a requirement in the state of South Dakota, getting a pre-license course can go a long way in helping you get accustomed to the prolific amount of content that you will have to memorize.

    We recommend Kaplan’s course because it offers a variety of helpful features, including:

    • Online exam simulations
    • Live online training
    • Printable study guides
    • End of chapter reviews

    For more information, we recommend reading our Kaplan Insurance Course Review.

     

    Make Enough Time to Study

    Not leaving enough time to prepare is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you do not pass your exam on your first attempt.

    Remember, there are zero questions on your exam that are based on common sense or critical thinking. All questions are purely factual, and so will relate to how well you understand and remember the content that you have learned.

    We recommend allocating around one to two weeks to prepare for your exam, as this should allow you to go through all of the material at least twice.

     

    Control Test Anxiety

    Even though you cannot control whether you get exam anxiety or not, you can take a few steps when preparing to limit its effect on your performance:

    • Establish a consistent pretest routine — Acclimate yourself to exam conditions by following a specific routine on each practice exam at home. This should help you feel less anxious during your exam day.
    • Get plenty of sleep — Lack of sleep can exacerbate your anxiety and increase your self-doubt. Make sure you are consistently getting a good night’s sleep in the week leading up to your exam.
    • Study effectively — This sounds obvious, but make sure you are actually tailoring your studying to the exam that you are taking. Remember, there are no critical thinking or common sense questions involved.
    • Arrive early — If you are planning to sit your exam in person, we recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes before it’s due to start in order to get used to your surroundings and have time to check in with your center’s administrator.

    For a more in-depth overview of how you can prepare for your South Dakota insurance exam, we recommend reading our How to Pass the Insurance Exam article.

     

    Getting Your South Dakota Insurance License

    Your next steps will depend on whether you actually passed your exam, as well as on whether you plan to get licensed for any additional lines.

    You can apply for your license up to 180 days after you complete your exam, so if you would like to attempt passing additional insurance line exams before filing your licensing application, you are totally free to do that.

    After you have passed your insurance licensing exam, you may need to:

    • Complete a fingerprint and background check
    • File your licensing application
    • Wait for your application to be reviewed

    Have a look at our How to Become an Insurance Agent in South Dakota review for more information on all the steps that you will need to take after passing your insurance exam.




    South Dakota Insurance Exams FAQ

    How often do I have to renew my license?

    You need to renew your license every two years in order to keep operating as a legitimate insurance agent in South Dakota.

    For more information, see our guide on How to Renew Your Insurance License in South Dakota.

     

    How long is the South Dakota insurance exam?

    This will depend on the exam in question. Insurance exams in South Dakota are either 60, 120, or 150 minutes long.

     

    How many times can you take the South Dakota insurance exam?

    There is no limit to the number of times you can take an insurance exam in South Dakota. Having said that, you will need to wait at least 24 hours after your exam before registering for a re-examination.

     

    How many questions are on the South Dakota insurance exam?

    It varies depending on the exam. The South Dakota Bail Bonds exam has 50 questions. The Life, Accident and Health exam, on the other hand, has 130 questions.

    South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation Contact Information

    Mailing Address:

    Division of Insurance
    124 South Euclid Avenue 2nd Floor
    Pierre, South Dakota 57501

    Phone: (605) 773-3563

    Fax: (605) 773-5369

    Email: sdinsurance@state.sd.us

    Website: http://dlr.sd.gov/insurance

    License Search: South Dakota Insurance License Search and Lookup




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