Getting your Tennessee insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in Tennessee. 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 Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance has a 6-step process on how to become an insurance agent in Tennessee. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the Tennessee insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your TN insurance license quickly and easily.
How to Get Your Tennessee Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in Tennessee 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: Tennessee 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. Tennessee Insurance Pre-License Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, you must now take your Tennessee 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 Tennessee requires twenty (20) hours of pre-license education. This means that if you wish to get a Property and Casualty license, you must take forty (40) 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 Tennessee insurance pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3. Tennessee 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.
Even though each line has its own exam, Tennessee offers “back-to-back” exams for Property and Casualty, as well as Life and Health lines. This means that you will take these exams on the same day, and pay only for one test sitting. This will essentially be half the cost of your exams if you pass them all on the first attempt.
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 “back-to-back” exams is $59. When you show up you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring. You must also bring your pre-license certification. If you don’t have this certification at your testing appointment, you will not be allowed to test and your fee will be forfeited.
Each insurance license test is split into two sections: General Knowledge (50 questions) and State Specific (18 questions). Pearson VUE offers specific content outlines for each of the exams here: Pearson VUE Tennessee Insurance Exam Content Outline.
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 Tennessee? Check out our Tennessee 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 Tennessee Insurance page. More information about the insurance exams is provided in the Pearson VUE Tennessee Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook.
Step 4. Fingerprinting And Background Check
The State of Tennessee requires that all insurance license applications provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. 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 Tennessee Department of Insurance at (615) 741-2693 or email the department.
Fingerprinting must be completed through IdentoGO. You will schedule an appointment at one of the locations in Tennessee, and they will electronically record your fingerprint information using LiveScan (as opposed to ink and paper). If you do not have a service code, select “Don’t Know Your Service Code” and then choose the Department of Commerce and Insurance.
The fee for fingerprint services is $42. Your fingerprints will be submitted automatically to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.
Step 5. Tennessee Insurance License Application
After you have completed all of your required pre-licensing education, the next step is to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have taken the education for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.
The fee for an online application is $50 plus the $5.60 transaction fee. This fee covers all the lines you are applying for at the time. If you wish to add lines to your license at a later date, the $50 fee will be charged again. If you wait more than 6 months between adding lines, you will need to have your fingerprints taken again.
Apply for your license online with the NIPR Tennessee website.
After you submit your application, be sure to submit the Fingerprint Policy and Acknowledgement Form to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.
Step 6. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and passed your exams, 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.
The review should take about ten (10) business days to complete. After the review is completed and your license is issued, the insurance department will mail you a hard copy of your license.
If you wish to look up your license status, you may do so with the State Based Systems License Search Tool.
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 Tennessee Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in Tennessee. 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 Tennessee Insurance License Renewal and Tennessee 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
Tennessee Department of Insurance Contact Information
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-2693
License Search: Tennessee Insurance License Search and Lookup
Tennessee Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in Tennessee?
Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: Tennessee Insurance License Renewal
How long does it take to get an insurance license in Tennessee?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 $59 for each subsequent attempt.
How do I get a life insurance license in Tennessee?
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 Tennessee?
Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
Do I need business insurance in Tennessee?
If you are operating a business based in Tennessee, you probably need Tennessee business insurance to protect your assets and operate safely.