How To Become An Insurance Agent In Texas
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?
- 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 512-676-6500 or email the Insurance Department.
How To Get Your Insurance License In Texas
The first step in getting an Texas insurance license is passing your license exam. So why do we say the first step is pre-license education? The answer is simple. We want you to pass your test the first time you take it. These courses or study materials are not a required step in getting your insurance license in Texas, but they are highly recommended.
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.
Insurance License Exams
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. Life& Health (L&H) and Property & Casualty (P&C) lines are combined lines in Texas, so you will take two exams if you wish to attain all of these lines of authority: Property, Casualty, Life, Accident, Health.
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 $62 (one exam per combined lines of authority). When you show up you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.
The Life & Health exam and the Property and Casualty exams consist of one hundred twenty-five (125) questions. Here is a copy of the exam content outline for the Life & Health exam. Here is a copy of the exam content outline for the Property & Casualty exam. There are no limits on attempts at each exam per year.
We will quote Pearson Vue's Texas Department of Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbookto explain scoring
Equating and Scaling
There are multiple versions of each of the licensing examinations. These versions are known as forms. Although all forms of an examination are developed based on the content outlines, the difficulty of the forms of an examination may vary slightly because different questions appear on each form. To ensure that no candidate is put at an unfair advantage or disadvantage due to the particular form of an examination that he or she is given, a statistical procedure known as equating is used to correct for differences in form difficulty.
For example, in an examination with two (2) forms, Form A and Form B, the state licensing agency determines that answering 30 questions correctly on Form A demonstrates the minimum amount of knowledge necessary to be licensed. It is further determined through the equating process that Form B contains slightly more difficult questions than Form A; therefore, answering 30 questions correctly on Form A would indicate the same level of knowledge as answering only 28 questions correctly on Form B. Under this set of circumstances, a score of 30 questions correct would be used as the passing score on Form A whereas a score of 28 questions correct would be used as the passing score on Form B.
A second statistical procedure known as scaling is used to derive the numerical score to report for each candidate. Scaling is used to place a raw score on a common reporting scale on which each scaled score represents a given level of knowledge regardless of the difficulty of the form on which the raw score was achieved.
To illustrate how scaling works, suppose that in the examination example used above, the state licensing agency decides to use a score of 500 as the passing score for reporting purposes. (Note that the score selected to be used as the reported passing score is not related to, and has no bearing on, the difficulty of the examination.) Based on the information provided above, a raw score of 30 on Form A would translate to a scaled score of 500; a raw score of 28 on Form B would also translate to a scaled score of 500 since a raw score of 30 on Form A represents the same level of knowledge as a raw score of 28 on Form B.
The passing score of an examination was set by the Texas Department of Insurance (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. 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.
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 Pearson Vue Texas web page.
Fingerprinting And Background Check
The state of Texas requires that all insurance license applications provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. If you have an prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. For more information on this topic, call the Texas Department of Insurance at 512-676-6500 or email the Insurance Department.
The fee for fingerprinting services is $30.25
At your fingerprinting appointment, you will not receive a fingerprint card, as the information will be automatically sent to the DPS and FBI. You will, however receive a receipt. Do not throw this receipt away. You need to make a copy of this receipt, as you will be sending one in a later step.
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 license office has stated that the fastest way to have your application processed is to print and fill a paper copy of the application. You can find a copy of the application on this Pearson Vue Application PDF. If you choose to follow this method, you must also send the copy of your MorphoTrust USA fingerprint receipt, and a check made out to Pearson Vue for $50 per license type. (Example: P&C and L&H license application would be $100) Any supporting documentation that needs to be sent with the paper application should be directed to License@tdi.texas.gov.
You may also apply for your license online using the Sircon Texas web tool. The fee for application is still $50, but there may be a small service fee on top of the application fee. If you choose to apply online with Sircon, you must also upload the fingerprint receipt with your application.
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 within 3-5 weeks. 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.
Once the review has been completed, you should receive an email from the state regarding the status of your license.
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.
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources, and was most recently updated in August 2017.
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.