How To Become An Insurance Agent In Virginia

Virginia

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 804-371-9631.

How To Get Your Insurance License In Virginia

 Pre-Exam Education

The first step in getting an Virginia insurance license is passing your license exam. So why do we say the first step is pre-exam 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 Virginia, 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.

Virginia does not have a list of pre-exam education providers, but the best way to find a provider is to search the Sircon Virginia Continuing Education Search Tool and speak to some of the education providers about pre-exam education.

 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, Accident, & Health (LA&H) and Property & Casualty (P&C) lines are combined lines in Virginia, 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 $46 (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, Accident, and Health test consists of one hundred forty-five (140) questions. The test is broken down into two (2) sections: General Knowledge and Virginia Specific. Pearson Vue offers a copy of the Virginia Life, Accident, and Health Exam Outline.

The Property and Casualty test consists of one hundred forty (135) questions. The test is broken down into two (2) sections: General Knowledge and Virginia Specific. Pearson Vue offers a copy of the Virginia Property and Casualty Exam Outline.

To explain scoring of this exam, we will quote the Pearson Vue Virginia Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook,

 

"SCORE EXPLANATION

Equating and Scaling

There are multiple versions (forms) of each of the insurance licensing examinations. While all these forms are developed from the content outlines, the levels of difficulty of the forms may vary slightly because different questions appear on different forms. Since it would be unfair to require a candidate taking a slightly more difficult form to answer as many questions correctly as a candidate taking an easier form, a statistical procedure known as equating is used to correct for differences in form difficulty.

Example: It is established that a candidate must correctly answer 30 questions to pass Form A of an examination. When slightly more difficult Form B was compared to Form A, it was discovered that 28 correct answers on Form B represent the same level of knowledge as do 30 correct on Form A. Through equating, it can be determined that a passing score of 30 on Form A corresponds to a 28 on Form B. If the number of questions answered correctly (called the “raw score”) were reported to candidates, there would be a different passing score for each form. In order to keep the passing score constant for all forms, while the number of correct answers necessary for passing may vary from form to form, a second procedure called scaling is used. In the example, a candidate with a raw score of 30 on Form A and a candidate with a raw score of 28 on more difficult Form B would receive the same scaled score, because they each demonstrated equal amounts of knowledge.

For the insurance licensing tests, the range in which scaled scores can fall is between a low of 0 and a high of 100. These scaled scores are neither the number nor the percentage of questions 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 Virginia Insurance web page.

  Criminal History Record Report

After passing your exams, you must obtain a Criminal History Record Report through the Virginia State Police.

There will be a $15 fee to complete this 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 Virginia Bureau of Insurance at 804-371-9631.

To fill this requirement, go to the Virginia State Police Criminal History Report Tool, and follow these instructions.

Form: Select Form SP-167 Criminal History Record Name Search
Request Type: Criminal History Search
Purpose: OTHER
Specify Purpose: Insurance License

Mail Reply To: Candidate's Address (Not the Bureau of Insurance)

Once you have completed the form, print it, have it notarized, and save it for the next step.

 License Application

Once you have completed your exams and initiated your background check, 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 $15 per "license type", plus a small fee from Sircon. Note that Property and Casualty are regarded as one license type, while Life and Health are two separate types.  This means that if you are applying for all of those licenses, that your fee would be $45, plus the Sircon fee.

You must also upload your notarized Criminal History Record Report with the application.

Fill out and submit your online application on the Sircon Virginia website.

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 initiated by the application will also be reviewed.

If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued within fifteen to twenty (15-20) business days. 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 NIPR regarding the status of your license.

To check and see if your license has been issued, you may look yourself up in the Sircon Licensee Look-Up Tool.

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.

Virginia Bureau Of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Bureau of Insurance - State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1157
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: 804-371-9631
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/index.aspx

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.