How To Become An Insurance Agent In Virginia
Getting your insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in Virginia. Life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, or business insurance all require a license to sell in any state.
Follow our step-by-step guide to get your insurance license in Virginia.
How To Get Your Insurance License In Virginia
Step 1. Which Types of Insurance Licenses Do You Need?
Depending on what type of insurance agent you want to be or what types of policies you need to sell, you will need to choose what type or types of insurance licenses you need to get.
These are examples of the types of insurance policies you can sell with each type of license:
- Property & Casualty Insurance License – Car Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, etc…
- Life & Health Insurance License – Life Insurance, Annuities, Health Insurance, etc…
Most insurance agents choose to get both of these licenses, but if you will only sell one type of policy then you just need to choose which license fits your needs.
Step 2. Insurance Pre-Exam Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, it’s time to begin studying for the Virginia insurance exams.
Virginia 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.
Step 3. Virginia 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 $51 (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, Annuities, 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 the exam results, we will quote the Prometric Virginia Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook:
At the end of the exam, the score will be shown on the screen and you will receive an emailed score report. The report indicates the overall score and grade, including the numerical percentage of questions answered correctly and whether you passed or failed. The report also displays the correct percentage in each major section of the exam, as defined by the exam content outline. These section scores are shown to guide you, or your employer and/or trainer, about areas requiring additional preparation for retesting if you do not pass the exam. Even after you pass, you may want to focus on these areas as you begin to provide insurance products and services to the public.
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.
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 Prometric Virginia Insurance web page.
Step 4. 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
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.
Step 5. 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, 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.
Step 6. 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.
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 Licensing, What's Next?
Now that you have your license, use the StateRequirement Job Board to find the opening to your new career.
Virginia Department Of Insurance Contact Information
Bureau of Insurance – State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1157
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 371-9631
Email: [email protected]
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in September 2020.
Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.
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