Types of Insurance Licenses | StateCE

If you’ve decided to become an insurance agent, the next question you’ll need to answer is, “What kind of insurance agent do I want to be?” Different insurance licenses enable you to sell various kinds of insurance. If you have a property and casualty license, for example, you’ll be allowed to sell policies such as homeowners’ and renters’ insurance. If you have a life and health license instead, you’ll be able to sell coverage such as term and whole life insurance as well as health insurance.

You can hold more than one kind of insurance license if you want to offer several different lines of coverage. While the requirements vary by state, you’ll normally have to complete a certain number of continuing education credits in a designated time period for each license you hold before you can renew them.

An Overview of Insurance Licenses

An insurance license of any sort is a state-issued document that gives you the legal right to sell a certain kind of insurance within the boundaries of the state that authorized your license. To sell insurance in another state, you’ll normally have to apply and pay a fee to obtain a license to conduct business in that state.

While every state has its own requirements for people to get an insurance license, many states have reciprocal agreements which prevent an agent who’s already licensed in one state from having to pass an exam to get a similar license to sell the same kind of coverage in another state.

Whether you plan to earn an insurance license in your home state or you’re already an established agent who’s thinking of getting an insurance license in another state, you’ll have several license types to choose from, including:

  • Fire and Casualty Insurance License: If you want to work as an insurance representative, sell insurance, or open your own agency, you’ll typically have to acquire a fire and casualty license. With this kind of license, you can sell products offered by property and casualty insurance carriers, such as car insurance, motorcycle insurance, and earthquake coverage. You’ll also be able to sell long-term care insurance and bodily injury coverage with this type of license.
  • Personal Lines Insurance License: Unlike a fire and casualty insurance license which allows you to sell both personal and commercial coverage, a personal lines insurance license enables you to sell personal insurance only. The coverage you can sell with this kind of license includes automobile insurance, umbrella insurance, and coverage for personal watercraft. If someone wants to increase the limits which are included in their car insurance policy, you can sell them an excess liability policy if you hold this kind of license.
  • Life-Only Insurance License: If you carry a life-only insurance license, you’re allowed to sell insurance policies which relate to a person’s life. This kind of coverage includes disability insurance, life insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment coverage. You can ordinarily find the specific products you can sell if you have this license printed on the back of your license.

As you can tell from the brief list provided above, insurance licenses are offered for broad insurance lines as well as limited ones. While the list of lines varies by state, Ohio’s list of major insurance lines includes accident and health, casualty, life, personal, property, and variable life and variable annuity products. The state offers a long list of available limited lines insurance licenses, including a crop insurance license, rental car insurance license, and a funeral expense insurance license.

While our list of insurance licenses gives you a very basic idea of the kinds of licenses available in many states, it’s advisable to check with your state’s department of insurance to see what your options are. Once you have your insurance license, remember to satisfy your continuing education requirements at StateCE before it’s time to renew your insurance license.