Licenses are issued to applicants who complete specified insurance education courses and who pass state tests. The exam is required to confirm you have the necessary knowledge to sell policies. You must have the ability to meet your clients’ needs. The testing confirms that you understand the regulations and the products available.
Insurance was designed to help people recover from a financial loss due to accidents. It should leave the policy holder in the same financial condition as before the accident, minus any deductibles. Policies with high deductibles are more affordable than those with low deductibles. Since the risk to the company is less because of the deductible, the cost can be lower.
The money from the sale of all of the policies is put into a pool. When some of the customers have losses, money is pulled from that pull. If there are too many losses, the pool is diminished, so the rates must be raised. In extreme conditions, like in often-flooded coastal areas, the sale of flood insurance may be dropped by a company. There are strict regulations concerning when this can be done.
The only people authorized to sell policies are licensed agents. Each type of policy requires that a license be held. Some of the types include life and health or property and casualty. When looking for the required test, look for the relevant number of the test. They are named using numbers, like Series 63 or Series 6.
For financial advisers who will be selling stocks and bonds, another test is required. The Series 7 is a detailed exam that covers all aspects of investing and risk management. It is a very difficult test. Most people study for it for several months before attempting it.
Obtaining a license is only the first step. It is an ongoing process to keep the license in effect. Each state has specific requirements for continuing education so that the agents continually update their knowledge. Most of the courses are self-study and many can be completed online.
At minimum, a bachelor’s degree is required for potential insurance sales people. They are hired on a probationary basis and must complete the requirements for the licensing within a certain period of time. When getting a bachelor’s degree, those who look forward to a career in insurance get a major in business courses. Other courses in public speaking are also very helpful. Daily interaction with customers or groups of customers is mandatory.
Serve your clients better by taking advantage of all of the insurance education available. It is not only for passing tests. It is for ensuring you know as much as possible about the industry so you can provide exemplary service. While similar in content, each area has its own rules for educational requirements.
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