People that sell insurance coverage have different avenues in which they can become proficient. There is health, life, annuity, retirement planning, home, auto, and even disability. With so many types it can be confusing for one person to stay knowledgeable. Laws and regulations change constantly so they need to be able to advise their customers on the latest information. This is why insurance continuing education is a necessary requirement. Courses must be taken on an annual basis. These can now be taken online instead in the classroom. There are ramifications for those that do not comply with completing their educational requirements.
While most people do not know the qualifications required to become an agent they do understand that the person should know what the latest trends are in the marketplace. The state where they have a license determines the number of hours necessary. If a person holds multiple licenses, some state may exempt a certain number of hours from being taken. But to be certain of the regulations it is important to contact the governing body responsible for setting the educational requirements.
When a person sells coverage they receive personal data and information from each of their clients. This can be used in a negative manner. The insurance board wants to make sure that this does not happen so they require an ethics course to be taken by each person every year. They feel that this will help to deter agents from making bad decisions whether they realize they are making them or not. Even if you do not know something is wrong is no excuse. An agent can lose their credentials regardless of this fact.
Classroom courses were the only choice that agents had to meet their educational requirements. Now online learning is available which is cheaper and faster. It also allows students to be able to learn where ever they are. This can be at home, work, while traveling, or even or vacation. Some self study may also be credited where appropriate.
Although classes are needed to stay an agent, you need to be certain of the school that is offering the subject material. Unless they are approved and have proper credentials you could be taking courses that will be of no value to you. Verify their credentials before you spend any money.
Is it possible that you might not need to take courses? Is there an exemption available for your state? To find out you should ask the insurance board or commissioner. They can advise you on what the current regulations are to opt out and if you meet them.
Do not let your license expire. This happens when you do not complete the training courses needed for credits each year. You can default on policy commissions and income. Many companies provide bonuses and incentive trips for their top sellers. As an agent that cannot sell policies you will not be able to participate. You will need to take all the basic courses over again. This can take time which you may not have.
Insurance continuing education is needed by agents that want to stay current on events happening in the insurance industry. This may also be needed if you want to expand into other related fields and broaden your customer base. This cannot be done unless the requirements have been met.
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