Insurance Continuing Education – Credit Requirements
Insurance continuing education hours can be obtained in a variety of different ways. Every state regulates how many credits an insurance agent needs every one to two years. Many states allow an agent to complete their education online as opposed to sitting in a classroom for 12-24 hours. If you decide to sit in a classroom you just have to listen to the instructor and no final exam is required. The instructor will go over the book chapter by chapter and you will have to sign an affidavit stating that you attended. If you decide to take your insurance continuing education credits online there will likely be a final exam at the end. You should read the book before hand so you know what to expect on the exam. Some states require a monitor present during the exam while others allow open book exams. If a monitor is required you will have to find a third party to physically watch you complete the test. They will then sign an affidavit and fax it to the school. Make sure to find an approved provider before purchasing any courses. If a monitor is not required you are able to use the book to look up the answers to the exam questions. No affidavit is required.
To be on the safe side contact an approved provider to see how many credits you need to complete. Every state requires a different amount of credit hours. They also require you to complete your education at different times. Sometimes you must complete your courses by your birthday to stay in compliance while others use your license date. Make sure to find out the exact date, number of credits, and required courses so you do not receive any fines by the state. Worst case scenario, the state could suspend or even revoke your license.
In many states insurance continuing education credits may also be transferred over to the following year. Again, this is a case by case situation depending on the state. Many states also have a rule in place about duplicate courses. An agent may not complete the same course with the same school within a two year period. That is why many providers have more than one ethics course or annuity course. Most states require the agent to take an ethics course every two years; it just cannot be the same ethics course they took the year before.