Insurance License California: How to Get Insurance License in California

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An insurance license is a requirement for an insurer in California, to prove his qualification as an insurance provider or broker. If you want to get a life or health insurance license in California, this article provides information on the basic requirements you need to get an insurance license and also how to renew it. However, this does not exempt non-resident agents to get an insurance license in California

How Much Do Insurance Agents Make?

Captive insurance agents typically receive a commission of 5–10% on policies sold, whereas independent insurance agents earn 15% on policies sold.

Life Insurance License California

Generally, a life insurance provider has the authority to transact insurance products providing coverage on human lives including benefits of endowment and annuities; benefits in the event of death or dismemberment by accident, and benefits for disability income. It also provides coverage against risk as a result of unexpected circumstances such as; death, paying off debts, loss of family income, and business profits. 

How Do I Get an Insurance License in California?

A health insurance agent or broker license in California requires the applicant to take and pass a state-mandated licensing test, submit fingerprints for a criminal history check, and have their application accepted by the California Department of Insurance.

How Long Does It Take To Get Insurance License in California?

Once the Department receives the necessary paperwork, processing and approval of your insurance license normally takes 4 weeks. An email with a Department online link to access your insurance license will be sent to you upon acceptance.

Life Insurance Products

Life insurance provides different types of products to meet up with people’s needs. But all together, they are of two types which are temporary and permanent life insurance. Depending on the short or long-term needs of the individual. This provides the preference of choosing either temporary or permanent life insurance for the insured.

Temporary Life Insurance Products

Temporary life insurance stays for a certain number of years before it dies off. So you can choose any term in the policy. Common terms are 10, 20, or 30 years. This term is less expensive for long-term financial strength. The temporary products they provide include:

  • Decreasing Life Insurance: The insurance is renewable with coverage decreasing over the life of the policy at a certain rate. So you can purchase decreasing life insurance and renew it as it decreases.
  • Convertible Life Insurance: convertible life insurance allows policyholders to convert a term policy to permanent insurance.
  • Renewable Life Insurance: Renewable life insurance is a yearly renewable policy that provides a quote for the year when you purchase the policy. However, premiums increase annually and are usually the least expensive term insurance in the beginning.

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance lasts for an entire lifetime unless the policyholder stops paying the premiums or surrenders the policy. However, it is more expensive than the temporary one.

  • Whole life insurance: Whole life insurance accumulates cash value. The cash value enables the policyholder to run many things like; lending loans and paying policy premiums.
  • Universal life insurance: Universal life insurance is flexible and earns interest with a cash value. It also features flexible premiums which can be adjusted over time. The flexibility of this policy allows the insured to change the amount of insurance as the needs for insurance change. Furthermore, it is designed with a level death benefit or an increasing death benefit. The universal is of two types which include: Index and Variable universal life insurance.
  • Index Universal insurance: Here policyholders can earn a fixed or equity-indexed rate of return through the cash value component
  • Variable universal insurance: This allows policyholders to invest the policy’s cash value in an available separate account. It also has flexible premiums and can also be designed with a level death benefit or an increasing death benefit.

Life and Health Insurance License California

Life and health insurance provide insurance against financial loss as a result of accidents and sickness. It compensates the individual if there are any medical expenses. They also protect against loss of income the individual encountered due to accident or sickness. they also write health insurance for individuals and groups. This includes medical expenses, hospital indemnity, major medical, hospital, surgical, disability, cancer, accident, dental expenses, eyeglasses, prescription medication, and other health-related expenses. The life and health insurance products include; disability Income Insurance, Credit disability income insurance, 24-hour care coverage, and long-term care.

Insurance License California Requirements

Requirements to get a life and health insurance license in California includes:

#1. Complete an Insurance Prelicensing Course

California requires those seeking a life insurance license to complete the prelicensing course that is certified by the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The California pre-licensing insurance courses cover the various insurance concepts, definitions, insurance laws, and agent regulations listed on the California Pre-Licensing Educational and Examination Objectives. Courses are presented in a clear and concise format and include instructional videos, interactive illustrations, practice exams, and student support.

Insurance license requirements in California for National Online Insurance School imply that applicants should take any of the listed courses below. Each course includes the required 12 hours of Ethics and the California Insurance Code. 

Prelicensing Education Hour Requirements

  • Life, Accident & Health: 52 hours
  • Life: 32 hours
  • Accident & Health: 32 hours

However, if you can complete the course. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) will award you a Certificate of Course Completion upon passing the pre-licensing course final exam.

#2. Pass the California Insurance License Exam

When you complete your pre-licensing insurance course, ensure to register with PSI Services to take your state insurance exam. You have to prepare sufficiently to pass the exam so that you don’t repeat it. Also, applicants must maintain a duplicate copy of the certificate of Completion and submit the original certificate with their license application. Prelicensing certificates of completion are valid for three years from the date of course completion.

If you want to schedule your exam reservation online, create an account on the PSI Exams website. Follow the instruction below on how to register for the state exam.

  • Create an account on the PSI Exams website 
  • Click on the ‘Register for the State Exam’ button
  • Afterward, Click on the CA Department of Insurance from the ‘Select Organization’ dropdown menu
  • Then select your exam from the ‘Select Test’ dropdown
  • The information concerning your exam will show on the page. Then click the ‘Continue’ button at the bottom of the page to complete your registration

#3. Fingerprints Submission to State

Electronic fingerprints are one of the requirements for issuing an insurance license by the California Department of Insurance. This is to ensure that applicants do not have a disqualifying criminal or social services background that would prevent them from being licensed insurance agents. In effect, you have to take your fingerprints before the license examination. You can schedule an appointment to submit electronic fingerprints on the day of your exam at a PSI testing site or CDI testing site. Also, get a completed Live Scan Request, form LIC 442-39A with you on the day they will check your fingerprints.

Resident candidates taking an insurance exam for the first time must have proof of fingerprint. However, if you have already submitted electronic fingerprints within the past 12 months for a previous insurance exam, you may not submit a new set of fingerprints. You can contact the California Department of Insurance to verify if you will need a new set of fingerprints.

#4. Complete an Insurance License Application

Once you have passed your state insurance exam you can apply for your insurance license through the CDI website. You will have to complete and submit your California insurance license application. Afterward, You’ll need to provide your basic personal information. A certification that you’ve completed the education requirements and also information about your work history and experience. Finally, before the CDI will process your application.

Why Do Insurance Agents Quit?

They have irrational expectations. Too often, insurance agents obtain their license and expect to easily earn more than $100,000 each year. The truth is quite different. It is difficult to get into the insurance sector, and having high expectations can set you up for disappointment and failure.

What Disqualifies You From Getting an Insurance License in California?

DUI, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, misdemeanor, felony, military violation, etc. convictions; and any outstanding criminal charges at the time of application submission.

Non-resident Insurance License California

If you are a non-resident and you want to apply for an insurance license in California. If your state requires continuing education hours, you don’t need to comply with California continuing education requirements. But, if you vend for long-term care, you must complete a California 2004 8 Hour Long-Term course from an approved California education provider. “Cal. Ins. Code section 1675” allows licensed agents in good standing in another state, who move to California, to waive the examination requirement as a condition to obtaining a California resident license. However, you must complete the 12-hour California Code and Ethics course before the license can be issued to you. The agent must apply for the resident license within 90 days of canceling the license in their previous home state. 

Renew Insurance License California

Life and health insurance license in California expires every two years. The expiration will be on the last day of the month you were issued your license. This means that if you were licensed on an even-numbered year, your license will expire on the last day of your issuance month in the next even-numbered year.

However, if you want to renew your license in a state like California do not require taking another exam from the state. Though, this depends on the format of your continuing education. It is prudent to take a short knowledge test at the end of the course to be sure that you understand important insurance concepts, laws, and regulations. You have to renew your license to help keep any non-resident insurance California license you have in good standing. You will still need to pay the license renewal fee for non-resident licenses held in other states. Once you are within 90 days of your license expiration you have to renew your insurance License in California. However, the renewal will not go into effect until your continuing education is complete. When you complete this process, your license will be renewed. 

Insurance License California FAQs

How long does it take to get insurance license in California?

The Department typically requires 4 weeks to process and approve your insurance license, once they receive your document.

How many times can I take the California insurance exam?

A candidate that fails any insurance licensing examination ten times within the previous 12 month period will be barred from taking the same exam for 12 months.

Can I take the California insurance exam online?

Yes. Individuals may schedule their examinations with PSI either online or by telephone. On the day of the examination, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled examination.

What disqualifies you from getting an insurance license in California?

Any criminal convictions (except juvenile offenses) (This includes DUIs, reckless driving convictions, driving on a suspended license conviction, misdemeanors, felonies, military offenses, etc.); and. Any criminal charges pending at the time you submit your application.

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