Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Most insurance companies and states do not require an agent to have a college degree
  • If convicted of a felony, there is a pretty good chance that you will not be granted a license
  • If you have poor credit, this may cause your insurance license application to be denied

Being a car insurance agent can be rewarding but it is also challenging. There are a number of requirements that you need to meet not only to become an agent but also once you are an agent.

There are a number of steps that you need to follow in order to reach your dream of becoming a car insurance agent.

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Do Your Research


Starting a new career is a big step and it takes a lot of work and time to become successful. To ensure success and make sure that the insurance arena is the right career choice for you, take the time to research the industry.

It is worth making the effort now rather than starting the process and realizing that it is not the right path for you.

Speak with other car insurance agents from a variety of insurance companies.

Ask them how they got started in the business, what their experience has been like, and what their advice is. Let them know that you are interested in becoming an agent and ask them to be honest.

You may even choose to shadow one or multiple agents for a week. This is the best way to see exactly what being an agent entails.

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You may be considering becoming a car insurance agent as a high school student, college student, or as a professional in a different career.

Whatever stage of life you’re in, it is important to get whatever education you need to become an agent.

If you are planning on attending college, consider majoring in economics or business, as these areas tend to be preferred by agencies.

Even if you don’t plan on getting your bachelor’s degree, there are certain classes that will help prepare you for the insurance industry.

Classes that help hone your sales skills, as well as those that focus on public speaking, are important in regards to the communicating aspect of the job.

Examine Your Background


You must be 18 years or older in order to apply for licensure. You also need to be a resident of the state where you want to become licensed.

Your past can have an effect on whether you can become an insurance agent or not. Most states will do a criminal background check on insurance applicants.

If convicted of a felony, there is a pretty good chance that you will not be granted a license.

A misdemeanor may not have as much of a negative effect and is usually investigated on a case-by-case basis.

If you have poor credit, this may cause your license application to be denied.

If this happens and you really want to become an agent there are things you can do to help improve your credit, according to Smart Money.

Keep in mind that fixing your credit is not an immediate thing and it may take years for your score to be up to par for an insurance license.

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Licensing Requirements

Each state has requirements in regards to being licensed to sell car insurance. There are a number of ways you can get your pre-licensing education.

One is to go through the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, which offers a variety of programs and classes, including continuing education classes.

You can find the requirements for your state through the Insurance License Exam website. Once you have satisfied the required coursework, you will need to take and pass an exam in order to receive your license.

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Choose Where to Sell Car Insurance


One of the big decisions you will need to make once you have your license to sell car insurance is how and where you want to sell it.

If you choose to open your own agency, the good thing is that you have the opportunity and ability to make a lot of money.

The downside is that it takes a lot of work and is risky.

Owning your own insurance business means that it is up to you and you alone to find clients to purchase your products.

You might need a small business loan for expenses until you start making a profit.

When you work in another agent’s office, your overhead and marketing expenses are often paid for by your employer.

For many agents, the best scenario over time is to combine both options.

Once you feel comfortable with the insurance industry and talking to others about their insurance needs, you can step out on your own.

Some agencies will allow you to keep your current clients by paying a certain amount to keep the business, while in other situations you will be starting over again completely.

Continuing Education

The insurance industry transforms often and, as an insurance agent, it is important to keep up with all of the changes.

Each state, and often each insurance agency, set a requirement for the number of continuing education (CE) credits that are necessary and how often they are needed.

Most states require that you renew your insurance license every year.

Continuing education is required in order for you to renew it. There are a number of ways that you can obtain credits for continuing education.

You can take classes throughout the year or you can take a seminar that covers all the applicable topics. In some states, online classes count for credit.

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