How to Become an Insurance Broker in California
These research policies are offered by several insurers, ensuring that their clients get the coverage they need for the best price. Brokers can work on behalf of individuals, companies or organizations, and are usually specialists in a particular type of policy. Most work on commission, and the median salary is $48,210. You can follow these steps to become an insurance broker in California.
Planning for a Career as an Insurance Broker
Identify opportunities – To get your insurance license takes time, hard work, and money, so you will want to make sure that your efforts will pay off. Make sure that there are lots of good opportunities in your area. You may even think about applying to insurance companies that offer financial support to pursue your insurance license. If you are not working for an insurance company, it will be very difficult to obtain the additional training and resources that you will need to work as an insurance broker.
Think about your skillset before pursuing a license as a California insurance broker – Many licensed brokers recommend that aspiring brokers have certain skills and industry knowledge before embarking on a career in the industry.
Decide what kind of insurance you want to specialize in. All aspiring brokers should obtain required coursework and a licensing exam in the area of specialization they choose. Specialities in California include.
- Life insurance brokers sell products providing coverage on human lives, including life insurance, annuities, and funeral and burial insurance, which provides for the cost of funeral and burial expenses.
- Accident and health insurance brokers sell mostly health insurance, which pays the medical expenses incurred by the policyholder as a result of accidental injury or illness; and disability insurance, which covers lost income.
- Property insurance brokers provide coverage for the loss or damage of property of any kind, including insurance for business property, crop insurance, livestock insurance, earthquake insurance, equipment breakdown insurance, flood insurance, homeowners or dwelling insurance, and inland marine insurance.
- Casualty insurance brokers, often known as liability insurance brokers, provide coverage against legal liability, including that for death, injury, disability, or damage to real or personal property. The common form is automobile insurance, but there are many other lines.
- Personal lines brokers provide insurance specifically for individuals, as opposed to companies, and can include the following policy types: automobile insurance, residential property insurance, including earthquake and flood insurance, personal watercraft insurance and umbrella or excess liability insurance.
- Limited-lines auto brokers sell, solicit or negotiate automobile insurance for private use, liability coverage, physical damage coverage and collision coverage.
- Bail agents issue bail bonds on the behalf of insurers.
Speak with an insurance broker. There is no better way to get a feel for the type of speciality that suits you than to talk with a practising insurance broker. He or she can give you details on the nature of the work, pay, hours and more.
Getting your License
- Complete the required prelicensing education for your speciality.
- Study for the licensing exam. The content of your exam will be based on the insurance speciality that you chose. Use the materials provided in your pre-licensing course to study for the exam. Questions on the exam consist of fictional scenarios, questions about specific policies and questions about California laws regarding insurance.
- Submit your fingerprints. This can be done prior to or at your licensing exam. Obtaining your fingerprint impressions before the test minimizes the risk that there will be a delay in issuing your license.
- Obtain the insurance licensing examination for the type of insurance – The computer-based tests range from 1.5 to 2.5 hours and cover 60 to 150 questions. The Candidate Information Bulletin provides information on how to prepare for the exam, examination site procedures, sample exam questions, test-taking strategies and driving directions to test centres.
- Apply for a license online using the Fast Licensing Application Service (FLASH). You will need to provide information for both a background check and a credit check. If, after its investigation, the CDI learns that you withheld or distorted information, your application may be denied.
Working as an Insurance Broker
- Submit documents demonstrating financial security before transacting, soliciting or negotiating the sale of insurance. Your license will not let you act as an insurance broker till you have submitted these documents. Different specialities have different requirements.
- Submit one of the following if you are specializing in property, personal or casualty insurance.
- Submit following if you are specializing in life, accident and health, or auto insurance. In these specialities, you must have an appointment with an insurance company or the sponsorship of an agency to begin working.
- Submit all of the following documents to begin working as a Bail Agent:
- Consider working at a brokerage firm. If you are want to specialize in life, accident and health, or auto insurance, you will need an appointment from an insurance company or a job with an agency before you begin selling insurance.
- Search online job search sites to find a job. Job search sites like Indeed.com and CareerBuilder.com can help you find job openings. Search for jobs that you are certified to do, like insurance broker positions in your speciality area. You can apply for these jobs online as well.
- Apply directly to local insurance brokers. If you know of some insurance firms in your area, you can apply directly to them. Go to the firm with a copy of your resume. Wear professional attire, like a suit, when you go to apply for a job. Be pleasant and polite.
- Complete continuing-education classes to maintain your license. Brokers in California must complete a certain number of hours of continuing education per two-year license-renewal cycle: