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How to Become a Licensed Insurance Agent or Broker in New York

New York

To become a licensed insurance broker or agent in the state of New York, applicants must be at least 18 years old, reside in the state and be a US citizen.

Before making a decision to become licensed in New York, candidates should become familiar with the types of licenses New York has to offer.

New York Insurance Licenses

New York offers four types of insurance licenses as follows:

  1. Life, Accident and Health insurance agents
  2. Property and Casualty insurance agents
  3. Life, Accident and Health insurance brokers
  4. Property and Casualty insurance brokers

All licenses require the candidate to have adequate insurance knowledge and/or pre-licensing education. The major difference between an agent and a broker is the agent represents the insurance company while a broker represents the insured. Agents are appointed by an insurance company and work on behalf of the insurance company. Brokers represent the insured and have access to several insurance companies.

New York Life Accident Health Pre-licensing Education Requirements

To become a life, accident and health insurance agent or broker, candidates must take no less than 40 hours of pre-licensing education courses. There are conditions however where the pre-licensing courses can be waived. Applicants that hold a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation, or Chartered Underwriter Associate Designation (for agents) a Chartered Financial Consultant or a Master of Science in Financial Services designation (for brokers), are exempt from taking the pre-licensing education classes. This also waves the requirement for taking part one of the licensing exam.

In addition to the above-mentioned designations, if a broker candidate can show hands-on experience in the life, accident and health field such as being employed by an agency, broker or insurance company continually for a period of at least a year, he may forgo the education requirements. Keep in mind that the candidate must have actual life/health and accident experience; working as a file clerk in a brokerage firm doesn’t count.

Current life, accident and health insurance agents who wish to become brokers and visa versa do not have to sit through the pre-licensing classes. They do however have to sit and take the state exam.

New York Property & Casualty License Education Requirements

Similar to life agents and brokers, property and casualty candidates must complete 90 hours of pre-licensing education course hours. Property and casualty candidates that hold the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriting (CPCU) do not have to sit for the 90-course hours nor take part one of the state licensing exam.

Property and casualty broker applicants (not agents) with hands-on insurance experience working either with an insurance company, agency or brokerage firm for a period of at least a year are exempt from the 90-course hour requirement. They must have handled all lines of coverage including workers comp, liability, property, surety, fidelity, marine and fire.New York

Currently licensed property casualty brokers who wish to become agents and visa versa do not have to sit for the required course hours. They do however have to take the state licensing exam.

New York State Insurance Licensing Exam

After completing the necessary education or obtaining the appropriate education waiver, candidates must take the state licensing exam. The New York State Department of Insurance uses PSI to administer all of its state insurance exams. To schedule the exam visit their website at PSIexams.com. PSI offers a comprehensive 74-page downloadable bulletin that is very helpful to all New York State insurance candidates.

After passing the state’s insurance exam, download and complete the appropriate licensing application and forward it to the Department of Insurance along with the processing fee.

New York Nonresident Agents/Brokers

To become a nonresident licensed insurance broker or agent in the state of New York, applicants must currently hold a valid license in their home state and be in good standing. Such applicants do not have to take pre-licensing classes or take the state exam. All they have to do is submit the appropriate application along with a certificate from their home state’s Department of Insurance stating they are currently licensed and in good standing. The fee for a non resident’s license varies by home state.

Maintaining a New York Insurance License

New York insurance broker and agent licenses are valid for a period of two years. Within that period of time, all licensed insurance professionals must take 15 credits of continuing education prior to the renewal of the license.

About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a former insurance broker who is now a freelance writer.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Habiba Drummond December 18, 2015, 1:23 am

    I’d like to know about how i can work from home if I am a licensed agent in NYS with experience. Please advise. Thanks.

    • Felicia A. Williams December 19, 2015, 5:17 pm


      You say that you have experience, but you didn’t mention what type of experience. It also depends on the type of insurance license you have. Is your experience in sales or client servicing? Is your license Life, property/casualty or personal lines?

      If your experience is in sales, then it’s easier to work from home because sales people are not expected to be in the office. Client servicing, on the other hand, is a bit trickier. If you work for an insurance agent or broker you have to establish yourself as a trustworthy employee before they’ll consider allowing you to work from home.

      I guess I need more information before I can provide a more complete answer.

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