If you wish to work in the insurance industry in the state of Texas you’ll have to obtain the proper licensing. Whether you decide to become a life insurance agent or a property and casualty adjuster, you’ll need a license issued by the Texas Department of Insurance. Fortunately, modern technology makes it easier to go through the process. But, even though technology makes it easier, you still have to study and learn what’s required of a licensed Texas insurance agent.
Types of Texas Insurance Agent Licenses
The first thing you should do is determine the type of license you need. Texas has several types of insurance licenses. Agent licenses range from general lines (life, accident, health and HMO) to surplus lines. For a full listing of the types of licenses, visit the Agent and Adjuster Licensing page on the Texas Department of Insurance website.
Please note, all candidates must be at least 18 years of age
Prepare for the Insurance Exam
Texas does not have a pre-licensing education requirement. It is possible to sit for the exam without taking structured pre-licensing courses. That being said, you still need to be well versed in Texas insurance law and insurance practices in order to pass the exam.
The Texas Department of Insurance has contracted with PearsonVue to administer the states’ insurance exams. As such, there is a downloadable document available from the PearsonVue site that provides a content outline of the information you’ll be tested on. The Content Outline document is not a textbook or manual for studying purposes. As the name implies, it’s an outline of the information you should know to successfully pass the exam.
If the outline isn’t sufficient, you can contact one of the many organizations whose sole purpose is to prep you for passing the Texas Insurance Exam. Below are a few companies to contact:
Take the Licensing Exam
All exams are scheduled through the PearsonVue website. They also provide an in-depth Candidate Handbook to guide you through the procedure of scheduling and taking the exam. Please make sure when scheduling the exam that you use the correct exam code. For example, InsTX-PersPC55 is the exam code for personal lines property and casualty in English, while InsTX-PersPC75 is the exam code for the personal lines, property and casualty exam in Spanish. Here’s a link to all of the exam codes with their corresponding exam title
Please note, you must pay the exam fee when scheduling the exam. They do not accept exam fees on the day of the exam.
Fingerprinting and Background Check
To make sure insurance agents are trustworthy, the Texas Department of Insurance requires fingerprinting and background checks. After passing the exam, you must get fingerprinted the Department can run a criminal background check. Most candidates use IdentoGo for fingerprinting. Once it’s completed candidates send a copy of the receipt along with their application. This serves as proof that the fingerprints were sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
There are some instances where fingerprinting and background checks are not required. If you already have an active license (and are applying for an additional license) you’re exempt. Or if you don’t live in Texas, but provide a Certificate of Good Standing from your state or a criminal history record from your state’s law enforcement agency, fingerprinting isn’t necessary.
Completing the Insurance Application
Whether you’re applying for an agents license or an agency license, visit Sircon or NIPR (National Insurance Producer Registry) to complete and submit your application along with the necessary fee. Once your application is approved, you may print your license. To do so, visit the ProducerEDGE page on Sircon’s website and creating an account.
Texas Agent License in Good Standing
To maintain your Texas agent’s license, you must take 24 hours of continuing education every two years. If you do not complete the 24 hours of education prior to renewal, you will be fined $50 per hour not completed in a timely fashion. There is a cap of $500, but no cap for licenses that expired before June 1, 2018. In addition to the fine, you will not be able to renew your license until all classes are completed.