PA ABC's for new agencies
2. Obtaining your insurance license
The first step in starting your agency is to obtain your insurance license. In Pennsylvania, the process of obtaining a license is regulated by the PA Insurance Department through law.
Individuals desiring to become insurance producers must complete 24 hours of pre-licensing education (PLE) to be eligible to take the licensing examination. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Continuing Education Requirements
You are required by the state's licensing law to continue your education once getting licensed. It is extremely important for insurance agents to keep up to date on issues concerning clients. Changes in laws and state/federal regulations can affect the insurance needs of clients and the way in which agents conduct business. Agents can enhance their selling skills and broaden their knowledge of insurance and other financial services by taking courses and attending institutes, conferences, and seminars sponsored by IA&B. To understand the requirement of this state, IA&B has compiled the following reminders.
Here's the information you need to know to maintain and renew your producer license:
► If the producer adds a line of authority or lets the license lapse, the grandfathering feature is lost.
► If you sell Flood insurance, you must secure three hours of approved Flood “training.”
► Training is set and monitored by the specific Write-Your-Own (WYO) companies (or NFIP/FEMA).
► A one-hour training course on Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) prior to any sale, solicitation or negotiation of a Qualified Partnership Policy,
In addition, you must complete:
► A one-time, eight-hour training course. The eight-hour training may include the one-hour LTCP course referenced above; Producers licensed in A&H before 04/01/11 must complete the course by 04/01/12. Producers licensed in A&H after 04/01/11 must complete the course prior to selling.
► An ongoing, four-hour training course, to be completed once in every licensing period.
► Up to 24 hours of carryover credits are allowed in Pennsylvania.
► You may not earn credit for repeating a course in the same licensing period. Be particularly mindful of this if you hold a designation (e.g. CIC, CISR) that requires annual updates: Taking the same institute two years in a row will update your designation, but not count towards CE if it is taken in the same licensing period.
► The license renewal date is the last day of the producer's birth month.
► The CE requirement is per license, not per line of authority.
► You have up to the date of expiration to fulfill the CE requirement. The Department sends a notice of compliance 90 days prior to the expiration date of your license.
► If you let your license lapse by failing to timely renew, pay the fee, or complete the CE, you may, within one year, request reinstatement from the Department. You must submit the completed renewal form, the fee required, and verification that all CE has been completed for the previously licensed and lapsed period.
- If the request for reinstatement and required documentation is received within 60 days of the lapse, the Department will reinstate retroactively.
- If the request and documentation is received more than 60 days after the license lapse, the license will be effective the date of the reinstatement by the Department.
- If the lapse period exceeds one year, the person must reapply (and take the licensing exam).
► If you are unable to timely comply with the continuing education requirement or payment of a lapsed license as a result of military service or other extenuating circumstances, you may request a waiver from both the CE requirements and payment of the lapsed license fee. The request should include sufficient detail and supporting documentation to determine the necessity of the waiver. The Department will determine if there is good cause for waiver.
Continuing Education Opportunities
In order to assist you in staying professional and in good standing with the Insurance Department, IA&B has become a premier provider of continuing education courses for independent agents. IA&B offers many opportunities from one-day seminars on a variety of subject matters to more advanced and nationally-recognized designation programs. In addition to our core offerings, a number of organizations offer professional designation programs that certify an agent’s expertise. Although voluntary, such programs assure clients and employers that an agent has a thorough understanding of the relevant specialty.
IA&B offers these professional designation programs in addition to stand alone, one-day seminars on specialty topics: