When Taking Continuing Education Courses Is Necessary For Insurance Certification?

In order to protect consumers, states require insurance agents to be properly licensed. Unfortunately, for insurance agents, the requirements for certification vary from state to state. So just because you hold a license in one state does not mean that you can apply for a license in another state without taking state-specific insurance education courses. To further complicate matters, states require agents to take ongoing or continuing education classes in insurance in order to maintain their license. Thus, if you are going into the field of insurance or planning a move, you should look into what classes you will have to take in order to receive and retain a license. 

Initial Certification

You do not have to have a college degree to hold a license to sell insurance, but many insurance companies do require that their employees have a degree in business, accounting, math, or a related field. Whether you hold a college degree or not, however, you still have to take certification classes before you can apply for an insurance license in a state. This is to make sure you understand the tax laws, economic climate, and other factors that influence selling insurance in the state where you hope to have a license. 

Moving to a New State

When you move from one state to another, some of your certification credits may transfer, but you still may have to take state-specific classes. For example, tax laws differ from state to state, so just because you understand the laws that apply to selling insurance in one state does not mean that you know how the laws of another state differ. When moving to a new state, look for continuing education courses that offer classes that apply to selling insurance in the state you are moving to. The state licensing office should be able to point you in the right direction. 


Laws are not set in stone, and as tax laws change, you will need to keep yourself apprised of said changes. To ensure that you stay up to date, states require agents to take continuing education classes and to renew their certification from time to time. Don't put off license renewal classes to the last minute to ensure that you have a buffer of time to take care of any issues that may come up. 

If you are interested in a career in insurance or you are an experienced agent planning to move to a new state, make sure you take the time to look into what classes you will be required to take before you apply for certification.

For more information, contact BMF Continuing Education or a similar organization.