What licenses do I need to become an insurance agent or broker in New York?

What licenses do I need to become an insurance agent or broker in New York? | Insurance Business

What licenses do I need to become an insurance agent or broker in New York?

All insurance agents and brokers practising in the state of New York must obtain a license to practice from the state’s Department of Financial Services. Before a license will be granted, candidates must complete an approved line of pre-licensing education and pass the state licensing exam.

Agent and broker licenses in the state of New York can be issued to individuals, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies. Individuals and sublicensees must be at least 18 years of age.

Obtaining a property and casualty insurance (P&C) agent license

P&C agent licenses are issued under section 2103(b) of the Insurance Law. The New York Department of Financial Services says that in order to become licensed as a property and casualty agent, an applicant must:

  • Apply electronically online or submit a fully completed Property/Casualty Agent application form
  • Submit documentation showing successful completion of a Department approved pre-licensing education course, with no less than 90-hours of instruction
  • Submit documentation showing he/she has passed the state licensing exam prescribed by the Superintendent within two years of submitting the licensing application
  • Have an approved appointment from a sponsoring insurance company
  • Have an electronic payment or check payable to the Superintendent of Insurance for the license fee

What’s the standard term for P&C agent licenses?

The term for agent licenses is up to two years.

Are there any exceptions to these rules?

Yes. If you already hold a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Designation, you do not need to complete the 90-hours of pre-licensing instruction. You can also skip Part 1 of the qualifying examination, but you must take Part 2.

If you’re already licensed as a property and casualty broker, you can apply for an agent license without repeating the examination and requirements.  

If you fail to renew your license within two years of your previous license terminating, you must retake the qualifying examination, but don’t have to go through the education requirements.

Non-resident applicants (those who have declared a state other than New York to be their home state) are allowed to submit an application for a New York agent license, but they must have an active license and be in compliance in their current home state.

What is the standard P&C agent license fee?

The standard license fee for a resident license is $80. That includes those who apply for the license with their own name and those who apply with trade names. The fee for each sublicensee of a partnership, corporation or limited liability company is also $80 for licenses issued for more than one year, or $40 for licenses issued for a period of a year or less.

Obtaining a property and casualty insurance agent license

P&C broker licenses are issued under section 2104 of the Insurance Law. The New York Department of Financial Services says that in order to become licensed as a property and casualty broker, an applicant must:

  • Apply electronically online or submit a fully completed Property/Casualty Broker application form
  • Submit documentation showing successful completion of a Department approved pre-licensing education course, with no less than 90-hours of instruction, or a Statement of Employer (PDF) if qualified by experience
  • Submit documentation showing you have passed the state licensing exam prescribed by the Superintendent within two years of submitting the licensing application
  • Have an electronic payment or check payable to the Superintendent of Insurance for the license fee
  • Have an electronic payment or check payable to the Superintendent of Insurance for the license fee

What’s the standard term for P&C broker licenses?

Like the insurance agent license, the broker license lasts up to two years.

Are there any exceptions to these rules?  

Yes. If you already hold a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Designation, you do not need to complete the 90-hours of pre-licensing instruction. You can also skip Part 1 of the qualifying examination, but you must take Part 2.

If you’re already licensed as a property and casualty agent, you can apply for an agent license without repeating the examination and requirements. 

If you fail to renew your P&C broker license within two years of your previous license terminating, you must retake the qualifying examination, but don’t have to go through the education requirements.

Non-resident applicants are allowed to submit an application for a New York agent license, but they must have an active license and be in compliance in their current home state.

Furthermore, the Department of Financial Services states: “A person may be exempt from taking the required 90 hours of pre-licensing education if he/she is able to provide documentation of having been regularly employed by an insurance company, broker or agent for a period of not less than one year during the last three years in responsible insurance duties relating to the underwriting or adjusting of losses in any one or more of the following branches of insurance: fire, marine, liability and workers’ compensation, fidelity and surety, property and casualty.

“A person serving with the Armed Forces may also qualify on the basis of such experience if the one-year period of employment was during the three years next preceding his/her entry into the Armed Forces, and he/she applies within one year after discharge.”

More about the qualifying examination

Each major insurance line exam is in a multiple-choice format. The pass score required on each exam is 70%. Exams are provided by Prometric and can be reserved online, by phone, fax or mail.

The exam code for the Property and Casualty Insurance Agent/Broker exam is 17-56. It lasts two hours and 30 minutes. There is a total of 150 questions, including some unidentified “experimental questions” mixed in with the scored questions. According to A.D. Banker & Company, the “experimental questions” may not be covered in your pre-licensing educational materials and do not affect your final score.

When you complete the exam, you will find out immediately if you have passed. Your score will be displayed on the screen and you will also receive a printed score report, which will break down your percentage score for each major section in the exam. Those who don’t pass can rebook the exam immediately. Prometric will notify the Department of Financial Services of your exam results within two business days.

What are the major sections in the 17-56 exam?

There are 11 major sections in the 17-56 exam:

  1. Insurance regulation
  2. General insurance
  3. Property and casualty insurance basics
  4. Dwelling (2014) policy
  5. Homeowners (2011) policy
  6. Auto insurance
  7. Commercial package policy
  8. Business owners (2010) policy
  9. Workers’ compensation insurance
  10. Other coverages and options
  11. Accident and health insurance

*Information in this list was up-to-date on September 20, 2018.

What’s next?

Time to get your head in the books. Good luck!