CE for agents

Continuing education (CE), also known as continuing professional education (CPE), is a non-negotiable part of life for licensed insurance agents. It’s also sometimes required for others who work at independent insurance agencies, such as insurance adjusters and certified insurance customer service representatives (CISRs). Simply put, all insurance producers as well as some non-sales roles, will need continuing education to keep a valid license or other certification.

On top of keeping your insurance license valid in your resident state and any other states where you sell insurance, continuing education can increase your value as an expert insurance advisor to clients by helping you work towards insurance industry designations. Insurance professionals can earn specialized insurance designations by completing a series of CE credits and passing a final exam. But at its most basic level, insurance related continuing education doesn’t require you to go to that level of study. 

The requirements for continuing education for insurance professionals vary from state to state. In general, there are a few things that hold true: 

  • CE is required to maintain a valid insurance license and to renew your insurance license.
  • Even in states where insurance licenses don’t expire, continuing education is still required for a licensed agent to be considered “ready to sell.” 

Continuing education credits are largely reciprocal across state lines, thanks to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reciprocity agreement

What types of continuing education exist for insurance agents?

There’s a very large range of courses and seminars that qualify for insurance continuing education credits. Current course topics include everything from anti-money laundering to business writing skills to the fascinating world of viatical settlements.  

Some CE credits cost money, while others are offered free of charge, often by insurance carriers themselves. Since each state licenses insurance agents in one or more lines of authority, continuing education also tends to focus on topics that are specific to a line of authority. For example, continuing education on life and health insurance can be applied to the requirement for an agent licensed in life and health, but won’t do anything for an insurance agent who’s only licensed in property and casualty. 

For insurance producers who are licensed in more than one line of authority, some states allow you to take a combination of CE courses across different lines of authority as long as you meet the total number of required hours. There are also overarching insurance continuing education topics that apply to everyone and can count towards CE requirements for all license types—for example a course on ethics in insurance.

Automate your everyday tasks

Many agencies are still relying on human power for administrative duties. Over time this becomes incredibly expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient. Studies show that even experienced workers can spend upwards of 30% of their time just trying to find the necessary data to complete their work!

Doing things by hand just doesn’t scale, especially if the task no longer requires a human touch. If you’re aiming to grow your agency’s book of business and revenue, but you still rely mainly on people power, you could find the fruits of your labor quickly eaten up by administrative and operating costs.  

Where can I get insurance related continuing education?

The most common source of insurance CE credits is from private education companies that provide courses both in-person and online. There are dozens of them, and a quick online search will yield plenty of options. There are also opportunities to earn CE credits from seminars presented by insurance carriers, or by attending industry conferences and events.

What types of insurance CE should licensed agents pursue?

There’s no single answer to this question, but all things considered, here are some questions to ask that may help you determine the right insurance continuing professional education for you. 

  • Does the course meet your CE requirements for any or all lines of authority you’re licensed in? 
  • Does the topic interest you? 
  • Is the course affordable, or priced within industry standards?
  • Does the course count towards an insurance industry designation you’re looking to earn? 
  • Can you take the course online, at your own pace? 
  • Does your resident license state accept courses on this topic and from this CE provider? 
  • Can you complete the course far enough in advance of your license renewal date so that your state receives your completed credits?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you’re well on your way to completing your continuing education requirements. If not, don’t forget that there are a large number of course providers and ways to obtain your required CE hours. As long as you haven’t waited until the last minute to get those hours in before an upcoming license renewal, you should be able to meet your continuing education requirements with topics that really matter to you.

Thanks for reading our educational resource! Any above reference to a specific company, method, or product is meant for educational purposes only and is not specifically endorsed by Pie.