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Do I need a license to work in the Insurance field?

I am currently in my second-year of post-secondary in the insurance field. However, I am not too sure if I need some sort of license after I graduate or if a bachelor's degree is good enough. In addition, if I do need a license, can I just do the license while I am still in school? Or do I have to wait until I graduate? If I do need a license, which ones do I need since I know there are many types?
Thanks!
insurance underwriting broker claims riskmanagement canada july20

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Christine’s Answer

Hi Jenny,

Whether or not you need an Adjuster's License depends on where you are. In the US, only certain states require a license. For example, I do claims for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. Massachusetts and Maine do not require an Adjuster's License but New Hampshire and Rhode Island do. You can apply for an Adjuster's License any time and you can usually get it and print it on line. I did not go to college but I earned a Senior Claims Law Associate degree through my job and the Insurance Institutes of America. I have been at my company for 24 years now. Start with some research into your local requirements for a Claim Adjuster's license. Good luck.
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Mike’s Answer

If you plan on working for a commercial insurance brokerage or agency, you will need to obtain a commercial producer license in the state you plan on selling insurance in. For instance, I started out my career on the broker side and live in IL. I needed to complete classroom hours and pass the test for the State of IL to obtain my property and casualty license for the state of IL. Recently, I moved to the insurance carrier (company) side as an underwriter. This does not require a license, but it is highly encouraged to pursue continued education/designations in the field. The specific company you work for will also eventually grant you "authority" to underwrite for them after being trained. As you decide what you want to do, just remember the different types of insurance fields you can work in are:
Commercial Insurance Agent (direct) - Works directly on behalf of a specific insurance company as a middleman trying to sell their products to customers directly (requires state producer license)
Insurance Broker - Similar to Insurance Agent, but are licensed to work with many different insurance companies to act as middleman to provide products directly to customers (requires state producer license)
Commercial Insurance Company/Carrier - Underwriters/Claims Adjusters/Loss Control Professionals who work with insurance/agents brokers who then sell the carrier product to customer (does not require producer license)
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Ibraheem’s Answer

Hi Jenny
To keep it simple- If you are going to see any type of insurance directly to the customer- you will need to have your license.
I noticed that you are from Calgary and Canada has specific requirements if you want to sell insurance. People who will be working with individuals or commercial will have to be licensed.
See website below for more information regarding License requirements:
https://www.insuranceinstitute.ca/en/insurance-education/licensing/Alberta
The information below is directly from the website
GENERAL LEVEL 1

• Option 1: CIP courses: C11 (or credit transfer) and C130. Must provide proof that the last exam was passed within 12 months of the submission of an application for licensing to the Alberta Insurance Council (‘AIC’)
• Option 2: Full CIP designation with proof that the last exam was passed within 12 months of the submission of an application for licensing to the AIC.

GENERAL LEVEL 2

• Option 1: CIP courses: C11 (or credit transfer), C130 and C131. Must prvide proof that the last exam was passed within 12 months of the submission of an application for licensing to the AIC
• Option 2: Full CIP designation with proof that the last exam was passed within 12 months of the submission of an application for licensing to the AIC.
Hopefully this information is useful to you-
Good luck!

Ibraheem recommends the following next steps:

https://www.insuranceinstitute.ca/en/insurance-education/licensing/Alberta
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Michael’s Answer

Depending on what area you go into within the insurance industry, you might need a license. For example, if you're a producer and working on the agency side of the business, you are required to be licensed. Claims also carries specific state licenses. No matter which field you enter, continuing education is critical in insurance regardless of whether you are required to carry a "license" or not.
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Samantha’s Answer

For certain roles in the insurance field, a license is required. However, there are positions that are not being an agent in the field where a license is not required. I would recommend researching a role you are interested in and looking at the qualifications needed in order to qualify for the position.
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Bill’s Answer

Jenny - My suggestion would be for you to complete your bachelors degree and work to find a entry level position in the insurance field you are interested in pursuing. In an entry level position, there typically aren't requirements to have a particular license. The employer will work with you to teach you about the role you are taking on and most likely there will be some sort of training program as well. During that training program, they may include the education piece for the particular license you will ultimately need and if not, they will at least be advising you of the up coming license you'll need once you are out of the training program and working on your own.

For now, just focus your efforts on completing your degree and doing so with a solid GPA and moving on from there.

Best of luck.
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Mary’s Answer

If you want to sell insurance to the individual or business seeking coverage then you need a license. If you want to work for a carrier who supplies the coverage then you do not need a license. Whatever career path you choose in insurance, you will need training. Starting in an entry-level position at an agency or broker can give a good start to learning how to sell to the end user. Or, you an start in an entry-level position at an insurance company/carrier and get the necessary training for either claims handling or underwriting.
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Michael’s Answer

Depending on what area of insurance you're entering, you may or may not need a license. For example, an insurance agent needs to be a licensed representative in the states they are doing business. Certain claims positions also require licensing. Personally, I think continuing education - whether through licensing or professional designations are critical within the insurance industry.
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Jason’s Answer

The insurance industry is very diverse. There are many different types of careers available. Some paths require licensing, others required a degree, many require various kinds of certification and some just simply a HS diploma.

If you are interested, I recommend applying for open positions. Many reputable insurance companies will offer their own training curriculum and will offer to pay for various certifications or self study for licensure.

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Keith’s Answer

Short answer. Yes. Insurance and any kind will require you to be licensed.

Longer answer. Depending on type of insurance path you are hoping to travel, the license requirement for the career you ultimately choose will determine how much education and industry knowledge you will be required to obtain.
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Rick’s Answer

It depends which area of insurance you plan to pursue and the state or country you will work. Most states in the US require agent licensing and about half of the states require claim adjuster licensing. I am sorry but I am not sure if you can obtain a license while still in school.
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Lisa’s Answer

I handle workers' compensation insurance in the US. I am required to be licensed in certain states, but not all.
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James’s Answer

Hello Jenny,

Underwriting - you don’t need a license so no additional license or education would be required (however, continuing education specific to insurance is advisable).

For Canada and Alberta, you will need to be licensed to interact with customers directly. This means that brokers and adjusters who advise and settle claims with customers are required to have licenses regardless of the post-secondary education.

The type of license depends on the role you are entering. The Alberta Insurance Council governs the licenses and administers the exams (probably not what you want to hear after graduating). These can be done in one session and depending on your knowledge, luck, etc you could have the entry license completed within a few weeks.

*most employers are understanding of this need to be licensed and will provide a 3 to 6 month window in order to complete the preliminary exam. There is a second exam which is permanent and doesn’t expire unless you allow it or don’t get education credits in a given year. All licensees are required to complete specific credit hours annually (eg 15 hours Alberta).

Hope this helps.

James recommends the following next steps:

Review AIC website
Ask myself or anyone else in the field if you have additional questions
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Peter’s Answer

Some great responses, but I would not worry about licensing requirements until you get into your first job. Internships are always great way to help get into an insurance industry, but most US employers don't care if you already have a license for the job you are trying to get. A lot of employers just want a person with certain academic qualifications and social skills, and then they will be train accordingly and help with any needed licenses.
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Carrie’s Answer

It depends on the type of insurance. For example I work for a Third Party Administrator and have for 15 years as an Operations Manager and don’t have a license.
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Lisa’s Answer

I handle workers' compensation insurance in the US. I am required to be licensed in certain states, but not all.
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