How to get an Ohio insurance license

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Before you can sell any type of insurance or discuss an insurance policy with a customer in Ohio, you must obtain an appropriate insurance license. Ohio requires licensing for property and casualty, home, life and health insurance, as well as variable products and annuities. The license requirement ensures that insurance producers are qualified to advise customers on coverages, deductibles, policy provisions and other aspects of insurance policies.

  • Determine which types of insurance you want to sell. Ohio requires separate licensing for property and casualty, life and health, limited lines and surety bonds.

  • Take a pre-licensing course through a provider approved by the Ohio Department of Insurance -- approved provider lists are available on the Ohio Department of Insurance website. Pre-licensing courses typically take about one to two weeks; however, some course providers conduct weekend classes that span three or four weeks. Fees vary by provider; however, they are usually between $250 and $400, as of June 2011.

  • Schedule your insurance licensing exam with Pearson VUE. The Ohio Department of Insurance exclusively uses Pearson VUE as its third-party testing provider, as of June 2011.

  • Arrive at the testing facility about 30 minutes before your scheduled exam, and bring two forms of identification.

  • Complete the computer-based insurance exam within the two-hour time limit and achieve a score of at least 70 percent. You will receive your score as soon as your complete the exam.

  • Submit to a criminal background check, which includes fingerprinting. The Ohio Department of Insurance uses National WebCheck vendors exclusively for this service, and provides a list of approved vendors throughout the state.

  • Pay the fee charged by the vendor, which cannot exceed $66, as of June 2011.

  • Request the National WebCheck vendor to submit the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Federal Bureau of Investigations results to the Ohio Department of Insurance. The vendor may submit the results either electronically or by mail -- although the vendor may charge a higher fee for electronic delivery, choosing the electronic option can help speed the process of obtaining your license.

  • Apply for a license through the Ohio Department of Insurance by completing the Uniform Resident Agent Application. The link to the application is available on the Ohio Department of Insurance website. You can submit the application and pay the fee online -- the fee for property and casualty, life and health and variable products is $10, as of June 2011.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take a self-study course approved by the Ohio Department of Insurance if your schedule does not permit taking classes in person.
  • The Ohio Department of Insurance will not grant a license to any person with a felony record.

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