Insurance agents, representatives and others who have contact with the public must earn licenses issued by the Florida Department of Insurance. This state agency licenses Resident Customer Service Representatives with the 4-40 license. Earning the 4-40 is a fairly straightforward matter of either passing a short class or taking an examination.
You must be 18 years of age, a Florida resident and a legal resident of the United States to obtain the 4-40 license. You must also have a valid visa and work permit if you are a temporary resident. With the 4-40, you must work as a salaried employee; you cannot work on commission, write insurance policies or handle insurance outside of the business that employs you. State law provides several different paths for the 4-40 applicant.
A common method of attaining the 4-40 license is through a "designation" course, known officially as the Certified Insurance Representative Designation. Florida's Department of Insurance sets down course requirements, which include modules covering ethics, office management, customer relations and licensing requirements for insurance agents. A designation course will also prepare you with the general outlines and practices of the insurance business, and the various "lines" which insurance companies may offer. These include auto, life, homeowners, flood, general liability, workers' compensation, marine and health.
You may also attain the 4-40 with six months of professional insurance experience, or with a Letter of Clearance that proves you held a property and casualty insurance license in another state for at least one year. An associate's or bachelor's degree from an accredited college and a transcript showing at least nine hours of insurance courses also allows you to bypass the course and examination requirements.
If you successfully complete a designation course, you do not need to take the state's 4-40 license examination. You can also attain a 4-40 license by simply sitting for the exam. With a passing score on this test, you do not need to provide any certificates or complete any designation courses. The 4-40 license permits you to work as a customer service representative for one year, while in the employ of a licensed agent. In order to achieve the certificate required of an insurance agent, you must complete the courses and examination required for the 2-20 license.