How to Become an Insurance Broker in California
If you want to jump into the insurance industry, becoming an insurance broker is a great place to start. This article will give you a better understanding of what an insurance broker does and how to become an insurance broker in California.
What is an Insurance Broker?
A broker is an insurance intermediary who represents the insured rather than the insurer. They assist consumers who are seeking coverage. Unlike independent agents, brokers are not the legal representatives of insurers. This means they often do not have the right to act on behalf of insurers, such as to bind coverage. To bind coverage, the broker must hand off the account to an agent or insurer for the transaction to be completed.
Step One: Pick an Expertise
Most insurance brokers specialize and help clients find a specific type of policy. When preparing for your California license exam, you choose a specific area to specialize in.
What experiences and skill sets do you currently have? What insider knowledge do you have that will allow you to help your clients find the best coverage? What type of policies are you interested in? Some examples of specialties include: life, property, health, and casualty
Step Two: Meet California Licensure Requirements
Before you can become a California insurance broker, there are several requirements you need to meet first.
Pre-licensing Education: Before taking your licensing exam, the state of California requires you to meet specific education requirements. Some of these education requirements include classes in the expertise you have selected. To learn more about pre-licensing education, click here.
Submit Your Fingerprints: Before your license can be approved, you need to submit your fingerprints to the California Department of Insurance (CDI). To learn more about how the CDI requires you to do that, click here.
Schedule Your Exam: Before becoming a licensed insurance broker, you need to pass your California licensing exam. Schedule your exam ahead of time so you have plenty of time to study. You can schedule your exam here. Find additional information about the exam here.
Step Three: Take Your Exam
After you have completed your prelicensing education and submitted your fingerprints, it’s time to take your exam. To be admitted to your exam, you must bring proper identification. If your identification does not fit these requirements, you will not be admitted to take your exam.
You may feel some anxiety as you prepare to take your exam. Here are some good practices for making your exam the best possible experience it can be.
Get a good night’s sleep: Sleep is important when it comes to memory. If you’re tired, it’s hard to focus and even more difficult to remember what you studied. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep the night before your exam.
Eat a nutritious meal before your exam: Food is fuel. And eating a nutritious meal before your exam can keep you focused, alleviate headaches, and give you the energy you need to do your best. Don’t try any new food for the first time. You don’t want to be battling an upset stomach while trying to focus.
Get to the test early: You may already be anxious about your exam. Don’t add to that anxiety by running late. Plan to get to the testing site at least 30 minutes early. This way you give yourself adequate time to find the building, park, check-in, and use the restroom.
Once you have earned your license, you are ready to work as an insurance broker in California. You can work independently or as an employee.
A broker makes money through broker fees. These are a percentage commission on a policy being sold. Additionally, a broker may also make money by charging transactional fees to initiate changes or help to file claims. They can also make money through consulting fees.
After earning your license, you are required to continue your education to maintain your license. Depending on your specialization, the CDI requires a certain amount of continuing education hours. To learn more about continuing education requirements, click here.
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