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How to get licensed as an insurance agent in Texas

These step will help you navigate TDI requirements and properly comply with regulatory requirements.

  1. Do I need a license?

    Simply put, if you perform insurance related activities, you need a license. The law (4001.051) lists activities that require a license.

    Quick Test: Do I need a license? Ask yourself these questions…

    Do you:

    • Sell insurance on behalf of the insurer?
    • Send or receive insurance applications, other than on your own behalf when obtaining insurance?
    • Advertise insurance policies or applications?
    • Send or receive an insurance policy on behalf of an insurer?
    • Examine or inspect risks?
    • Send, collect, or receive insurance premiums?
    • Make or forward a diagram of a building for insurance purposes?
    • Examine or adjust a loss for an insurer?

    For some employees, there is a limited exception in the law for which they don’t need a license (4001.002 (b)).

    Quick Test: Am I exempt from licensing? Ask yourself these questions…

    Do you:

    • Act as an arbitrator in the adjustment process?
    • Act as an attorney, without being a local agent or and adjuster for the insurer?
    • Act as an Attorney-in-Fact or traveling salaried rep. of a reciprocal or interinsurance exchange, or Lloyd’s plan?
    • Act as a full-time salaried employee of an insurer, who is not involved in the sale of insurance?
    • Work with group motor vehicle insurance or a business or department of a company that engages in that business?
    • Act as a salaried employee who is not involved in selling insurance, and instead works full-time in a clerical or administrative position, including taking information and receipt of premiums in the office of an agent?

    Finally, if you are in a role that does not receive commission and your compensation does not depend on the premium amount generated, then you are exempt from licensing.

    Helpful Links:

    E&O Insurance

  2. What do I need?

    It depends on what you plan to sell. You may need more than one. The General Lines licenses are the broadest. The General Lines Property and Casualty license allows you to sell auto, home and business insurance. The General Lines Life, Accident and Health allows you to sell those types of policies. There are additional requirements if you plan to sell annuities or Medicare products.

    Helpful Links:

    General Lines Property & Casualty

    General Lines Life & Health

    Limited & Specialty

    Insurance Service Rep Personal Lines Only

    Managing General Agent

    Risk Manager

    TDI Info

  3. Where do I start?

    1. Take and pass an exam
    2. Get fingerprinted
    3. Apply for a license

    Pearson Vue handles the testing. They have prepared a candidate handbook to guide you through the process.

    Good news! You do not need to take an exam if:

    • Your license has been expired for more than 90 days, but less than one year.
    • You don’t live in Texas, but you have a license in good standing in a reciprocal state.
    • You have the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation.
    • You may also be eligible for a temporary or emergency license without an exam.

  4. How do I prepare for the exam?

    You can prepare with classroom, virtual and self-study options. There are also outlines that provide an overview of the test and an approximate number of questions for each subject.

    Helpful Links:

    Exam Outlines

    Classroom or Online-Kaplan

    On-Line

  5. What else is required?

    You will need to keep your information current. TDI has a form for address changes and new company appointments. You will also need to appoint your team as subagents if they don’t have an appointment from the company.

    Helpful Links:

    Licensing FAQ

  6. Can I do business in other states?

    Each state has its own licensing rules. You can apply for a non-resident license in any state. Most will require that you provide proof that your Texas license is in good standing. You can get a Letter of Certification from Sircon.

    Helpful Links:

    Letter of Certification

    Apply On-line - NIPR

  7. Continuing Education - What do I need to do?

    You must complete 24 hours of continuing education during your license cycle. That includes at least two hours of ethics. At least 12 of those must be either classroom or classroom equivalent (webcasts, for example.). There are additional rules if you are selling annuities or Medicare products.

    Helpful Links:

    Requirements

    TDI Information

    Online Education & CE

Need CE?

Check out IIAT’s classes and webinars.

Learn More
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Jim Gavin

Information Services Specialist

Thank You to Our Lead Underwriters

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