How to Become an Insurance Broker in Illinois

An insurance broker aids clients in choosing the best insurance policy for their needs. Brokers sell property, casualty, life and health insurance policies, among other types. Unlike agents, insurance brokers are not employed by a single insurance company. They offer policies from many different companies, and they receive a commission for new business when a person or company pays for a policy. In Illinois, both insurance brokers and agents become qualified under a "producer's license." Find out how to become an insurance broker in Illinois.

Steps

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    Get a degree in business or finance. Although the educational requirements for broker's licenses are not strictly enforced, most brokerage firms are looking for candidates with a bachelor's degree in finance or business administration.
    • If you want to save time and money by earning an associate's degree, consider a degree in insurance or risk management that will provide in-depth analysis of the insurance industry.
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    Gain insurance industry work experience. Apply for entry-level jobs with insurance companies or non-profit organizations that help to provide insurance. You will want at least 3 years of experience before beginning the producer's licensing process.
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    Search for an entry-level insurance broker job with extensive training. Occasionally, brokerage firms hire people who have not yet been licensed, and they train them. You may want to search for an Illinois company that offers a training program, before applying for a license on your own.
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    Choose the type of producer's license you want to gain. This is called a "Line of Authority" and it specifies what type of insurance you will be allowed to sell. Lines of Authority include motor vehicle, business fire (property) casualty, accident/health, and personal lines of property or casualty insurance.
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    Enroll in your pre-licensing courses. Go to sbs-il.naic.org/Lion-Web/jsp/extcelookup/ProviderLookup.jsp to look up a certified provider of the pre-licensing requirements. You must have 20 credit hours per line of authority, with at least 7.5 hours in the classroom.
    • Motor vehicle line of authority requires 12.5 credit hours, with 5 hours in the classroom.
    • Request proof of your pre-licensing courses. You will need to show these before you take your Illinois producer's exam.
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    Obtain the Illinois Insurance Licensing Candidate Exam Handbook. You can download a PDF version of the handbook at insurance.illinois.gov/producer/License_exam_handbook.asp. Study the material to find out how to study and apply for the examination.
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    Schedule your examination by calling the Pearson VUE test center at 1-800-274-0402. Pay approximately $103 to take the test. You will know immediately after taking the exam whether you have passed.
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    Wait 5 days after passing your examination to apply for a license.
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    Apply online at the National Insurance Producer Registry, nipr.com. Input your personal information and pay your fees to apply for an initial producer's license in Illinois. Once accepted, the NIPR will submit the license information to the Illinois Department of Insurance.
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    Apply for your surety bond, if applicable. You may be required to hold a bond of $2,500 or 5 percent of the last year's brokered premiums. This is required to insure your work as a broker, and it must be held in the place of business.
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    Apply for a broker job in your line of authority. If you are not yet employed by a brokerage firm, it is a good idea to begin work as a broker for a firm. They can help you to receive your surety bond and learn important industry information.
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    Earn continuing education (CE) credits. You are required to submit proof of 24 hours of CE to the Department of Insurance before you renew your license. 3 credit hours must be in classroom ethics.

Things You'll Need

  • Bachelor's/associate's degree
  • Insurance work experience
  • Line of authority
  • Pre-licensing courses
  • Fees
  • Entry-level broker job
  • Surety bond
  • Illinois Insurance Licensing Candidate Exam Handbook
  • PearsonVue Insurance producer exam
  • NIPR application
  • Continuing education credits


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