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How Do I Get My Auto Insurance Broker License in California?

If you wish to become an auto insurance broker, you're not alone. Thanks to the industry's excellent reputation and the potential that it provides for attractive compensation, millions of Americans aspire to sell insurance for a living. With relatively low barriers to entry and growing numbers of available jobs, the insurance industry is one of the most attractive non-specialized sectors in which to work.

Of course, becoming an insurance agent isn't as simple as filling out a one-page job application. In fact, it can take diligence, persistence and luck to obtain a license to sell auto insurance. In order to become an auto insurance agent, you must be prepared to spend a significant amount of money and take several months to complete the requisite tasks. While this might seem like a big commitment, your decision could produce a handsome long-term payoff.

First, you'll need to familiarize yourself with your state's licensing procedures. Since the insurance industry is regulated at the state level, each state government maintains its own fully-functional insurance bureau. This agency enforces state-specific insurance laws and holds the power to issue or deny licenses to prospective insurance brokers. In order to obtain your insurance license, you'll need to follow the rules that your state's bureau sets. If you aren't able to do this, you risk the denial or disqualification of your application.

California's insurance bureau requires all prospective insurance agents to submit to a thorough background check and credit report. You shouldn't be particularly nervous about this procedure: If you have minor criminal infractions or credit-related problems in your past, it's unlikely that the state's insurance bureau will care. On the other hand, felony drug convictions and financial crimes may present a problem. If you're worried about what might show up on your background check, you may wish to obtain one on your own to determine whether you should proceed with your application.

Once you've cleared your background check, you'll need to pay a hefty fee to reserve a seat at an examination facility in your area. Depending upon the specific license for which you're applying, you can choose from among several different varieties of the California Insurance Exam. If you wish to obtain an auto insurance license, you'll be able to take a test that specifically covers auto insurance. To ensure that you pass the test on the first try, you should devote at least two weeks to intensive studying. Once you've passed, you'll be cleared to receive your auto insurance broker's license.

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