Insurance Continuing Education
Investigating Insurance Continuing Education
Insurance continuing education, or CE, is a necessary part of any licensed insurance agent's career. Each of the 55 State Departments of Insurance (50 states plus the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories) requires licensed agents to achieve a certain number of acceptable CE credits before that agent is allowed to re-register his or her insurance license.
Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock once said, "I detest life-insurance agents; they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so." Although conviction may be the mark of a good insurance agent, it can only go so far. Insurance agents must also remain current in their field by participating in insurance continuing education programs.
The requirements for the number and type of CE credits differ by state. One CE credit is considered 50 minutes of educational time. All insurance continuing education courses must be approved and accredited by the individual State Department of Insurance.
Some state departments require licensed insurance agents to take courses in certain subjects. Check with your state department for further information.
For insurance agents who hold two different types of license, e.g. a Broker license and a Life Agent license, some continuing education programs are approved and accredited to provide CE credits that apply to both (called 'bridge courses').
Some good resources for agents researching insurance continuing education programs:
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is an 'organization of insurance regulators' that ensures the same quality and standards are upheld by all the state insurance departments. Find a listing of all the individual state insurance departments at www.naic.org.
CEU.com is a site that provides a number of accredited online CE programs for purchase. CEU.com says that 'the CFP Board of Standards, the CPCU Society, and the American College have also approved many of our courses for CE credit'. Credits and approved courses vary by state, be sure you check out the requirements.
The American Insurance Association (www.aiadc.org) is a national organization that focuses on property-casualty insurers and represents over 450 insurance providers. They offer information for those in the property-casualty field of insurance.