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How Insurance Brokers Stay Up to Date on Products and Regulations

December 14, 2018   |   by Alex Strautman

 

As a Health or Life Insurance broker (sometimes called an agent), earning your license is just the first step in your career. In California and Nevada (as well as other states), you are required to complete additional training hours to maintain your insurance license. California requires 24 hours of Continuing Education (CE) instruction during each two-year license period, including three hours of ethics training. Nevada requires 30 hours of CE Credits every three years, including three hours of ethics training.

The insurance industry is changing rapidly, and CE courses are designed to help you stay up to date on what’s happening and to help you better serve the needs of your clients.

It’s recommended you complete your required CE Credit courses at least 60 days in advance of your license expiration. That ensures the education provider has sufficient time to supply notice to the California or Nevada licensing authorities of your earned credits.

 

So, how can you go about earning your required CE Credits?

You can earn CE Credits in a variety of ways:

  • Completing online courses sponsored by state-approved education providers
  • Participating in state-approved in-person courses developed by a carrier or General Agent
  • Taking part in state-approved online training developed by a General Agent (California only)
  • Attending state-approved courses sponsored by a local, state, or national underwriter association

 

The costs for online training vary significantly depending on the sponsor. General Agent-developed courses are often available at no cost. Association-sponsored training may be included in the cost to attend a local, regional, or national event.

Among the California- and Nevada-approved vendors that offer a wide range of online courses for insurance professionals are the following:

 

Additional information on Continuing Education for California brokers is available here.

Nevada education provider information on can be found here.

 

Product and Service Training

Carriers often offer product and service training to brokers, although it may not qualify for CE Credits from the state. It depends on whether the information presented is general in nature, or targeted to a specific carrier.

General Agents may also offer product, service, and technology-related training – on their own or as part of an underwriting association program. This type of education may also not qualify for CE Credit. As a rule, General Agents and underwriter associations will clearly indicate on their event web or registration page whether a planned course qualifies for CE Credit (or whether CE Credit approval is pending with state authorities). If you are in doubt about whether CE Credit is available, ask the sponsoring group for information.

Podcasts, while informative, do not offer CE Credits. This is because podcasts are generally less than an hour in length, and participants cannot be monitored to ensure they fully listen to a recorded podcast.

 

Reminder

Not all courses count toward each state’s requirement on Continuing Education. Your course credits must relate to the type of license you hold. For example, if you are a Health or Life licensee, you cannot earn credit for a course on Property Insurance Fundamentals; however, a course on Health Insurance Fundamentals or Life Insurance Fundamentals would apply toward state-required credits.

In addition, you cannot earn credit for completion of a portion of a class. Because each course is approved for a specific number of hours, you will earn CE Credits only for your completed course work.

It is your course provider’s responsibility to notify the California Department of Insurance or the Nevada Division of Insurance of any earned CE Credits. You do not need to send your Certificate of course completion to your license authority. You should retain any certificates you receive as a record of your course work for five years.

 

Word & Brown Training

Word & Brown offers brokers both online and in-person training and CE Credits. For information on becoming a Word & Brown broker, and how you can take part in our upcoming courses, visit our future broker web page. Or, contact any of our six regional offices in California and Nevada.

 

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