5 simple steps to become a licensed insurance broker in any state in one month (2023)

Becoming a licensed insurance broker is quick and relatively cheap, but the process is incredibly confusing. In this article, I’ll show you how it’s done, step-by-step, including: (1) taking pre-licensing courses and exams, (2) passing the licensing exam, (3) applying for the license and paying the fee, and (4) securing a broker bond. Then, I’ll discuss the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) certification and provide my best study tips. Finally, I’ll preview the roadmap to your success as a broker.
5 simple steps to become a licensed insurance broker in any state in one month (2023)
Written by
Published on
May 17, 2023
Why you can trust 
Braden is in training to become a licensed health and life insurance broker. He's passionate about helping seniors (60+) organize their wealth gain peace of mind through insurance and finance.

The top 10% of insurance brokers make upwards of $150k per year. But the only way to get there is to start now! When I went through this process, it was incredibly confusing. There are so many certifications, types of insurance, and different exams out there, I had no idea where to start.

I’ve owned a marketing agency for years, but I’m now becoming insurance broker under a mentor who has done extremely well for himself as a broker. My goal is to document the process of going from $0 to $150k and blueprint exactly how you can do the same.

In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to become a licensed insurance broker. I will give you a few reasons why I love the insurance industry (from an entrepreneurial perspective), walk you through the process of getting licensed and bonded in your state, address a popular but expensive certification (the CIC), and preview your roadmap for success in this industry.

Here are the topics I will cover:

  1. How I became a broker
  2. Getting licensed in your state (5 steps)
  3. The CIS certification (optional)
  4. 4 Study tips from a 4.0 student
  5. Roadmap to success

How I became a broker

Many people assume this is the traditional path to becoming a broker:

  1. Decide to become a broker
  2. Get licensed and certified
  3. Find a company to join

Here’s how I, and many others, actually became a broker:

  1. Experimented with many businesses
  2. Saw massive potential in insurance
  3. Found an insurance company through a mentor
  4. Decided to pull the trigger and become a broker
  5. Got my license as a technicality

Quite often, getting licensed and bonded is nothing but a technicality. It doesn't dictate your success as a broker, and it doesn't get you clients. But, it does help you stay within the law.

To put it plainly, becoming licensed and bonded as an insurance broker allows you to legally sell insurance policies and earn commissions. Without being licensed, you will not be able to work with clients to identify their needs and provide them with the best coverage.

"But, Braden… what does 'licensed' or 'bonded' even mean?"

Good question. Without knowing these definitions, this could all sound like mumbo-jumbo.

  1. License - proves that you are qualified to perform the work you are performing in your state
  2. Bond - Provides financial protection for your company

Providing insurance without being licensed and bonded can result in lawsuits and permanent revocation of your license… not fun.

Brokers vs. agents

People often prefer brokers over agents because brokers can help them shop for policies from multiple providers. Brokers have the ability to tailor the best solution, regardless of which insurance company offers it.

Both brokers and agents are under a larger category called "insurance producers". Insurance producers are intermediaries between clients and insurance companies who sell insurance on behalf of a client for compensation.

And, while the insurance industry may sound boring compared to Elon Musk's crazy ventures, there are 3 things about it that captivated the businessman in me…

The insurance industry

There are 3 things I love about the insurance industry as a whole:

  1. Always in demand - everyone needs it & it is legally required in most cases both for personal use and commercial use
  2. Growing year-over-year - According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the insurance industry is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
  3. High margin - Insurance companies make their money based on mathematical equations. This is incredibly unique, and it means they have no variable costs associated with selling a plan, only operation costs (or overhead). This means insurance can scale up and allow brokers to decouple their time from income.
insurance company growth chart 2020 - 2030
Source: https://www.precedenceresearch.com/healthcare-insurance-market

With these in mind, if you are ready to take on the insurance industry, the next section will save you tons of time and effort figuring out how to get licensed and bonded in your state.

Let's make you a broker!

Getting licensed in your state (5 steps)

After scouring the internet for 10 hours trying to figure out the best way to become licensed, I came up with the following 4 steps. This is your "fast pass" to getting licensed and bonded in your state.

  1. Understand your state's requirements
  2. Take care of pre-licensing requirements
  3. Take the licensing exam
  4. Apply and pay the fee
  5. Secure a broker bond

1. Understand your state's requirements

Visit National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) website. Fill out a few fields including:

  1. First Time License / New License / Reinstatement
  2. State
  3. Residency
  4. Producer / adjuster
  5. Filing as an individual of business
Becoming an insurance broker
searching NIPR website

Once you submit the form above, open the "lines of authority" tab to see what exams or certifications you will need

requirements to become and insurance broker NIPR
NIPR lines of authority

2. Take care of pre-licensing requirements (courses & exams)

Now that you understand your state’s requirements, you can find the exact courses and exams you will need to register for.

In the example above, in Illinois, I would search "Insurance Producer Exam Illinois"

Google search for Illinois insurance producer license
Searching for required exams & courses

Always look for the ".gov" link. Other websites will often give you incorrect information and may try to sell you something. From now on, I'll call this the "state government info page".

This state government info page will most likely lay out everything you need to earn your required credits and pass the exam 👇.

Illinois government insurance producer information page for brokers
Illinois insurance producer governmental info page

It will provide a link to their “education providers”, where you will be able to register for your courses and exams.

On the Illinois state government info page (pictured above), you need 20 hours per line of authority. Also, prepare yourself to deal with some terrible websites 😅.

Once I clicked on the “education prover” link, I was redirected to statebasedsystems.com.

There, I:

  • Clicked “lookup”
  • Entered my state
  • Selected “course provider” search type
  • Selected “pre-licensing” education type
  • Selected my course group (life - this is dependent on your company)
statebasedsystems.com insurance course lookup for illinois brokers
statebasedsystems.com Illinois course provider
Insurance broker course and exam lookup
Searching courses on statebasedsystems.com

You will get a list of courses, but you may have to call or email them to register. Like I said, these websites are not user-friendly, and often don’t allow you to register online.

list of insurance broker exams and courses
List of insurance provider courses

3. Take the licensing exam

Once you register for a course and complete 20 hours per line of authority, you must pass the Licensing exam by Pearson VUE.

  • They provide handbooks and practice tests
  • The handbook describes how, when and where to apply for the producer examination
  • Click here to check out the Illinois Pearson Vue handbook
Pearson license exam handbooks and practice tests
Pearson license exam handbooks and practice tests

Inside the Illinois Pearson Vue handbook, there is a button to make a reservation to take the exam:

Register for an insurance broker exam
Register for a Pearson insurance broker exam

See the “4 Study tips from a 4.0 student” section for my best tips on studying effectively and passing exams.

4. Apply and pay the fee

Once you have completed the required coursework and passed the exams, you will be able to apply to become an insurance producer.

BUT WAIT! Make sure you read the entire page from your state government info page. For example, in Illinois, you must wait 5 days after passing your exam before applying on NIPR.

Applying for your license is very simple. Jump back to National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) website (hopefully still open in another tab) and you can apply for your license there.

Insurance broker exam delay
Insurance broker exam delay

While the coursework may cost a few hundred bucks, submitting an application is usually around $5.

Insurance producer license application fee
Insurance producer license application fee

5. Secure a broker bond

Finally, now that you have passed the requirements and have applied to become an insurance producer in your state, check your state government info page for a form to submit and receive your bond.

Insurance broker bond submission
Insurance broker bond submission

Congrats, broker!

Now that you are licensed and bonded as an insurance producer in your state, you are ready to pound the pavement and start selling some insurance!

The Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) certification

The Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation is a certification program offered by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. It requires attending courses and passing an exam to obtain. The CIC can help you stand out and potentially earn more income in the industry.

Why consider the CIC?

They say the CIS helps you "stand out among your peers". They also say professionals with their CIC designation earn 30 percent more than those who do not. But I think this can be misleading.

Before I dive into my unique perspective on the CIC as an entrepreneur embarking on the journey to become a successful insurance broker, here's what this certification entails:

Time commitment

To become a CIS, you must pass 5 courses and pass 5 exams within 5 years.

16 Hours of Webinars for each course, delivered over 2-4 Weeks. Total, that's about 80 hours over 10-20 weeks.

To become a CIS, you must pass 5 courses and pass 5 exams within 5 years.


Each course costs between $420 and $475.

You'd probably spend around $2,500 total.

My take on the CIC

I am a 26-year-old entrepreneur with a background in marketing. I'm not writing this from a place of expertise in the insurance industry, but most likely as someone in your shoes. Someone who is looking to build a business in the lucrative insurance industry.

I believe, overall, the people who go through this extra effort to obtain the CIS certification are often the "go-getter" types. They are the kind of people that are generally more successful, regardless of this certification.

Sure, you will learn more about insurance in these courses. However, if you are eager to learn and dive into being a broker or agent by taking action, working leads, landing clients, and solving problems, in my experience, you will learn much more than any course could teach you.

A few things I’ve achieved as an entrepreneur:

  • I doubled a construction company's revenue from $700k to $1.4M in 1.5 years
  • I launched a Colombian coffee company in the US and broke into over 20 retail locations in 6 months
  • I have filmed an interview of Gary Vaynerchuck and one of INC 5000's top entrepreneurs.
  • I have live-streamed professional boat racing on the Jersey Shore beach
Braden Mosley doing a workout with a heavy coffee bag in Colombia for Native root coffee
Braden doing a Crossfit workout on an indigenous Colombian farm with a 143 lb bag of specialty coffee

Braden doing a Crossfit workout on an indigenous Colombian farm with a 143 lb bag of specialty coffee

I didn't do any of this because of my coursework or certifications. I did it because I am eager to learn and put myself out there.

So, while the CIS is a nice badge of honor for your LinkedIn profile and may teach you some of the nitty-gritty details in insurance, you can be just as successful in the industry without it.

I would recommend working towards a CIS after you are licensed and start working at a company, unless your company requires it upfront).

Getting your CIS

If you’d like to work towards your CIS, here’s how in 2 simple steps:

1. Choose 5 courses

You will either need to pass:

  1. 5 CIS courses or
  2. 4 CIS courses & 1 CRM or CPRM course

CRM = certified risk management

CPRM = certified personal risk management

The 7 CIS courses
  1. Agency management - Strategic planning & growth within an agency
  2. Commercial Casualty - Current practical policy & commercial insurance limitations
  3. Commercial Multiline - Helping commercial clients navigate critical issues, like cybersecurity & crime
  4. Commercial Property - Trends and innovative ways to maximize commercial coverage
  5. Personal lines - Covers many topics under personal policies
  6. Life & Health - How to meet personal and business needs through life & health insurance
  7. Insurance Company Operations - Roles and functions within insurance companies

CRM & CPRM courses (if you choose the 4:1 option)

These courses are all about identifying, analyzing, and mitigating risks faced by an individual or organization in relation to their insurance policies.

The CRM category is more general, while the CPRM focuses on protecting high net worth individuals.

I personally find the topics in CPRM more interesting… they cover everything from "yacht insurance claims and kidnapping" to "the art of the presentation for landing high net worth clients".

2. Register

Some of the courses are hosted by other organizations, and some are hosted by The National Alliance themselves.

Simply click the link below to register for a course:

CIS courses
  1. Agency management courses
  2. Commercial Casualty courses
  3. Commercial Multiline courses
  4. Commercial Property courses
  5. Personal lines courses
  6. Life & Health courses
  7. Insurance Company Operations courses

CRM Courses
  1. Principles of risk management courses
  2. Analysis of risk courses
  3. Control of Risk courses
  4. Financing of Risk courses
  5. Practice of Risk Management courses

CPRM Courses
  1. Evaluating & Protecting the Lifestyle courses
  2. Personal Client Risk Management courses
  3. Practical Application of Personal Risk Management courses
  4. Understanding Coverage Differences courses
  5. Winning the Business: The Art of the Presentation courses

4 Study Tips from a 4.0 student

Contrary to popular belief, some 4.0 students hate the school system. I am one of them. Rather than being a bookworm, I created systems and rules that would help me maintain a 4.0 without putting in insane amounts of effort.

Here are a few of my time-saving study tips:

  1. Read the Syllabus! - This tells you exactly how to succeed in the course. Yes, it’s boring. But it’s better than sitting at home making no money because you couldn’t get licensed and certified.
  2. Get organized - Use Notion to organize your notes based on the syllabus. Mark your calendar with important tests. Start making Quizlet cards asap.
  3. Identify low hanging fruit - If you see tasks that you can complete early, like infinite-trial quizzes, do them early. This will not only lighten your load when the material gets tougher, but it will also accelerate your learning.
  4. Do not fall behind - I have nightmares about not knowing I was enrolled in a class until the end of the semester. If you stay on top of your work, towards the end of the semester, when everyone is stressing about finals, you can coast to the finish line.

Obviously, the course to become a licensed insurance producer in your state will be much more of a sprint than the courses to get additional certifications, like the CIC.

But the concepts are always the same. Get on top of your work early and stay on top.

Roadmap to success as a broker

Once you’ve become a licensed and bonded insurance provider in your state, you will need to work at a brokerage. I found a position at a brokerage through a mentor before I went through any of this process. I didn’t even know I wanted to be a broker until we sat down and started talking about my experience and the upside in this industry.

For the past 5 years, I have been a marketing agency owner and entrepreneur. I have helped a handful of business owners launch or grow their businesses through digital marketing, content creation, branding, product design, and marketing strategy.

Although I know the general concepts that make a business succeed, I will be diving into the insurance company as a broker/business developer, directly under an incredibly successful broker, to build a team and scale his business.

If you want to join our journey and follow as I lay out the blueprint for success as an insurance broker, subscribe to the Insurance Mastery newsletter!

Around 10% of insurance producers make $150,000 or more annually. Our goal is to create a clear roadmap to help you crack that 10% as fast as possible.


In conclusion, becoming an insurance broker takes some effort, but it is a great career path for those who are interested in the lucrative insurance industry. It's also a great option for those with an entrepreneurial spirit but need some guidance.

Getting licensed and bonded is a necessary step in becoming a broker, but it does not guarantee success. Similarly, obtaining the CIC certification can be beneficial for brokers who want to stand out in the industry, but it is also not necessary to be successful.

Once you have followed the steps above to become a licensed insurance broker, you are ready to dive in and start learning how to grow your business.

Finally, join our newsletter to learn the secrets and strategies of the top insurance producers in the world.

Good luck out there!

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