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We do our best to our keep information updated. However, please use the My Florida CFO – Department of Financial Services as the final authority on licensing issues. Click below for answers to frequently asked questions, or read the FAQ in pdf form.
Florida Licensing Information
Question 1: What license(s) do I need to work in a Florida insurance agency ?
Florida statutes require individuals involved in the transaction of insurance to be licensed and appointed, and insurance agencies to be licensed or registered (see question #3 for more on agency licensing).
The Florida Department of Financial Services (FLDFS) offers a number of licenses for Florida residents, as well as nonresident equivalents for many of them. The major resident licenses include the General Lines (2-20) license, which is the broadest property-casualty agent's license, and the Life, Health & Variable Annuity (2-15) license, which is the broadest in the life-health category. Because unlicensed employees are not allowed to discuss coverages or sell insurance, FLDFS offers licenses designed for customer service representatives (CSRs) who don’t do outside sales but do discuss coverages with clients and may solicit insurance from within the office. The Customer Representative (4-40) license is intended for an agency CSR and is more limited than the 2-20 in various ways, the primary one being that a 4-40 must act under the authority of a 2-20 "supervising agent.” The Limited Customer Representative (4-42) is similar to the 4-40, but is limited to personal auto insurance. In 2004 FLDFS introduced the Personal Lines Only (20-44) agent's license as an alternative to the 2-20. This license enables the licensee to act as a full-fledged agent but only for personal lines of insurance, such as homeowners and personal auto. A 20-44 agent may not be the responsible agent in the office (it must be a licensed 2-20 agent) There are several limited life-health licenses available, the main ones being the Life & Variable Annuity (2-14) license, and the Health-only (2-40) license. Although the 2-20 is primarily a property-casualty license, it includes a qualification for health insurance so, if someone with a 2-20 obtains an appointment from a health insurance carrier, DFS will automatically issue them a 2-40 license without their having to take another licensing class or exam. Most of the major licenses (including all of those mentioned above) require passing an exam, but some of the more limited licenses do not require one.
For most of the Florida resident licenses, a new resident can qualify for “transfer of license” if they’ve held the same type of license for at least a year in their previous home state, and they apply for their Florida license within 90 days of moving here. They’ll have to meet various requirements including providing a “letter of clearance” from their previous state.
Question 2: How do I obtain information or forms to apply for an insurance license?
Call the Florida Department of Financial Services (FLDFS), Division of Licensing at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/index.htm. You will have to determine whether you are eligible for a particular license, and whether you've met all of the qualifications to take the state exam, which might include taking an approved licensing course or meeting some minimum experience requirement. You can find specific eligibility requirements by going to their website at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/index.htm.
Question 3: Does an agency itself need to be licensed or just individual agents?
Effective 10/1/06, all insurance agencies must be either “licensed” or “registered.”
The Florida Department of Financial Services (FLDFS) provides a detailed explanation of what you need to do, including the difference between being “licensed” and being “registered,” so you can determine which is appropriate for your agency.
Go to http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/Agencies/index.htm for details, including links to an in-depth FAQ about the requirements, a PowerPoint presentation to help walk you through the process, and information about electronic fingerprinting.
The agency licensing requirement applies to all agencies, including those that only write life and health insurance. Also, if you have multiple locations, each one needs to be licensed (or registered), and if you work out of your home, it counts as a location.
When the law was passed in 2005, existing agencies were given a 10/1/06 deadline to comply in order to avoid some hefty fines. New agencies need to be licensed (registration is not an option) before they can do business.
Question 4: How do I qualify for a 2-20 license?
Basically, you can qualify in four ways:
a) Complete a 200-hour licensing course from an approved school (or an approved correspondence course) within the past four years, then pass the state exam (100 multiple-choice questions). *New Pre-requisite for the 2-20: Students must have at least six (6) months within the last four (4) years of responsible insurance duties as a full-time bona fide employee (of an insurer, general lines agent or agency, etc.) in all lines of Property and Casualty insurance. Section 626.732(1)(b). Florida Statutes.
b) Have at least one year of relevant insurance experience within the past four years or complete at least 15 semester hours of property-casualty courses at an accredited college to waive taking the 200-hour course. Then pass the state exam. Please note that the FLDFS strictly interprets the responsible experience requirement, so for someone to waive the 200-hour course requirement, they would have to have experience in all the areas included under the 2-20 authority—including such areas as marine, surety, and health insurance. If you are able to waive the 200-hour class, it might be a good idea to take an "exam prep class." We offer a 220 40-hour Review course that covers all areas of the exam.
c) Have the Certified Property-Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, which waives taking the exam.
d) See question number seven below. For a complete overview of requirements, log on to: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/General/docs/2-20.htm
Question 5: How do I qualify for the Personal Lines Only (20-44) license?
There are a number of ways to qualify to take the Florida Personal Lines license exam. The most common options include the following:
a) Complete a 52-hour pre-licensing course (vs. a 200-hour course for the 2-20);
b) Complete an approved correspondence course and have three months of responsible
insurance experience; *New: This three month Pre-requisite applies to online classes
for students after July 2014
c) Complete six months of responsible insurance duties as a licensed and appointed Customer Representative (4-40 or 4-42) and complete a 20-hour pre-licensing course;
d) Complete three years of responsible insurance duties as a licensed and appointed Customer Representative (4-40 or 4-42);
e) Complete 15 semester hours of college level property-casualty insurance courses.
If you have the CPCU designation, you can waive the state exam altogether (but the CPCU also qualifies you for the broader 2-20 license). For a complete overview of requirements, log on to: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/General/docs/20-44.htm
Question 6: How do I qualify for a 4-40 ( Customer Representative or CR) license?
Basically, you can qualify in three ways:
- Complete a 100-hour licensing course from an approved school (or an approved correspondence course) within the past two years, then pass the state exam (50 multiple-choice questions.
- Have at least six months of relevant insurance experience within the past two years or complete at least 15 semester hours of property-casualty courses at an accredited college to waive taking the 100-hour course. Then pass the state exam.
- Have the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR), Certified Professional Service Representative (CPSR), Certified Customer Service Representative (CCSR), Registered Customer Service Representative (RCSR), Professional Customer Service Representative (PCSR) or Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR) designation, any of which enable you to waive taking the state exam. For a complete overview of requirements, log on to: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/General/docs/4-40.htm
Question 7: If I have the 4-40 license, is there a shortcut for earning the 2-20?
Yes. Someone who has the 4-40 or 4-42 license can qualify for the 2-20 by taking a special 40-hour qualification course (rather than the normal 200-hour qualification course for the 2-20) and passing the state exam.
In order to take advantage of this option, you also have to have been licensed and appointed as a 4-40 or 4-42 for at least one year.
For a complete overview of requirements, log on to: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/General/docs/2-20.htm
Question 8: How do I qualify for a life and/or health license?
There are several life-health licenses, and the requirements may be slightly different, depending on the particular license in question. The broadest of the life-health licenses is the 2-15, or Life, Health & Variable Annuity license. To obtain this license you must complete a 40-hour mandatory course, then pass the state exam. For a complete overview of requirements, log on to: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/Licensure/General/index.htm
Question 9: Can agents from out of state get a license without classes or exams?
For most Florida resident licenses, new residents can qualify for “transfer of license,” if they held the same type of license for at least a year in the previous home state and they apply for their Florida license within 90 days of moving here. You’ll have to meet various requirements, including providing a “letter of clearance” from your previous home state.