Required Courses for Continuing Education
Ongoing education is mandatory in almost every profession these days. Every license type has specific rules and regulations in the United States for the agents to abide by. These laws are in place for the good of the agent and the consumer. If agents were not required to complete their continuing education courses they probably would not do it and they would fall behind on new products available to their clients. More importantly, professionals could fall behind on new laws and regulations being passed over the years. For instance, if someone has been licensed to practice law for the last thirty years and they have never done continuing education they may be breaking the law and not even know it!
Each state and profession has different requirements for continuing education. For instance, in Florida insurance agents need to complete at least three hours of Senior Suitability continuing education every two years. This is a required course do to the senior malpractice suits that have been on the rise in recent years. Ethics is also a very popular course that most states require an agent to take every compliance period. Ethics deals with doing the right thing and helping your clients achieve their financial goals, not yours. Making ethical decisions is very important in every profession. In the state of California every agent selling long-term care insurance to the elderly are also required to take at least three hours of continuing education credits in long-term care insurance every two years. As you can see, each state and license type require different courses specific to what line of business they are in.
Many of your credits can be completed either online or in a classroom. Every state and license type has their own rules the licensee must follow. For instance, in the state of Illinois an insurance agent must do their three hour ethics requirement in a classroom while the state of California allows you to do all of your continuing education online. If you have any questions on how many hours you owe, it is recommended to contact your state department for a detailed list of courses you need to take and how they need to be completed. You can also call an approved continuing education provider and they should be able to look up your record and assist you with purchasing your courses. Always make sure to fulfill your requirements by the deadline to avoid any state fines.