Insurance Prelicensing - Property and Casualty | Blog Post

How to Launch Your Career in Illinois Insurance

Selling insurance in the state of Illinois provides many with financially stable and fulfilling careers. The landscape of Finance & Industry is evolving, and insurance agents are in demand. Continue reading to explore not only why this career is alluring to many, but how to get started yourself.

Why become an insurance agent?

Many who enter this field are deeply personable professionals with a desire to help others. They are folks who enjoy connecting with clients, protecting them and ensuring their livelihoods against the unknowns. In addition, many enter a career in insurance due to the:

  • Easy of Entry
  • Flexibility
  • Financial Security

Easy of Entry 

There are very few barriers to becoming a seller of insurance – which is all part of what makes it such an advantageous career move. Essentially all you need is your will to learn, time to invest, and a passion for seeing the training through.

So, how long does it take to become an insurance agent? Becoming an insurance agent can take someone several weeks or a few months – it depends entirely upon the individual. 

All insurance agents must complete the required pre-licensing education from a state-approved education provider before sitting for and passing their state licensing exam. It is important to note that while the common term in the industry for this career is insurance “agent,” the actual license issued by the Department of Insurance is an insurance producer.

Real Estate Institute offers the required 20 hours of pre-licensing education per each line of authority – or type – of insurance you wish to sell. 

Real Estate Institute’s state-approved Property and Casualty licensing program is perfect for anyone in Illinois interested in selling:

  • homeowners insurance
  • auto insurance
  • liability insurance
  • commercial property insurance 
  • and more

Flexibility

The insurance industry has proven to be a stable source of income for many – especially during the 2020 pandemic. While many sectors struggled to find the balance between remote work and productivity – insurance thrived. 

So much so that employers are now actively seeking out insurance producers who are willing to work remotely.

And the best part? It appears the transition to remote work has improved the efficacy and satisfaction between clients and their insurance agents. Recent research from McKinsey revealed that:

“69% of customers felt their interactions with insurers were more efficient when compared with pre-covid interactions.”

What it looks like to be an insurance agent is changing – possibly for the better. We are moving towards a more digital interface with less frequent but more impactful actions. This paradigm shift only adds to the flexibility of this career. You can excel while working from any location, engage flexible work hours when possible, and boost your client satisfaction in the process. 

Financial Stability

“Unlimited earning potential.” An often-heard phrase that always causes ears to perk up.  With the ease of entry and flexible scheduling, what you earn as an insurance agent is primarily up to you. This career is driven and self-directed. 

While the salary can vary by location, Monster recently reported that some insurance salespeople earn more than $92,000 per year.

So when you’re asking yourself, “How much do insurance agents make?” The answer, in part, depends on where you live and how driven you are. They sky’s the limit!  Real Estate Institute supports Illinois agents and will prepare you to maximize your earnings.

How to Become an Insurance Agent in Illinois

It all starts with education. As mentioned, you must complete the state-mandated educational requirements before taking your state licensing exam. 

For a more in-depth look at how you get from pre-licensing education to licensed sellers of insurance, read this recent blog from the Real Estate Institute team.

And an exciting announcement: In addition to Property and Casualty, Real Estate Institute will soon offer Life and Health Prelicensing programs which will further your line of authority options and ultimately increase your earning potential.

Onto a Promising Future

Entering a new career is a huge decision – and we hope that this article has given you some resources to make an informed decision about becoming an insurance agent in Illinois. 

After all, “the U.S. insurance industry employed 2.8 million people in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 647,000 were Property and Casualty insurers.”

This career path is in demand, stable, and one that you can enter within a matter of weeks. If you’re ready for a change or seeking new career options, consult with our team of insurance enrollment professionals online or at 800-995-1700 with any questions about insurance education or licensing requirements.

How to Get Your Insurance License in Illinois

With our recent winter storms and the property damage that have befallen many Illinois residential and business owners, there’s sure to be an avalanche of insurance claims and inquiries in the coming weeks and months. It’s yet another reminder that insurance will always be necessary and in demand. A new career path in insurance can provide job and financial stability for the people who sell it.

To sell insurance in Illinois, you need to get licensed, which happens at the state level. Although people who sell insurance are sometimes known in casual conversation as “agents,” “brokers” or “salespeople,” they are all known as “producers” for licensing purposes. There are four steps to becoming a licensed insurance producer in Illinois.

Step 1: Meet the Age Requirement

Licensing candidates must be at least 18 years old.

Step 2: Complete Pre-Licensing Education

You must complete 20 hours of pre-licensing education for each major type of insurance that you wish to sell. In general, these types, known as “lines of authority,” are property, casualty, life, and accident/health. The Illinois Insurance Code requires that each 20-hour pre-license course include at least 7.5 hours of in-person (classroom) instruction. However, the governor has issued an Executive Order that allows webinars through March 6, 2021.  The order has a history of being extended on a month-to-month basis.

Real Estate Institute can help you launch a successful career in the insurance industry. Our state-approved property and casualty licensing program is perfect for anyone who is interested in selling homeowners insurance, auto insurance, liability insurance, commercial property insurance and more. 

Step 3: Take State Exam(s)

Licensing candidates must take (and pass) a state insurance licensing exam for each desired line of authority.

Prepare for the state exams with confidence. Our pre-licensing program will help you pass the exams the first time so you can get on with a new career quickly.

Information about the state exam(s), can be found in the Pearson VUE Candidate Handbook & Outline.

Step 4: Apply Online for Your License(s)

After passing the state licensing exam(s), you must wait five days. At that time, you will be able to apply for your license online at www.nipr.com. Directions to help you with the online application process are available from the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Why Become a Property & Casualty Insurance Producer?

  • Enjoy Helping People. You will be a valuable resource by helping clients match their needs to a policy that will protect them from financial loss.
  • Unlimited Earnings Potential. Whether it’s solely commission or a combination of commission and salary, the amount you earn is based typically on how much you sell.
  • Getting Started is Easy. Sign up for our pre-licensing program, pass the state exams and you’re on your way to your new career.

Why not learn about what a career in insurance can offer you? Just think, if you enroll in pre-licensing education now, you can get licensed and begin working in a matter of weeks! Get started today.


For over 25 years, Real Estate institute has been a local leader in insurance continuing education approved by the Illinois Department of Insurance. Thousands of Illinois insurance producers complete webinar, classroom and self-study continuing education courses each year. Due to popular demand, Real Estate Institute now offers
insurance pre-licensing education
 for anyone looking to start or expand their insurance career. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or at 800-995-1700 with any questions about insurance education and requirements.


Insurance Ethics Webinars Now Approved and Available

business hand typing on a laptop keyboard with Webinar homepage on the computer screen learning internet website web page concept.After nearly a decade of asking, Illinois insurance producers can finally complete their 3-hour ethics continuing education requirement via webinar. The bill allowing for ethics webinars was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on August 14, 2018, and the Department of Insurance began approving webinars from course providers (including Real Estate Institute) a few weeks ago.

Although the new law provides a new method of ethics course delivery for insurance producers, the change is not applicable to public adjusters. According to the DOI, licensed Illinois public adjusters must still earn 3 hours of ethics credit by attending a live, in-person class.

The law also creates an education advisory council that will be charged with making recommendations to the state about insurance courses, curriculum and instructor qualifications.

To view Real Estate Institute’s extensive schedule of ethics webinars and in-person classes, click here.

Illinois Doubles “Credit Reporting Fee” for Insurance CE Hours

Up-Arrow-BlueEffective March 2, the state-mandated fee for reporting Illinois insurance continuing education credit hours to the appropriate licensing authorities has increased from 50 cents per hour to $1 per hour. The fee is intended, in part, to fund online licensing services available through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ “State Based Systems” website, www.statebasedsystems.com. Producers can use the site to review their licensing information, monitor their remaining CE requirements, find approved education providers and more.

Real Estate institute offers insurance education approved by the Illinois Department of Insurance. Thousands of Illinois insurance producers complete our classroom and self-study continuing education courses each year. All state-mandated fees are required upon enrollment. State fees are subject to change without notice. We encourage students to complete courses promptly to avoid further fee increases.

Obama Administration Announces Delay in Key Health Care Requirement

Under pressure from business groups, the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it is postponing the implementation of a major piece of its signature health care law. A requirement that would have required large and medium-sized businesses to offer health insurance to employees next year or pay a fine will be delayed until 2015.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most businesses with at least 50 full-time employees will need to have a health plan. The number of full-time employees at a business will be based on the number of people working 30 hours per week.

Businesses that are required to offer insurance and don’t do it will face an annual fine of $2,000 per employee but will be allowed an exemption for their first 30 workers. For example, an employer with exactly 50 full-time employees will be fined $40,000.

The employer mandate to have a health plan won’t apply to businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees. Businesses are also allowed to ignore it if none of their employees purchases their own insurance and qualifies for a government subsidy. In effect, this generally means that if a business with at least 50 employees wants to avoid having a health plan, it must pay all its employees enough so that their household income is above 400 percent of the poverty line.

Despite this postponement for businesses, the requirement for most individuals to have health insurance in 2014 remains intact.  Government subsidies for citizens and legal residents with household incomes below 400 percent of the poverty line will be available at that time.

More details about the requirement to cover employees are expected to be announced in the next few months. A comprehensive review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be part of Real Estate Institute’s insurance continuing education self-study package for 2014.

PPACA Proposed Rules Poised for Roll Out

On Monday, the federal government will be publishing proposed rules that would implement several major sections of the new health care law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) rules essentially explain how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be interpreting some of the law’s relatively broad language. This is arguably the biggest piece of health insurance news since the Supreme Court’s ruling on the law earlier this year.

Some of the important topics mentioned in the rules are as follows:

  • The kinds of care that will need to be covered by most health plans and most health insurance policies.
  • The requirement to offer health insurance to all applicants regardless of health status.
  • The circumstances under which health insurance companies can vary their rates.

Once the rules are officially published, interested parties (including health insurance producers) will have until Christmas to submit questions/comments to the department.  For online submissions, use the following link:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!home.