How FAs and Their Clients Benefit from a Life, Accident and Health Insurance License

The coronavirus crisis has underlined the importance of insurance in protecting health and wealth. It has also highlighted how long-term financial plans, no matter how brilliant, can rapidly disintegrate if the client suffers an accident, health crisis, or death. For this reason, financial advisers should address asset protection as an important pillar of financial planning.

Clients may not realize that “financial adviser” is a generic term that can be used for stockbrokers, investment advisers, insurance agents, financial planners, tax preparers, estate planners, and other professionals. However, clients usually expect advisers to present a comprehensive plan that takes into account wealth accumulation and retirement, as well as risks, including premature death. Not offering insurance advice can be a disservice to clients. [1]

Offering Life Insurance Advice

Bringing up life insurance is admittedly difficult for many financial advisers. Clients are much more enthusiastic talking about wealth accumulation than about their eventual deaths. There is also the potential that a client will be turned down for coverage or get a non-preferred rate. Nonetheless, securing the future of family members, including mortgage payments and college expenses, is part of a comprehensive financial plan.

Some financial advisers choose to partner with an insurance professional to handle the application process once the wealth planning is complete. This relationship can be advantageous for both, as leads are passed between them; but, from a client perspective, the arrangement adds complications, with potentially conflicting advice, and can take more of clients’ time.

Obtaining a License

Adding “licensed insurance agent” as a qualification is typically not difficult for a current financial adviser. The entry barrier to earning a life, accident, and health insurance license (the three categories, which are usually combined under one license) is relatively low. [2] Accordingly, obtaining a license is not as time consuming or difficult as obtaining many investment adviser licenses.

A big difference between an insurance license and a securities license is jurisdiction. Each state has its own procedures, educational requirements, and tests for a life insurance producer’s license. [3] Requirements vary from no pre-exam training hours specified to 80 hours, depending on the state. Conversely, most investment adviser licensing and requirements are handled at the federal level.

Several companies offer training for a life insurance license tailored to the particular state, usually online. However, Securities Training Corporation offers future agents and financial advisers prelicensing courses in a format that works for their learning style. Options include textbooks, on-demand prerecorded lectures, flashcards, group sessions, and private tutoring. Additionally, there is the option to email an instructor with questions. STC also offers courses to meet ongoing continuing-education requirements and training for other financial adviser licensing, including the gamut of Security Industry Essentials licenses.

Contact STC at (800) 782-1223 or email info@stcusa.com to learn more.

[1] Danielsson, Matt; “Why Financial Advisors Sell life Insurance;” Investopedia, January 10, 2020.

[2] ibid.

[3] FindLaw; “Insurance Agent License Requirements by State,” July 21, 2017.

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