In North Carolina, you need to complete continuing education in order to maintain your insurance license. If you don’t finish the required number of hours by the due date, your license expires and you have a four-month grace period to get those hours finished. Even then, you’ll have to pay a $75 license fee to reactivate your license.
If you don’t get your hours finished within four months of your license expiration, your license becomes inactive. At that point, you have to start from the beginning, completing pre-licensing and passing the state exam to reactivate your license.
Basically, it’s a lot easier — and cheaper — to make sure you stay on top of your continuing education and complete it on time. This isn’t supposed to be a pointless to-do, either. During your continuing education, you get the opportunity to brush up on topics that can help your insurance business thrive.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI) requires that all licensed insurance professionals complete 24 hours of continuing education during each renewal period.
You can’t just sit in any classroom for three business days, either. You need to make sure you take your hours on topics in line with DOI requirements. To make it easier, choose a DOI-approved education provider. You can use the “Approved Providers Inquiry” tool from Sircon — an organization that contracts with the state — to find a DOI-approved school. As you look, you’ll notice that some of the providers offer self-study hours or hours you can take online at your convenience.
In addition to making sure you hit the 24-hour requirement biennially, you might have additional topic-specifying requirements based on your license type.
If you have a major line of authority license or are an adjuster, you need to take three hours of ethics training during each renewal period.
If you have personal lines, property, or adjuster license, you’re also required to take three hours of flood training every four years. In other words, you only need to take flood continuing education hours every other renewal cycle.
Your insurance continuing education hours are due every two years. The DOI staggers when continuing education hours are due based on your birthdate. Your hours are due in your birth month every other year. If you were born in an even year, your hours need to be complete by your birth month in each even-numbered year. Conversely, if you were born in an odd year, you need to complete your hours by your birth month in every odd-numbered year.
If you’re a new licensee and you’re not sure when your continuing education hours are due, you can use this document from the DOI to check.
Also, if you know you’ve taken some hours toward your continuing education requirements but aren’t sure how many, don’t worry. Use Sircon’s “Continuing Education Transcript Inquiry” to find your transcript, which will show how many hours you’ve finished.
Make sure you hit the 24-hour requirement — along with hours in the required topics, when relevant — by your biennial due date to keep your North Carolina insurance license active.