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Did you know, until this year only licensed insurance agents in Arizona who also held a license in another state were required to complete continuing education courses for the other state(s) but not Arizona?  That's right. If your agent is only licensed in Arizona, as of 2013, then he/she isn't required to further their education, sharpen their knowledge, or hone their skills.

There are many licensed professionals in Arizona who are required to take Continuing Education to keep their licenses. Professionals such as, Real Estate Agents, Mortgage professionals, Nurses, and many others. But not your insurance agent.

On April 30, 2013, that all changed.  Governor, Jan Brewer, signed HB2358 into law requiring Arizona insurance agents, producers, customer service reps, and anyone with an insurance license, to complete continuing education courses during each license period. So, instead of requiring ONLY agents with nonresident licenses to complete CE courses, now ALL Arizona licensed producers will be required to complete continuing education.

NOTE:  The bill does not go into effect until January 1, 2014.  

What are the requirements?
  • If an agent renews his/her license or becomes licensed prior to January 1, 2014 they will have to complete 40 hours of CE during the next 4 year licensing period. At the following renewal (approximately 2017/2018) they will need to follow the new CE requirements of 48 hours.
  • If an agent renews their license or becomes licensed after January 1, 2014 then the licensee will have to complete 48 hours of continuing education during their 4 year licensing period.
  • At least 6 hours must be dedicated to ethics training.
  • A licensee can only receive credit for a particular approved course once in each four year licensing period.
  • Each course must be pre-approved by the Arizona Department of Insurance. The instructor must also be approved by the Arizona Department of Insurance to teach the course.
In my opinion, this is very good news for the consumer who should expect their insurance agent to be up to speed on the latest changes in the policies they offer. I'm sure some agents won't like it as this will add an extra expense and some time to their business. My feeling is, if you (the agent) don't want to invest 12 hours per year in better educating yourself, in the profession you've chosen, then it's time to move on to something else. 

You, the consumer, deserve a professional, educated insurance agent who understands what it is they sell. If you don't think you have that now, don't wait for this new law to kick in, give me a call. I've invested in myself through Continuing Education so I can invest in my clients.

Author: Richard Morris

Richard Morris, an independent insurance agent in Chandler, Arizona, has been serving and helping Arizona families with all their insurance needs for over 23 years. Visit his website at http://www.southwestpremierinsuranceagency.com to see all the ways he can help you with your insurance needs or call the office at (480) 336-2707 or toll free at (888) 907-9349. Connect with Rich on Google+ and Twitter.
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