Continuing Education Trends: Life Insurance / Annuities Brokers
Texas currently requires life insurance brokers to complete 24 hours of Continuing Education every two years. Courses must be state-approved, include topics on ethics and take place, in part, in a classroom setting. Brokers and journeymen interested in selling annuities must complete an additional four-hour course. Course topics are set by the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) and can include the following: annuity types and contracts, suitability, standards of conduct, and sales practices. However, topics may not include marketing or sales strategies. Our research shows historical trends for state-approved Continuing Education courses on both life insurance and annuities include regulations and requirements and suitability.
Regulations and Requirements
Texas accepts Continuing Education credits from four companies on life insurance. Each of the seven courses available focuses on regulations and requirements. Two include topics on annuities. For example, the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company offers a course through Kaplan on stop loss.
In contrast, there are 40 state-approved Continuing Education companies for courses on annuities. Each company offers courses introducing annuity basics. These courses include topics such as types and classifications, the primary uses of annuities, and taxation.
At least half of the 40 state-approved annuity Continuing Education companies offered courses on suitability, requiring brokers to act in the best interest of the consumer and be familiar with how annuity contracts affect them. For example, the Center for Continuing Education, based in Texas, offers a course on annuities including suitability as well as topics on disclosure, record keeping and replacement.
Our team scoured news and insurance market publications and government websites for research specific to Texas' current requirements for Continuing Education credits in life insurance and annuities. However, insurance licenses are issued by states and education topics are controlled by regulatory practices. Therefore, trends in topics are limited by these constraints and information on them are restricted to government sources and commercial companies with course paywalls requiring students to register.
Government regulations also affect course demand. For example, life insurance brokers in Texas may be exempt from Continuing Education if they have held their license for more than 20 years. Therefore, fewer courses or education companies may be needed. Annuity courses may be in higher demand due to the 2012 state law requiring all state resident brokers to complete the four-hour requirement. Since 2003 Texas has had the largest number of investment branches open each year in the U.S. Continuing education for brokers will continue to be necessary so long as the government requires it.