Can I Become an Insurance Agent if I Have a Misdemeanor or Felony?

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Before pursuing a lucrative career as an insurance agent, it is important to be aware of certain factors if you have a criminal history while getting ready for your state licensing exam.

To ensure the proper handling of these funds, it is crucial to entrust them to capable and reliable insurance agents who possess fiduciary responsibilities towards both the insurance companies and the clients. It is important to note that insurance agents are required to obtain licensure, and they can be disqualified if they have been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude, fraud, dishonesty, or breach of trust. Each state has specific regulations pertaining to the licensing and hiring of insurance agents, and the ability to obtain a license may be affected if an individual has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.

What if I do not disclose my criminal background on my insurance license application?

If the information presented in a license application is not accurate and truthful, action may be taken against an individual who submits an incomplete or false application, and the license application may be denied if the background check does not match the information provided.

What is the impact of the Ban the Box Movement in the insurance industry?

The insurance sector does not eliminate the background check and fingerprinting prerequisites; nonetheless, Ban the Box diminishes discrimination by obligating companies to assess the qualifications of an applicant before seeking disclosure of prior convictions. The Ban the Box initiative, which eliminates inquiries about criminal records from the initial application, has been adopted by numerous states.

What questions will be on the application?

The same standardized questions regarding administrative measures, details about child support, and records of criminal and serious offenses will be required by most states. However, the specific inquiries related to criminal history on the application may differ depending on the state.

In California, this type of conviction will be taken into account when considering nonrenewal and denial applications. All business entities and individuals applying for a license in California will be asked this question, which is a new background question that requires the disclosure of criminal convictions involving abuse or oppression of elders. It is an example of California’s right to add non-uniform questions to the application that has been approved by the United States.

Do I need to disclose my criminal history on the insurance license application?

Most states may require a full set of fingerprints before issuing an insurance license. The denial of an application does not necessarily result in administrative actions or the disclosure of past criminal convictions. Applicants must disclose any previous convictions, including convictions that are currently pending, deferred, expunged, or believed to have occurred in the applicant’s adult life. The application for a license will include questions regarding the disclosure of criminal history.

It is false that convictions must be reported regardless of the age of application, unless specifically stated by the states. Often, applicants fail to report convictions based on a false belief that it is not required to do so after a certain number of years. Some states make exceptions to report convictions regarding traffic citations, DUI, DWI, driving without a license, and reckless driving, resulting in license suspension or revocation.

The Bottom Line

Start a career as an insurance agent to gain knowledge about the insurance industry and discover various opportunities. Ultimately, insurance companies will make the final decision, but individuals with previous convictions can still be considered for employment.

If you have any inquiries, it is advisable to get in touch with the insurance firm you intend to be employed by.

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