The past year has been a strange one in which everyone felt the effects of lockdowns and closures. The insurance industry was no exception, with many systems transitioning to online work, reducing the need for agents and assistants to be in the office. One issue that received a reprieve at first was licensing and licensing renewal; New York extended the time agents had to renew licenses, but eventually the expirations had to be taken care of, and agents are now required to complete continuing education classes and renew licenses as expected. The department and different continuing education schools across the state have created programs and changed regulations to ensure agents can still complete the requirements for renewal on time, even during the pandemic.

Look for All Online Classes

Classes have been moving online for years, but now you can take all the needed classes online with no in-person component. Some of these might be webinars where you'll meet virtually with other people, and other classes might be online seminars that you can watch on your own time. In insurance, there's really no need to be in a class in person to complete these requirements.

You'll Still Have an Exam but No Monitor

You will still have to take an exam to renew your license; however, online exams are now available with remote proctors. You will no longer need an in-person monitor for your exams, although you can still visit a testing center in person if you don't have a suitable place to take the exam at home or at work. If you do need to take the exam at a physical center, wear your mask and observe all requirements for distancing. You may want to call the center in question ahead of time to ensure you know exactly what they want you to do in terms of COVID safety.

If You're Behind, Contact the Department of Financial Services Immediately

For agents who were personally affected by the pandemic, such as having to take care of sick relatives or even being infected with the virus themselves, deadlines for renewal might have fallen by the wayside. If this is the case for you, contact the New York Department of Financial Services immediately to ensure you know exactly what they need for you to successfully renew your license. You are not the only agent to have this issue, but don't assume that you know all the requirements. The pandemic may have resulted in some adjustments to the procedures for late renewals.

Contact a provider of New York insurance continuing education to learn more.