Personal Lines Broker-Agents in California Need Surety Bonds

guide to california personal lines broker-agents

California Assembly Bill 1696 was passed on October 2, 2017, to add personal lines broker-agents to the state’s existing $10,000 surety bond requirement for property and casualty broker-agents. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Read on to learn everything you need to know about being a licensed California Insurance Broker-Agent.

What are personal lines and property & casualty broker-agents?

Personal insurance lines provide protection from loss that people are unable to afford to cover out of pocket. These insurance policies allow people to engage in everyday activities like driving cars and owning homes by offering protection from financial ruin. A personal lines licensee is a person authorized to transact different types of insurance including automobile, residential property, natural disaster, and umbrella or excess liability insurance.

Property casualty licensees sell policies that help individuals and companies cover expenses and losses from events such as fires, burglaries, traffic accidents, and other property damage caused by emergencies. Licenses to act as a broker-agent include the type of casualty, which entitles the licensee to handle insurance coverage against legal liability, including incidents resulting in death, injury, disability, or property damage.

What documents are required for insurance broker-agent licensing?

California personal line and property & casualty broker-agent licensing requirements vary depending on if you are a business entity or individual as well as whether you’re a resident or nonresident. California Assembly Bill 1696 requires both types of broker-agents to purchase and file a $10,000 insurance broker bond (form LIC 417-5) as well as an action notice of appointment with a $29 filing fee which authorizes the person to act as an insurance agent. Additionally, personal lines licensees must file an Action Notice of Solicitor if they wish to act as an insurance solicitor.

What are the personal lines broker-agent qualifications?

Personal lines broker-agent qualifications include age, education, and experience requirements. Pre-licensing study and continued education qualifications vary in the number of hours to be completed and the coursework to be observed. Continued education is required for the majority of broker-agents in order for licenses to be renewed after a two-year license period. View the complete list of personal lines broker-agent qualifications here.

Do I need a personal lines broker-agent license if I am currently a property & casualty broker-agent?

No, you are already authorized to deal with all the coverages that the personal lines broker-agents are licensed to sell. Because personal lines coverage categories (property, automobile, flood damage etc.) fall within property & casualty coverages, it is unnecessary to retrieve a separate license. Additionally, in regards to pre-licensing qualifications, the property & casualty broker-agent prelicensing certificate also satisfies the personal lines broker-agent prelicensing 32-hour course requirement. Therefore, there is no reason to fulfill separate pre-licensing requirements to obtain the personal lines broker-agent license.

What are the fees to become a personal lines broker-agent?

A $170 application fee must be paid to the California Department of Insurance when submitting the license application. Applicants must also pay $50 to sit for a licensing examination before they are allowed to submit an application. The licensing process also requires fingerprints that may be an additional cost to the applicant.

Additional personal lines broker-agent application information and forms are available on the California Department of Insurance website.

How do I get an insurance broker surety bond in California?

You can purchase a California Insurance Broker Bond online 24/7 for just $100. Your official surety bond will be delivered in minutes by email.

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About the Author

Audrey Addo
Audrey is a senior at the University of Missouri - Columbia studying business administration with a focus in marketing. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide.