Insurance Exam Prep vs. Prelicensing: What's the Difference?

By WebCE
Jun 12, 2024

Insurance Exam Prep vs. Insurance Prelicensing: What's the Difference?

Insurance exam prep and insurance prelicensing are often used interchangeably to refer to the same thing: preparing for the insurance license exam. However, they are two different concepts.

Though different, they both play important roles in passing the exam and finding early career success.

Let’s find out how.

Are Insurance Exam Prep & Insurance Prelicensing the Same Thing?

No. The main difference is insurance prelicensing refers to the mandatory educational courses required by some states. Insurance exam prep is never required but always recommended, especially in states that do not require prelicensing.

Both exam prep and prelicensing are designed to help prospective agents pass the insurance license exam the first time. They also offer foundational insurance knowledge that provides confidence and accelerates career growth.

What is Insurance Prelicensing?

Insurance prelicensing is education some states require before taking the insurance exam. California and Arkansas, for example, require a certain number of hours based on license type. These hours must be completed to be eligible for the insurance exam.

The reason prelicensing is required in some states is to give new agents a strong understanding of the laws, regulations, and best practices of the insurance industry in that state. Much like insurance continuing education, prelicensing is meant to establish industry standards and position agents for success.

While some pre-licensing courses might include some exam prep elements, they are primarily focused on fulfilling the state's educational requirements.

Find out your state’s prelicense or insurance exam prep requirements.

What is Insurance Exam Prep?

Insurance exam prep focuses specifically on helping aspiring agents pass the insurance licensing exam. It may include practice tests, study guides, exam tips and strategies, and in-depth reviews of key concepts from the pre-licensing curriculum.

Exam prep materials can be offered by the same companies that provide pre-licensing courses, or they can be purchased separately from other providers.

Overall, insurance exam prep courses are a valuable tool for aspiring insurance professionals because they significantly increase chances of passing the exam on the first try for a smoother beginning to an insurance career. 

Even if a state requires prelicensing, exam prep is still recommended.

Prelicensing is meant to prepare agents for work in the field, not necessarily to prepare them to take an exam. Some professionals have not taken a timed exam in years—not to mention all the information one must know to pass.

With the right tools, though, prospective agents can pass the exam the first time and launch their career sooner. After all, failing the license exam can delay career goals and even lead to missed opportunities.

How prepared are you? Let’s find out.

Quiz: How Prepared are You for the Insurance License Exam?

Test your insurance industry knowledge with a short quiz pulled from a WebCE insurance exam prep course. Answers are listed below the last questions.

Question 1

After being attacked by a neighbor's dog, Rose was hospitalized and spent a month at home recovering from her injuries. In addition to paying for her pain and suffering, the neighbor's insurer was required to pay for her medical expenses and lost wages, which are considered:

a) special damages

b) general damages

c) punitive damages

d) indirect damages

Question 2

Wendy reads in the newspaper that the insurance company that provides one of her policies is an admitted insurer in her state, and she asks her agent what this means. The agent tells her this means that the insurance company:

a) has pleaded guilty to violating the state's insurance laws

b) is licensed to transact insurance business in her state

c) is subject to an impaired financial rating

d) is domiciled in another state

Question 3

Insurance is primarily regulated at which level of government?

a) regional

b) federal

c) municipal

d) state

Quiz Answers: How Did You Do?

And the answers are...

Question 1

Answer: a) special damages

Reason: Special damages are awarded to an injured party for tangible, measurable losses such as medical expenses and loss of income.

Question 2

Answer: b) is licensed to transact insurance business in her state

Reason: An admitted insurer is a company that is licensed to do business in the state or country where the insured exposure is located.

Question 3

Answer: d) state

Reason: Insurance is regulated primarily at the state level, though federal regulations also govern the insurance industry, particularly with respect to privacy protection and anti-terrorism protection.

Insurance Exam Prep & Prelicensing from WebCE

With the right tools, you can pass the license exam the first time and enter the insurance industry with confidence.

WebCE’s industry-leading insurance prelicense and exam prep offer several smart tools to target knowledge gaps and help agents pass the exam the first time:

  • Interactive, read-it-to-me audio narrated courses with glossaries and real-world video summaries that put key concepts into practice
  • Deep dives into key concepts, products, and regulations with short quizzes to improve retention
  • Unlimited customizable practice exams and flash cards to target knowledge gaps
  • AI-Powered Exam Readiness Score from WebCE’s Wisebot calculates individual exam readiness

Not only will these tools help agents get licensed faster, but the knowledge gained from exam prep can offer important early career momentum. An agent with a strong understanding of industry products, regulations, and best practices is more confident and primed for early success.

Visit our insurance exam prep catalog to learn more or call our award-winning Support Services team at 877-488-9308 to get started today!