Imagine the horror of a customer with the audacity to ask a question about his insurance coverage rather than just the price.

Imagine the customer’s horror if the agent was effectively about to tell him he had no idea how it works.

In June, I received an email from an agent whose “pain in the a__” customer had asked him a coverage question under an endorsement on the his policy. The agent wanted me to review his planned explanation for accuracy and understanding. Based on his proposed response, the agent clearly did not understand the endorsement or the fundamental insurance concepts in the form.

Recently I learned that one New England state was reducing it’s pre-licensing education requirement from 40 to 20 hours. To my further dismay, I later discovered that most states in the area do not have ANY pre-licensing requirement. Get a 70 on a pretty simple exam on Monday and by Tuesday, you could be bidding on Microsoft’s or General Motors’ insurance program.

In my state, the prelicensing requirements for study and supervised training are 600 hours for a manicurist and 1,500 hours for a hair stylist. So, if you wanted to cut Jack Welch’s hair and give him a manicure, you would need 2,100 hours of education, but only 40 hours (or 20 or nothing) to bid on GE’s insurance program.

To learn more, read my article 40 Hours and I’m an Insurance Agent.”

And, if you prefer to laugh rather than cry, check out this page: is a web site I created in the early days of online education. I’ve since taken down the web site, but attorney Barry Zalma continues to host a page or two on his web site.

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Bill Wilson

Founder at
One of the premier insurance educators in America on form, coverage, and technical issues; Founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University; Retired Assoc. VP of Education and Research from Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Reprint Request Information