Insurance Continuing Education: Massachusetts
September 7, 2021
With the abundance of historical or modern Bostonian memes available, it’s hard to decide exactly how we’d like to pick on – erm, celebrate – the home of the oldest constitution in use.
In addition to being historically important to the U.S., Massachusetts is also an important hub of insurance business, and has been the starting location of many insurance regulations and insurance carriers.
For our purposes, though, we’re drilling down into insurance continuing education (CE) and the requirements of the Bay State. Like all states, if you’re a resident of Massachusetts, keeping your resident license up to date is critical to keeping your nonresident licenses in force, as well.
While we do our darndest to keep up on the changing scope of state CE regulations, it’s incumbent on you to ensure you’re in the know and following the compliance guidelines of any jurisdiction you operate in. To that end, if you need to brush up on the current laws regarding Massachusetts state CE, you may want to go straight to the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
What is the due date for Massachusetts Insurance CE Credits?
Massachusetts interestingly enough has a somewhat unique producer license cycle – every three years based on your birth date. Your CE is due before your license renewal date, so remember that procrastination doesn’t pay when it comes to CE.
Since Massachusetts has a somewhat unusual triennial cycle, you should also bear in mind that new licensees’ initial license term should be more than two years but less than three (unless you get lucky and your license anniversary is also your birth date, in which case, hey, sláinte, good for you.
To help you stay on good terms with your CE, you will get a reminder from the state 60 days before your actual license expiration. So kind.
Who’s exempt from Massachusetts Insurance CE?
Nonresidents don’t have to worry about Massachusetts’s CE requirements – like all states, Massachusetts recognizes producers as up-to-date as long as they have fulfilled their resident state requirements.
Other than nonresidents, producers who have completed CE for the state’s Professional Recertification Program are considered up-to-date on their CE.
Massachusetts values experience, so if you have maintained your licence since before April 5, 1983, and haven’t added new lines of authority (LOAs), you are exempt from CE.
Massachusetts also exempts several other insurance producers, such as auto club agents, people who only hold limited lines like travel and credit insurance, fraternal agents, insurance advisers, and those whose resident licenses don’t require an exam.
How many hours of CE are required for Massachusetts insurance producers?
For those lucky bugs who do have to complete CE in Massachusetts, most will need to complete 45 hours (including three hours of Massachusetts-approved ethics) per triennial renewal period. However, newly licensed producers must complete 60 hours of CE in their first renewal, which, you may remember, is actually fewer than three years from their date of license. Good luck, newbies.
The state is also a member of the NAIC Continuing Education Reciprocity agreement, so CE providers don’t have to worry about re-registering courses for approval. This is a fairly new change for Massachusetts (the reciprocity agreement took effect December 2020), so congratulations Massachusetts! Additionally, producers can also pay for dual credit for courses such as some available from colleges or courses you might take in the course of earning a Certified Financial Planner designation.
While you can’t repeat a CE course during a single renewal period, you can roll over CE – up to 45 credits! – from one cycle to another, but those credits can only roll once. If you teach a class, you can get the same credits as your students, but know that you can only get instructor credit for that course once per triennium – no repeats.
Massachusetts is also pretty stringent about proctoring requirements for online examinations, so be sure to have a proctor present and be prepared to provide their validation as well as an audit of your course history as part of your records.
Massachusetts does also have a few specific considerations for certain lines of insurance:
- Flood insurance: in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program requirements, three hours of flood-specific training
- Annuities: a one-time, four-hour training course before selling
- Long-term care insurance: one-time, eight-hour training course before selling, plus four hours of CE every 24 months (so, long-term care CE is not on a triennial cycle)
- Producers who took long-term care initial or refresher training in states other than Massachusetts will still need additional training of two hours specific to the MassHealth requirements
- Adjusters are required to complete 15 hours every renewal cycle, which aren’t crossover hours with a producer license: If you have a producer license and adjuster license, you will need to complete your 45 credits for your producer license and complete 15 adjuster hours independently.
For more information about state-specific licensing requirements, or to find out how AgentSync can make it easier to operate across multiple states, check out our state pages.
Massachusetts Insurance CE FAQs
You may reinstate your license within 12 months of the missed renewal deadline for a late fee. If you are past the 12 month late reinstatement period, you will need to reapply as a new licensee, including having to retake qualifying examinations.
Massachusetts actually requires you to complete 60 hours by your first renewal date, so your shortest renewal period also has your highest requirement for CE.