In today’s world of program business and internet marketing, it isn’t unusual for a producer and/or agency to be doing business in all 51 jurisdictions. This brings a new set of issues when it comes to insurance licensing. A few of the common misunderstandings are listed below. Hopefully they will help alleviate some of your licensing headaches!
1 – Continuing Education (CE) is only necessary in your home state. While each state requires you to file an application to obtain an insurance license in their state, you don’t have to complete CE for each state. Once you have met the requirements in your home state, all other states are reciprocal and no additional CE is necessary.
2 – Agency (business entity) licensing is required in most states. If you have agents within your agency writing business in a state, most likely the agency will need to hold a license also. There are only a handful of states (IA, RI, TN, VT & WI) that don’t require an agency to hold a license. It isn’t enough to just have the producer licensed. The agency must also hold a license.
3 – Registered agents are required for Certificate of Authority (COA) filings. A number of states require an agency to provide proof of a Certificate of Authority with the Secretary of State’s office as part of the agency licensing process. The COA registration asks for a registered agent to be listed on the filing. A registered agent, also known as a resident agent or statutory agent, is a business or individual designated to receive service of process (SOP) when a business entity is a party in a legal action such as a lawsuit or summons. There are a number of companies that provide registered agent services throughout the United States.
4 – When an agency holds a Certificates of Authority in various states, additional filings are required. Most states require an annual report filing, which is generally just an updated list of officers. Others mandate franchise tax or other tax filings. If these filings are not made, the certificate can be suspended or revoked which could cause the insurance license to be cancelled.
5 – Administrative actions must be reported to every state. Hopefully you or your agency will never be subject to an administrative action. However, if one does occur, it must be reported to every state where you hold a license within 30 days. When an administrative action is on an officer of an agency, it must also be reported to every state where the agency is licensed. If not reported within the 30 day time frame, states may and frequently do issue their own actions for failure to report, which starts the reporting process again.
Insurance licensing doesn’t have to be this confusing. Let’s the professionals at Supportive Insurance Services help! Give us a call or fill out form for help today!