State by state variations of laws, compliance protocols, industry transparency, and general regulatory cultures can lend one the impression that keeping up with industry changes is a little bit like herding cats. So, what better way to wrangle some of the more localized insurance news than in a Regulatory Roundup?
On an ongoing basis, in no particular order or rank, we’re wrestling the various regulatory changes, compliance actions, and commissioner decisions into our roundup. As a disclaimer: There’s a lot going on at any given time in these here United States, so this isn’t a comprehensive picture of state-level action by any means. Think of it as, instead, a sample platter of regulation.
Georgia Commissioner Issues New Fines for Producer License Violations
Georgia’s Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire issued a notice in March to alert the industry that there’s been a rise in people selling insurance policies first, and then getting their license afterward. (As a side note: Just-in-Time appointments are a real thing. Just-in-Time licensing is not!) In response, Commissioner John F. King has issued a new tiered fine schedule for producers, with fines increasing per violation:
|Sixth+ policy(s)||$5,000 each|
Gee, don’t you wish it were easy to know if your insurance producers are always selling within their licenses? IF ONLY THERE WERE SOME WAY TO KNOW! (This is a joke, for real, if you don’t already know how to make sure your people are in compliance, please, please, check out our demos.)
Indiana mandates fully digital premium and surplus lines tax filing
In 2011, the Indiana Department of Insurance moved to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) system for premium tax filing and insurance renewal fees (OPTins). For the last 11 years, though, they’ve allowed paper filings for premium taxes, insurance company annual renewal fees, and surplus lines taxes.. As of April 1, 2022, the department is done with paperwork, and will only accept online filings for premium taxes, surplus lines taxes, and insurance company annual renewal fees through the OPTins system, period. According to the state’s bulletin, any company seeking an exemption will need to apply for individual consideration.
We don’t handle premium tax filing, but for the record, we are all in on ditching the paperwork and living that digital life.
Utah announces DOI address change
As was reported earlier by the KSL media station, a number of Utah state entities have moved to Taylorsville after the legislature voted in 2019 to abandon the capitol complex in Salt Lake City, Utah. The governing body voted to pay $30 million to purchase the former American Express campus in Taylorsville, a location the DOI announced it had permanently moved to mid-March 2022.
For those who require in-person assistance, the physical address of the Utah Insurance Department is:
4315 S. 2700 W., Suite 2300
Taylorsville, UT 84129
And the new mailing address is:
Utah Insurance Department
PO Box 146901
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6901
Emails have remained the same, and the phone directory is available online.
California adopts full implementation of NAIC PLMA
California has moved to fully adopt the NAIC’s Producer Licensing Model Act (PLMA) for its producers. Previously, California had several exemptions that made reciprocity tricky with other PLMA states. While this will bring a measure of consistency to licensing, it will also mean enduring many license code changes through the National Insurance Producer Registry as well as an interruption to any NIPR processing for California from May 6 to May 13, 2022.
So, if you process through NIPR (or via any NIPR-based services like AgentSync), plan your May business cycle around some downtime.
However, after that date, things will be a bit smoother for NIPR users who do business in California, partly because they are also beginning appointments and terminations capabilities for variable life, variable annuity, and personal lines producers.
Virginia renewals based on LOA status date
Beginning April 1, 2022, Virginia is basing eligibility for a late license renewal or reinstatement based on the line of authority (LOA) status date.
If that sounds confusing, it’s because it kind of is. So, if your license renews on a certain date, your first LOA will likely have the same date, and any renewals or reinstatements will be based on that date. But for any additional LOAs, which may have calendar dates before or after your usual license renewal date, the renewal or reinstatement date for that specific LOA will depend on the date you last renewed it.
If your producers have fallen into the late renewal period (within a year after the expiration date of the LOA) or are hoping to reinstate their license (an action available in Virginia for those whose renewal is more than a year but less than two years behind them), this may cause a confusing tier of renewal and reinstatement dates, but hopefully it also gives them more points at which to turn it around and get right with the government.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has also issued a reminder that quarterly billing statements for appointments should reflect their lower fee of $7. Previously, it was $10 to appoint an agency or producer. Nice that Virginia’s helping counterbalance inflation.
Washington adding language about HCSMs
Following the last year’s shenanigans of health care sharing ministry (HCSM) Sharity and its partner HCSMs, Commissioner Mike Kreidler has proposed revisiting the scant legislation offered on the subject.
Kreidler said in his proposal filing that Sharity and others failed to meet statutory requirements to even be an HCSM, and yet operated freely in the state. To address, he would like to add language to clarify the standards an HCSM should follow.
In other Washington news, the state moved to ban insurer’s ability to use credit scoring to underwrite personal lines of insurance. The move has been challenged by insurance carriers in court, and the state DOI in March accepted a judge’s stay on implementing the rule until a court case challenging it has been resolved. To read more about personal credit scores in insurance, check out our other coverage.
Other state insurance activities in brief
- North Carolina is purging the roles of nonresident licensees whose resident state licenses have lapsed.
- Hawaii license reactivation has to be online now (almost like there’s a paperless trend!), as does CE reporting. Licensees are also required to complete CE 15 days before the license renewal so the CE provider has time to electronically submit records to the state.
- Florida added licensing for adjustment firms at the end of 2021, but adjusting firm licenses aren’t yet available through the National Insurance Producer Registry’s producer database. So, in the meantime, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’s office reminds the public they can verify licenses at the Florida Department of Financial Services website.
While these points of interest aren’t comprehensive, our knowledge of producer license and compliance maintenance is. See how AgentSync can help make you look smarter today.