NAIC Urges State Regulators to Streamline Signature Requirements in Uniform Licensing Act

A requirement in the Uniform Certificate of Authority Application (UCAA) that an insurance company officer must physically sign all company licensing applications is cumbersome and unnecessary, an insurance trade association representative told a panel of state regulators convening during the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Summer meeting in New York on Saturday.

“The number of signatures required of a company officer on some of the forms, particularly since an original form is needed in each state in which an application is made, is overkill,” Lenore Marema, vice president of legal and regulatory affairs for the Alliance of American Insurers told members of the NAIC’s ALERT Working Group.

This is the second year in which the NAIC has considered amendments to the UCAA. Virtually all the amendments suggested so far involve streamlining the UCAA by eliminating some requirements that are unnecessary and over-burdensome. To date, the ALERT Working Group has been reluctant to make these changes as the regulators’ note that all states can agree to use the UCAA as is, and to the extent that it is modified, some states may revert to state-specific forms.

Marema also reminded regulators that they need to be actively involved in discussions about fingerprinting and background checks. “The NAIC’s current draft of a model act covers all situations in which criminal background checks could be required, including company licensing, and the UCAA contains a significant compromise on this issue,” she said.

In lieu of a requirement for fingerprints and criminal background checks, a process is included whereby the company would submit the NAIC Model Biographic Affidavit and have it vetted by an outside vendor.

“States have not followed up on the compromise and accordingly repealed their fingerprint background check requirements,” Marema explained. “In a post-Enron world, that has been a non-starter in the state legislatures. If fingerprints are to be required in any way and in connection with company licensing, then the other existing process needs to be eliminated.”