National Producer Registry Appoints Big ‘I’ Exec as Vice President

Wesley Bissett, vice president for government affairs and state relations for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America has been elected vice president of the National Insurance Producer Registry.

Bissett is only the second vice president in NIPR’s 10-year history, and the first to come from the agent/broker side of the industry.

NIPR is a private-public partnership of insurance regulators and the insurance industry, and its simple goal is to modernize, streamline, and make more uniform the producer licensing process. It is governed by a 13-member board, comprised of six insurance commissioners, six industry representatives, and the executive vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Bissett has served on the board of directors in the past.

“NIPR is an incredibly important element of our industry’s quest for meaningful licensing reform nationwide, and I look forward to playing an active leadership role in this crucial endeavor,” Bissett said. “I share NIPR’s vision for the future of agent and broker licensing, and I hope we can soon make that dream a reality.”

NIPR worked with insurance regulators to create the Producer Database (PDB), a nationwide database of licensing information concerning the nation’s agents and brokers. All states are now providing regular updates to the PDB, which enables regulators to more quickly take action on license applications.

NIPR is also rolling out products that will enable insurance producers to obtain licenses (and renew those licenses) on the NIPR Web site. Forty states now issue new nonresident licenses through NIPR’s online process, and nearly 20 jurisdictions also are equipped to issue nonresident renewals.

“Agents and brokers are understandably frustrated by the inefficiencies, delays, and costs historically associated with producer licensing, especially at a time when agencies are operating in an increasing number of states,” said IIABA CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. “NIPR’s progress, if combined with needed legislative reforms, offers hope and promise that the multi-state licensing process may soon be streamlined and modernized.”

One of the association’s key objectives is to address the requirements in some states that force an insurance agent to obtain three licenses (an individual license, an entity license, and a corporate registration) before placing business in a particular jurisdiction. These duplicative requirements, the IIABA claims, impose significant and unjustified costs on the industry and hinder an agent’s ability to serve customers in a timely and responsive manner.