Legislators Adopt Resolution in Support of Agent Licensing Registry

March 5, 2008

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ Executive Committee unanimously adopted a widely supported Resolution in Support of the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) and urged all states to fully implement NIPR services to eliminate unnecessary hurdles in producer licensing during its Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 1.

NCOIL Treasurer and NIPR resolution sponsor Senator Carroll Leavell (NM) said, “We have assured Congress that states are taking steps to modernize agent licensing to provide a more streamlined regulatory environment and NCOIL is backing up that statement. Fully implementing the NIPR is a small task for states that can provide tremendous relief to insurance agents regarding licensing and related services. The NIPR provides speed and efficiency to a system that used to rely on paper and often left agents worried whether processing would occur before license expiration.”

The resolution says, among other things, that NCOIL:
• Embraces NIPR’s efforts to create an online, one-stop licensing resource for insurance agents and brokers nationwide.
• Supports the goals and objectives of NIPR and is committed to helping create a truly reciprocal licensing system that enables qualified producers to obtain and renew licenses promptly.
• Urges state legislators to use their authority to ensure that state insurance departments are utilizing and offering the functionality and services that NIPR is making available.

In discussing the resolution, insurance agent and State-Federal Relations Committee co-chair Representative Greg Wren (AL) described first-hand success with the NIPR—noting that several days before he had contacted the Commonwealth of Virginia at 3 p.m. to apply for an out-of-state license. By 9 a.m. the next morning, he said, Virginia had e-mailed him his license, allowing Rep. Wren to sell coverage to a friend living in the Commonwealth.

During the State-Federal Relations Committee meeting, Wesley Bissett of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA) presented legislators with a letter in support of the NIPR resolution. The letter was co-signed by representatives of the IIABA, National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA).

The NIPR resolution was adopted a day after an NCOIL-NAIC Dialogue Committee meeting where Commissioner Roger Sevigny (NH) reported on a recently completed NAIC Producer Licensing Assessment. Commissioner Sevigny reported that the state assessments reviewed certain components of a state’s producer licensing laws—that were enacted with the help of NCOIL following the enactment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

The NIPR is a non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) that administers a Producer Database (PDB) and Electronic Appointments/Terminations to provide electronic licensing efficiency for insurance agents and brokers.

NCOIL is an organization of state legislators whose main area of public policy interest is insurance legislation and regulation. Most legislators active in NCOIL either chair or are members of the committees responsible for insurance legislation in their respective state houses across the country.

Source: NCOIL www.ncoil.org

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