A year ago, it took months for insurance agents and adjusters to get continuing education transcripts, course credit and other information from the Texas Department of Insurance. Today, it takes about two weeks, according to the state agency.
The improvement is part of Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan’s effort to build on best practices, modernize technology, and focus on clear communication.
“A top-to-bottom review of the licensing process helped us identify some fixes,” Sullivan said in a TDI release. “For one, we weren’t using technology to manage the process in an organized way.”
The agency gets more than 1,000 requests a month from agents and employers asking for continuing education credit, exemptions, extensions, or other compliance help. Many requests are submitted by agents who’ve been notified they don’t have enough credits for renewal.
A Modernized System
The new system automatically checks to see if an agent completed enough continuing education to renew their licenses. If they haven’t, it sends out an email reminder 90 days before licenses expire.
If an agent’s fees and training are up to date, the system issues a license renewal. If an agent needs more credit or owes a fee, another reminder goes out, said Jodie Delgado, continuing education team manager at TDI.
“Automating those parts of the system has made a huge difference,” Delgado said.
A Single Entry Point
Creating a centralized method to respond to requests was another best practice TDI adopted. Efficiency was a challenge when some continuing education requests were faxed, some were emailed, and there were multiple points where either type could arrive at the agency.
“Now all requests come through a single email box,” Delgado said. “It’s a lot more manageable when the whole team is working out of one place.”
The result is better compliance and a better trained workforce of insurance agents, Delgado said.
“If agents licensed in Texas are completing the required courses, they are better able to help their customers,” she said. “And that’s the ultimate goal.”
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