The Company Licensing and Appointment Policy
The Company policy, as well as a regulatory requirement, is that all individuals who represent the Company in a sales capacity be licensed and contracted directly with The Company and the Product Provider Companies.
Therefore, to sell insurance products through the Company, every member must have the following:
- A membership with the Company.
- A current insurance license for the state the product is being sold in and for the line(s) of insurance being sold.
- An appointment with the provider company whose lines of insurance products a member intends to sell.
Note: A credit and criminal background checks are routinely done as part of the appointment process. A member should expect inquiries to be made and should respond to them as quickly as possible. This is important due to the validity deadline for state forms.
Supporting documentation must be provided for review in these cases:
- Anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony.
- Anyone who has ever had their insurance or securities license suspended or revoked.
- Anyone who has committed a misdemeanor involving mishandling of money.
- Anyone who has an outstanding debit balance with another insurance company.
- Anyone under the age of 18.
- Anyone currently on probation except in the case of driving while intoxicated.
Licensing and Appointment
Insurance agents are expected to fulfill certain professional, ethical and legal duties for clients and the agencies they represent. The Company’s goal is to have agents who are properly qualified and adequately trained.
You are responsible to be legally and properly authorized to sell insurance products. Agent licensing serves two important functions:
- It permits you to sell certain products in certain jurisdictions.
- It protects the consumer by requiring agents to adhere to the state’s insurance laws and complete a prescribed amount of insurance education. Insurance agent licensing and appointments are governed by the insurance rules of each state. If you sell variable products, you must also be properly licensed for securities and be a registered representative of Intervest International, Inc. to sell the product.
States differ in how they categorize lines of business appearing on the agent license. For example, in some states, license authority for “individual life” may not cover variable life, group, credit, annuities, or health lines. If in doubt, check with your VP. If you are already a VP please check with the Home Office.
Wait Until You’re Properly Authorized
You must wait until the official effective date of your license to start your business. This includes soliciting, advertising, taking applications, or collecting premiums. State insurance department rules and procedures vary with respect to the date on which a submitted request for appointment becomes effective. Some states allow you to submit business while the appointment request is still pending, subject to certain conditions. You’re not allowed to sell or solicit for the Company until the Company’s appointment of you has become effective with the State Insurance Department. Agents must make certain the Company’s appointment covers the right lines of business. In order to remain with the Company, you must maintain an active insurance license and an appointment with at least one insurance company.
An agent must be licensed in the state where the applicant or proposed policy owner resides if required by that state. A few states allow an agent to solicit an application from an out-of-state individual or entity. To document the reason for any out-of-state sales exception, some insurance companies require that an applicant or owner complete a declaration form for any application made in a state other than the applicant’s/owner’s state of residence or business. Be certain to check with any applicable in certain rules and requirements before conducting such business.
Just in Time Appointment Processing
Just in Time means the provider will not appoint you with them until your first piece of business is received. The Just in Time process is implemented after all provider obligations have been met. If you submit application and there was a failure on any of the provider requirements, the application will be rejected.
Renew Your License and Appointments
Only conduct business with a current license and appointment. Your rights as an agent terminate when your license or appointment is revoked, terminated, lapsed, or not renewed.
Appointment and Background Checks
Many states have specific requirements regarding a background check and the Federal Insurance Protection Act of 1994 sets out specific acts that would preclude someone from becoming a licensed agent. Answering questions in a full and honest manner is required. Failure to do so may alter your status with The Company, violate state laws and may even be considered a felony under the Federal Insurance Fraud Protection Act of 1994. After you have been licensed and appointed, if there is an event(s) that would change your answers to a background check, you should notify your VP and The Company Compliance. If you have already obtained the position of VP or higher you are authorized to contact the home office directly by using the contact page on your back office.
Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance
Agents are in the business of providing services and products to clients. There may be occasions where errors, disputes or complaints may occur in regard to an agent’s business activities. In order for an Agent to protect themselves from the potential financial impact of good faith errors or omissions, agents are required to obtain E&O coverage.
Agents must be certain that they maintain their coverage by meeting the ongoing E&O payment schedule and must send a copy of the certificate to the Company Licensing Department. You will be expected to keep your E&O coverage current and pay your E&O insurance coverage provider directly. You must provide proof of renewal of coverage on an on- going basis. Failure to provide proof of ongoing current coverage will result in The Company taking action that may include termination.
Even agents that do everything right may still receive a client complaint. E&O is there to provide support, but it is also important to know policies & procedures, to follow good business practices & to maintain good client notes.
There are certain activities that require a license. You should be mindful of these requirements and not permit any non-licensed staff that you may have function in a capacity for which a license would otherwise be required. Specifically, you should not let an unlicensed person:
- Take applications for insurance.
- Conduct a seminar or meeting to solicit an interest in insurance or to generate leads, regardless of whether it’s intended for education or some other purpose.
- Promptly deliver insurance policies.
- Explain the terms or features of a policy.
- Quote rates, present illustrations, or perform any other acts considered “solicitation”.