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PIANY submits memos of support on two priority issues

Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for two of pieces of legislation, A-9527-A and A-8484-A, which PIANY identified as priorities this legislative session and sent memos of support to the governor for both bills. A-9527-A would allow distance learning for the 90-hour property/casualty pre-licensing courses. PIANY has supported this legislation to make pre-licensing education more accessible and flexible to members across New York.  A-8484-A would standardize license renewal dates for business-entity licenses to June 30 of odd-numbered years. This would streamline the agency licensing process for PIANY members.

A-9527-A is: “An act to amend the Insurance Law, in relation to licensing requirements for insurance agents.” This would allow online correspondence courses to meet the p/c pre-licensing education requirements. Currently, aspiring p/c insurance agents and brokers must complete a required 90-hour pre-licensing course before taking the licensing examination. These courses must be live classroom instruction, and take several weeks to complete.

PIANY urges the governor to sign this legislation to increase the pre-licensing options many aspiring producers face, particularly in more rural parts of the state. In addition, this legislation would allow aspiring insurance agents and brokers throughout the state to take the technical pre-licensing course in their agency while learning the practical side of the business. Rather than leave their agency for several weeks to learn the complex rules a p/c agent or broker must know, individuals would have the option of taking the course with access to licensed, experienced p/c agents and brokers who can advise them on the practical application of what they learn.

A-8484-A is: “An act to amend the Insurance Law, in relation to business-entity license renewal dates”. This bill would standardize the license renewal dates for business-entity licenses.

Under current Insurance Law, insurance agents and brokers licensed as business entities can have up to three different dates on which they must renew their business-entity insurance licenses. Business entities licensed as an agent to write life insurance have a two-year license term that expires on June 30 of odd-numbered years. Business entities licensed as agents to write p/c insurance lines have a two-year license term that expires on June 30 of even-numbered years. Business entities licensed as insurance brokers for both p/c lines and life lines of insurance have a two-year term that expires on Oct. 31 of even-numbered years. Many business entities that sell insurance are licensed for all lines of insurance and are licensed as both agents and brokers. Therefore, the businesses must adhere to the three different licensing terms.

There is no specific rationale for having three different renewal dates. It creates confusion among insurance agents and brokers and can lead to unintended lapses in licensing. Amending the law to have one renewal date for all business-entity licenses would make the business-entity licensing and renewal process much simpler for business owners.