New York Launches Online Re-Licensing for Insurance Agents and Brokers

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has launched an online application to speed up the re-licensing process for agents and brokers whose original licenses have been expired more than two years.

The online re-licensing application is available to property/casualty, life and/or accident/health agents and brokers, as well as life and general consultants and life settlement brokers. Although the re-licensing process has previously been available for agents and brokers whose licenses have lapsed less than two years, this initiative now makes the online process available for licenses lapsed more than two years as well.

“That two-year marker is important,” Tim Dodge, assistant vice president of research for Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York (IIABNY), told Insurance Journal. “The way I’m reading this is that there’s no reason anybody trying to get re-licensed would have to use the paper-based method again.”

Previously, the re-licensing process for agents and brokers with licenses expired more than two years was done by mail, he explained.

“Now, it’s going to be automated, supposedly with next day turnaround, so I think that’s a good thing for agents and brokers,” he added.

The next business day turnaround applies to applicants with no disqualifying conditions, such as disciplinary actions in other states. Applicants will be required to attest to the completion of pre-qualifying courses and furnish course numbers, and New York residents seeking re-licensing must have completed a re-licensing exam within the last two years or hold another license with the same lines of authority being applied for in the re-licensing application, according to a DFS press release announcing the new online application process.

Non-residents must be in good standing and currently licensed in their declared home state with the same lines of authority being applied for in their New York re-licensing application, the press release stated. Licenses, which will no longer be mailed upon issuance, can now be printed by licensees through the online system.

More than 1,200 agents and brokers were re-licensed in New York in 2016 – a number that isn’t unusual for the scale of the insurance industry in the state, according to DFS spokesperson Ron Klug. Lapses in individual licenses can occur for various reasons, added Dodge.

“It’s not uncommon for someone to let their license lapse for a few years,” he said. “For example, someone may take time off to have children, leave the agency and want to come back into the business four years later, and they’ve let their license lapse and need to get re-licensed. Or someone may leave the industry entirely and come back a few years later. Anything that speeds up the process is a good thing.”

The re-licensing of individuals is one of a number of licensing transactions that can be accomplished using the DFS website.

“The DFS re-licensing process is now significantly more efficient compared to the old paper-based system,” said Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo in the release. “DFS will continue to modernize its processes to better serve consumers across New York State.”

Other online licensee transactions include filing an original application to act as an individual agent or broker, renewing an individual license or changing individual licensee address information. Non-resident licensing is available online as well for New York residents seeking out-of-state licenses, Dodge said.

This latest licensing move by the DFS will serve to provide more efficiency for the industry in New York, he added.

“I think it’s great the department has done this, and I hope and expect that they’re going to continue to look for other ways to use technology to speed up licensing and other routine services,” he said.

Article source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2017/07/07/456939.htm