Senate Bill No. 399
(By Senator Minard)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;
reported February 23, 2012.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §33-12-7 and §33-12-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to education for insurance producers; renaming the Board of Insurance Agent Education; revising certain membership requirements of the Board of Insurance Producer Education; providing for payment of certain expenses of board members; revising role of the board; continuing education; exempting certain insurance producers from continuing education requirements; reducing period in which a producer whose license has been suspended for noncompliance with continuing education requirements may demonstrate compliance; and permitting the Insurance Commissioner to propose a rule to change certain fees.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §33-12-7 and §33-12-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12. INSURANCE PRODUCERS.
§33-12-7. Board of Insurance Producer Education.
(a) The Board of Insurance Agent Education shall continue in existence is continued and commencing July 1, 2012, shall be known as the Board of Insurance Agent Producer Education shall consist which consists of the Commissioner of Insurance and six members appointed by the commissioner The members appointed by the commissioner shall be as follows:
(1) Two licensed property and casualty insurance agents producers;
(2) One licensed life insurance agent producer;
(3) One licensed health and accident and sickness insurance agent producer;
(4) One representative of a domestic insurance company; and
(5) One representative of a foreign insurance company. Provided, That no board shall be appointed that fails to include companies or agents for companies representing at least two thirds of the net written insurance premiums in the state.
(b) Each member shall serve a term of three years and shall be eligible for reappointment. Members of the board are not entitled to compensation for services performed as members but are entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in attending meetings called by the commissioner.
(a) The Board of Insurance Agent Education shall establish the criteria for a program of insurance education and submit the proposal for the approval of the commissioner on or before the thirty-first day of December of each year.
(b) (c) The commissioner and the board under standards established by the board, may approve shall establish standards for a program of insurance producer education and shall advise the commissioner as to whether any course or program of instruction developed or sponsored by an authorized insurer, accredited college or university, agents producers’ association, insurance trade association or independent program of instruction that presents the criteria and the number of hours that the board and commissioner determine appropriate for the purpose of this article meets such standards.
§33-12-8. Continuing education required.
The purpose of this provision is to provide continuing education under guidelines set up under the Insurance Commissioner's office, with the guidelines to be set up under the board of Insurance Agent Education.
(a) This section applies to individual insurance producers licensed to engage in the sale of the following types of insurance:
(1) Life.-- Life insurance coverage on human lives, including benefits of endowment and annuities, and may include benefits in the event of death or dismemberment by accident and benefits for disability income;
(2) Accident and health or sickness.-- Insurance coverage for sickness, bodily injury or accidental death and may include benefits for disability income;
(3) Property.-- Property insurance coverage for the direct or consequential loss or damage to property of every kind;
(4) Casualty.-- Insurance coverage against legal liability, including that for death, injury or disability or damage to real or personal property;
(5) Variable life and variable annuity products. -- Insurance coverage provided under variable life insurance contracts and variable annuities;
(6) Personal lines. -- Property and casualty insurance coverage sold to individuals and families for primarily noncommercial purposes; and
(7) Any other line of insurance permitted under state laws or regulations.
(b) This section does not apply to:
(1) Individual insurance producers holding limited line credit insurance licenses for any kind or kinds of insurance offered in connection with loans or other credit transactions or insurance for which an examination is not required by the commissioner, nor does it apply to any limited or restricted license as the commissioner may exempt; and
(2) Individual insurance producers selling credit life, credit unemployment or credit accident and health sickness insurance.
(c) (1) The Board of Insurance Agent Education as established by section seven of this article shall develop a program of continuing insurance education and submit the proposal for the approval of the commissioner on or before the thirty-first day of December of each year. No A continuing education program may not be approved by the commissioner that includes a requirement that any individual insurance producer complete more than twenty-four hours of continuing insurance education biennially. No A program may not be approved by the commissioner that includes a requirement that any of the following individual insurance producers complete more than six hours of continuing insurance education biennially:
(A) Individual insurance producers who sell only preneed burial insurance contracts; and
(B) Individual insurance producers who engage solely in telemarketing insurance products by a scripted presentation which scripted presentation has been filed with and approved by the commissioner.
(C) The biennium mandatory continuing insurance education provisions of this section become effective on the reporting period beginning on the first day of July, two thousand six.
(2) The commissioner and the board, under standards established by the board, in consultation with the Board of Insurance Producer Education may approve any course or program of instruction developed or sponsored by an authorized insurer, accredited college or university, agents' association, insurance trade association or independent program of instruction that presents the criteria and the number of hours that the board and commissioner determine that he or she determines to be appropriate for the purpose purposes of this section.
(d) Individual insurance producers licensed to sell insurance and who are not otherwise exempt shall satisfactorily complete the courses or programs of instructions the commissioner may prescribe.
(e) Every individual insurance producer subject to the continuing education requirements shall furnish, at intervals and on forms as may be prescribed by the commissioner, written certification listing the courses, programs or seminars of instruction successfully completed by the person. The certification shall be executed by, or on behalf of, the organization sponsoring the courses, programs or seminars of instruction.
(f) Subject to the approval by the commissioner, The active annual membership by an individual insurance producer in an organization or association recognized and one or more organizations or associations approved by the commissioner as a state, regional or national professional insurance organization or association organizations or associations may be approved by the commissioner for up to no more than two cumulative hours of continuing insurance education Provided, That not more than two hours of continuing insurance education may be awarded to an individual insurance producer for membership in a professional insurance organization during a biennial reporting period. Credit for continuing insurance education pursuant to this subdivision may only be awarded to individual insurance producers who are required to complete more than six hours of continuing education biennially.
(g) Individual insurance producers who are required to complete more than six hours of continuing education biennially and who exceed the minimum continuing education requirement for the biennial reporting period may carry over a maximum of six credit hours only into the his or her next reporting period.
(h) (1) Any individual insurance producer failing to meet the requirements mandated in this section and who has not been granted an extension of time with respect to the requirements, or who has submitted to the commissioner a false or fraudulent certificate of compliance shall have his or her license automatically suspended. and no further license may be issued to the person for any kind or kinds of insurance until the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner that he or she has complied with all of the requirements mandated by this section and all other applicable laws or rules.
(i) (2) The commissioner shall notify the individual insurance producer of his or her such suspension pursuant to subsection (h) of this section by sending a notice by certified mail return receipt requested, to the last address on file with the commissioner, pursuant to subsection (e), section nine of this article. Any individual insurance producer who has had a suspension order entered against him or her pursuant to this section may, within thirty calendar days of receipt of the order and the notice shall inform the producer of his or her right to file with the commissioner a request for a hearing for reconsideration of the matter.
(j) (3) Any individual insurance producer suspended pursuant to this subsection who does not satisfactorily demonstrate compliance with this section and all other laws applicable thereto as of the last day within one year after the end of the biennium following his or her suspension in which the noncompliance occurred shall have his or her license automatically canceled and is will thereafter be subject to the education and examination requirements of section five of this article.
(k) (i) The commissioner is authorized to hire personnel and make reasonable expenditures considered necessary for purposes of establishing and maintaining a system of continuing education for insurers producers. The commissioner shall charge a fee of $25 or such other amount established by legislative rule to continuing education providers for each continuing education course submitted for approval, which amounts shall be used to maintain the continuing education system. The commissioner may, at his or her discretion, designate an outside administrator to provide all of or part of the administrative duties of the continuing education system, subject to direction and approval by the commissioner The including the collection of fees from providers for courses submitted for approval, and may establish fees to be charged to the continuing education providers by the outside administrator. shall be paid by the continuing education providers. In addition to fees charged by the outside administrator, the outside administrator shall collect and remit to the commissioner the twenty-five dollar course submission fee.