Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 14. Insurance
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance
1/23/2020

Chapter 43. Rules Governing Use of Senior-Specific Certifications and Professional Designations in Sale of Life or Accident and Sickness Insurance or Annuities

14VAC5-43-10. Applicability.

A. The purpose of this chapter is to set forth standards to protect consumers from misleading and fraudulent trade practices with respect to the use of senior-specific certifications and professional designations in the marketing, solicitation, sale or purchase of, or advice made in connection with, a life or accident and sickness insurance or an annuity product.

B. This chapter shall apply to any marketing, solicitation, sale or purchase of, or advice made in connection with, a life or accident and sickness insurance policy or annuity product by an insurance agent, whether issued on an individual or group basis. This includes, but is not limited to, fixed and variable annuities, long-term care insurance, including long-term partnership plans, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part C, and Medicare Part D.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 38.2-223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 19, eff. May 15, 2009.

14VAC5-43-20. Senior-specific certifications and professional designations.

A. No insurance agent shall use a senior-specific certification or professional designation that indicates or implies in such a way as to mislead a purchaser or prospective purchaser that the insurance agent has special certification or training in advertising or servicing seniors in connection with the marketing, solicitation, sale or purchase of a life or accident and sickness insurance policy or annuity product, or in the provision of advice as to the value of or the advisability of purchasing or selling a life or accident and sickness insurance policy or annuity product, either directly or indirectly through publications or writings, or by issuing or promulgating analyses or reports related to a life or accident and sickness insurance policy or annuity product.

B. The prohibited use of senior-specific certifications or professional designations includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Use of a certification or professional designation by an insurance agent who has not actually earned or is otherwise ineligible to use such certification or designation;

2. Use of a nonexistent or self-conferred certification or professional designation;

3. Use of a certification or professional designation that indicates or implies a level of occupational qualifications obtained through education, training or experience that the insurance agent using the certification or designation does not have; and

4. Use of a certification or professional designation that was obtained from a certifying or designating organization that:

a. Is primarily engaged in the business of instruction in sales or marketing;

b. Does not have reasonable standards or procedures for assuring the competency of its certificants or designees;

c. Does not have reasonable standards or procedures for monitoring and disciplining its certificants or designees for improper or unethical conduct; or

d. Does not have reasonable continuing education requirements for its certificants or designees in order to maintain the certificate or designation.

C. There is a rebuttable presumption that a certifying or designating organization is not disqualified solely for purposes of subdivision B 4 of this section when the certification or designation issued from the organization does not primarily apply to sales or marketing and when the organization or the certification or designation in question has been accredited by: (i) the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); (ii) the National Commission for Certifying Agencies; or (iii) any organization that is on the United States Department of Education's list entitled "Accrediting Agencies Recognized for Title IV Purposes."

D. In determining whether a combination of words or an acronym standing for a combination of words constitutes a certification or professional designation indicating or implying that a person has special certification or training in advising or servicing seniors, factors to be considered shall include:

1. Use of one or more words such as "senior," "retirement," "elder," or like words combined with one or more words such as "certified," "registered," "chartered," "advisor," "specialist," "consultant," "planner," or like words, in the name of the certification or professional designation; and

2. The manner in which those words are combined.

E. For purposes of this section, a job title within an organization that is licensed or registered by a state or federal financial services regulatory agency is not a certification or professional designation, unless it is used in a manner that would confuse or mislead a reasonable consumer, when the job title: (i) indicates seniority or standing within the organization; or (ii) specifies an individual's area of specialization within the organization.

For purposes of this subsection, financial services regulatory agency includes, but is not limited to, an agency that regulates insurers, insurance producers, broker-dealers, investment advisers, or investment companies as defined under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 USC § 80).

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 38.2-223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 19, eff. May 15, 2009.

14VAC5-43-30. Severability.

If any section or a portion of this chapter, or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid by a court, the remainder of this chapter, or the applicability of such provisions to other persons shall not be affected thereby.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 38.2-223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 19, eff. May 15, 2009.



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