Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 18. Insurance Agents
11/28/2022

Article 3. Licensing and Appointment of Agents.

§ 38.2-1819. Application for license; fee required; fingerprints.

A. Each applicant for a license shall make application to the Commission, in the form and containing the information the Commission prescribes. Each applicant shall, at the time of applying for a license, pay a nonrefundable application processing fee in an amount and in a manner prescribed by the Commission. The prescribed application processing fee shall not be less than $10 nor more than $20 per line of authority. The fee shall be collected by the Commission and paid directly into the state treasury and credited to the fund for the maintenance of the Bureau of Insurance as provided in subsection B of § 38.2-400.

B. Each individual who is a resident of the Commonwealth shall, at the time of applying for a new license, be fingerprinted in a form and manner prescribed by the Commission and shall provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such applicant. The results of the state and national records search shall be forwarded to the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee, who shall be an employee of the Commission. The cost of fingerprinting and the criminal history record check shall be paid by the applicant. If an applicant's application for a license is denied, the Commission shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the applicant upon request. The information provided to the Commission shall not be disseminated except as provided in this subsection.

C. No resident license requiring an examination shall be issued by the Commission later than 183 calendar days from the date the applicant satisfies the prelicensing examination requirements set forth in § 38.2-1817. Applicants failing to satisfy this requirement shall be required to satisfy all prelicensing requirements, including the examination, again before applying.

D. Except where prohibited by state or federal law, by submitting an application for license, the applicant shall be deemed to have appointed the clerk of the Commission as the agent for service of process on the applicant in any action or proceeding arising in the Commonwealth out of or in connection with the exercise of the license. Such appointment of the clerk of the Commission as agent for service of process shall be irrevocable during the period within which a cause of action against the applicant may arise out of transactions with respect to subjects of insurance in the Commonwealth. Service of process on the clerk of the Commission shall conform to the provisions of Chapter 8 (§ 38.2-800 et seq.).

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.20; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1989, c. 435; 1994, c. 316; 2001, c. 706; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1820. Issuance of license.

A. Each applicant who is at least 18 years of age and who has satisfied the Commission that he is of good character, has a good reputation for honesty, and has complied with the other requirements of this article is entitled to and shall receive a license in the form the Commission prescribes.

B. A business entity acting as an insurance producer is required to obtain an insurance producer license. Application shall be made using the Uniform Business Entity Application, or such other application acceptable to the Commission. Before approving the application, the Commission shall find that:

1. The business entity has paid the nonrefundable application processing fee set forth in § 38.2-1819; and

2. The business entity has designated an employee, officer, director, manager, member, or partner to serve as the licensed producer responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth. However, with respect to a business entity applying for a limited lines license pursuant to Article 8 (§ 38.2-1875 et seq.) or 8.1 (§ 38.2-1881 et seq.), the licensed producer designated by the vendor or lessor is not required to be an employee, officer, director, manager, member, or partner of the vendor or lessor.

C. The Commission may require any documents reasonably necessary to verify the information contained in an application.

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.21; 1985, c. 616; 1986, c. 562; 2001, c. 706; 2008, c. 213; 2016, c. 552; 2018, c. 131; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1821. Revocation, etc., of license revokes appointment.

If the Commission refuses to grant or revokes or suspends a license, any appointment of such licensee shall likewise be revoked or suspended. No individual whose license is revoked shall be issued another license without first complying with all requirements of this article.

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.22; 1985, c. 616; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521.

§ 38.2-1821.1. Exceptions to licensing.

A. Nothing in this article shall be construed to require an insurer to obtain an insurance producer license. As used in this section, the term "insurer" does not include an insurer's officers, directors, employees, subsidiaries or affiliates.

B. A license as an insurance producer shall not be required of the following:

1. An officer, director or employee of an insurer or of an insurance producer, provided that the officer, director or employee does not receive any direct or indirect commission on policies written or sold to insure risks residing, located or to be performed in this Commonwealth and:

a. The officer, director or employee's activities are executive, administrative, managerial, clerical or a combination of these, and are only indirectly related to the sale, solicitation or negotiation of insurance; or

b. The officer, director or employee's function relates to underwriting, loss control, inspection or the processing, adjusting, investigating or settling of a claim on a contract of insurance; or

c. The officer, director or employee is acting in the capacity of a special agent or agency supervisor assisting insurance producers where the person's activities are limited to providing technical advice and assistance to licensed insurance producers and do not include the sale, solicitation or negotiation of insurance;

2. A person who (i) secures and furnishes information for the purpose of group life insurance, group property and casualty insurance, group annuities, group or blanket accident and health insurance; (ii) secures and furnishes information for the purpose of enrolling individuals under plans, issuing certificates under plans or otherwise assisting in administering plans; or (iii) performs administrative services related to mass marketed property and casualty insurance. As used in this section, "administrative services" does not include the selling, soliciting, or negotiating of insurance where no direct or indirect commission is paid to the person for the service;

3. An employer or association or its officers, directors, employees, or the trustees of an employee trust plan, to the extent that the employers, officers, employees, directors or trustees are engaged in the administration or operation of a program of employee benefits for the employer's or association's own employees or the employees of its subsidiaries or affiliates, which program involves the use of insurance issued by an insurer, as long as the employers, associations, officers, directors, employees or trustees are not in any manner compensated, directly or indirectly, by the company issuing the contracts;

4. Employees of insurers or organizations employed by insurers who are engaging in the inspection, rating or classification of risks, or in the supervision of the training of insurance producers and who are not individually engaged in the sale, solicitation or negotiation of insurance;

5. A person whose activities in this Commonwealth are limited to advertising without the intent to solicit insurance in this Commonwealth through communications in printed publications or other forms of electronic mass media whose distribution is not limited to residents of the Commonwealth, provided that the person does not sell, solicit or negotiate insurance that would insure risks residing, located or to be performed in this Commonwealth;

6. A person who is not a resident of this Commonwealth who sells, solicits or negotiates a contract of insurance for commercial property and casualty risks to an insured with risks located in more than one state insured under that contract, provided that that person is otherwise licensed as an insurance producer to sell, solicit or negotiate that insurance in the state where the insured maintains its principal place of business and the contract of insurance insures risks located in that state;

7. A salaried, full-time employee who counsels or advises his employer relative to the insurance interests of the employer or of the subsidiaries or business affiliates of the employer provided that the employee does not sell, solicit or negotiate insurance or receive direct or indirect commission; or

8. Any person who refers a customer who seeks to purchase any insurance product to a licensed agent and receives compensation for the referral of a customer, provided that:

a. The referral does not include a discussion of specific insurance policy terms and conditions;

b. The compensation is in the form of a one-time nominal fee of a fixed dollar amount for each referral; and

c. The compensation does not depend on whether the referral results in the purchase of insurance by the customer.

2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1822. License required of individual and business entity agents; individual acting for business entity licensee.

A. No person shall act, and no insurer or licensed agent shall knowingly permit a person to act, in this Commonwealth as an agent of an insurer licensed to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth without first obtaining a license in a manner and in a form prescribed by the Commission. As used in this section, "act as an agent" means selling, soliciting, or negotiating contracts of insurance or annuity on behalf of an insurer licensed in this Commonwealth or receiving or sharing, directly or indirectly, any commission or other valuable consideration arising from the sale, solicitation, or negotiation of any such contract, or both. No person shall submit business to any joint underwriting association or any plan established under this title for the equitable distribution of risks among insurers unless the person holds a valid license to transact the class of insurance involved.

B. No individual shall act as an agent on behalf of a business entity in the transaction of insurance unless he is licensed as an agent and appointed, if appointment is required by statute. No individual whose license has been revoked by the Commission, or voluntarily surrendered in lieu of a hearing before the Commission, shall directly or indirectly own and operate, control, or be employed in any manner by an insurance agent or agency during the time period in which the individual is unlicensed unless otherwise authorized by the Commission.

C. No business entity may act as an agent in this Commonwealth unless licensed and appointed, if appointment is required by statute. The existence of the business entity shall be recorded pursuant to law. The Commission may require proof of the foregoing before issuing a license to the business entity.

D. For a nonresident business entity, a certification by the insurance department of the business entity's home state satisfying the requirements of subsection A of § 38.2-1836 shall be deemed to satisfy the foregoing requirements.

E. In addition to the requirements of §§ 59.1-69 and 59.1-70, any individual or business entity conducting the business of insurance in this Commonwealth under an assumed or fictitious name shall notify the Bureau of Insurance either at the time the application for a license to do business is filed or within 30 calendar days from the date the assumed or fictitious name is adopted, setting forth the name under which such business is to be conducted.

F. When the business of insurance is no longer conducted under an assumed or fictitious name, notification to the Bureau of Insurance is required within 30 calendar days from the date of cessation of use of such assumed or fictitious name.

G. Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, no license shall be required of a person whose employment responsibilities include enrolling individuals under a group insurance policy, provided that such person receives no commission or other valuable consideration for such enrollments, and that such compensation is in no manner contingent upon the number of individuals enrolled or the amount of premium generated by such enrollments. As used in this subsection "enrolling individuals" means the process of informing individuals of the availability of coverages, calculating the insurance charge, assisting with completion of the enrollment application, preparing and delivering the certificate of insurance, answering questions regarding the coverages, and assisting the individual in making an informed decision whether or not enrollment under the group insurance plan is to be elected.

Code 1950, § 38.1-302; 1952, c. 317; 1956, c. 172; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.33; 1980, c. 581; 1981, c. 604; 1985, c. 616; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1989, c. 435; 1991, c. 88; 1994, c. 316; 1997, c. 583; 1999, c. 586; 2001, c. 706; 2002, c. 456; 2008, c. 213; 2013, c. 212.

§ 38.2-1823. Penalty for acting for insurer, joint underwriting association, etc., when not licensed.

Any person submitting business, in violation of § 38.2-1822, while the person is not a holder of a valid agent's license to transact the class of insurance involved shall be penalized a sum equal to the first year commission for the placement of that business and in addition shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in §§ 38.2-218 and 38.2-1831.

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.34; 1981, c. 604; 1985, c. 616; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521.

§ 38.2-1824. Kinds of agents' licenses and appointments issued.

A. 1. The Commission shall issue the following kinds of agents' licenses and appointments under this chapter: Life and annuities insurance agent; health agent; property and casualty insurance agent; personal lines agent; limited lines credit insurance agent; limited lines life and health insurance agent; limited lines property and casualty insurance agent; motor vehicle rental contract insurance agent; restricted nonresident life and annuities insurance agent; restricted nonresident health agent; restricted nonresident property and casualty insurance agent; restricted nonresident personal lines agent; public adjuster; surplus lines broker; title insurance agent; variable contract agent; and viatical settlement broker. For the purposes of nonresident reciprocal licensing as provided in § 38.2-1836, the Commission may issue a license for any other limited line of insurance that the Commission may deem it necessary to recognize.

2. The Commission shall permit insurers, within each insurer's authority, to make the following kinds of appointments: life and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, and title insurance. The appointed agent's authority is limited to that provided by his license and may not be expanded by his appointment or by his contractual agreement with an insurer.

B. The licenses of all individuals and business entities who on August 31, 2002, hold limited licenses to write accident and sickness insurance, or automobile insurance, or casualty insurance, or fidelity and surety bonds, or fire insurance, or life insurance and annuities, shall have such licenses automatically converted to the nearest equivalent license type provided in subsection A and shall henceforth be subject to all prelicensing, renewal, and continuing education requirements applicable to such new license type.

Code 1950, § 38.1-306; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.35; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1988, c. 32; 1991, c. 620; 1994, c. 106; 1995, c. 167; 1998, cc. 16, 47, 164; 1999, cc. 86, 490, 586; 2001, c. 706; 2003, c. 979; 2004, c. 460; 2012, cc. 734, 735; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1825. Duration and termination of licenses and appointments.

A. A license issued to:

1. An individual agent shall authorize him to act as an agent until the license is otherwise terminated, suspended or revoked.

2. A business entity shall authorize such business entity to act as an agent until the license is otherwise terminated, suspended, or revoked. The dissolution or discontinuance of a partnership, whether by intent or by operation of law, shall automatically terminate all licenses issued to such partnership. The Bureau shall automatically terminate all insurance licenses within 90 calendar days of receiving notification from the clerk of the Commission that the certificate of organization or charter of a domestic limited liability company or corporation, respectively, whether by intent or by operation of law, has been terminated or that the certificate of registration or certificate of authority of a foreign limited liability company or corporation, respectively, has been revoked.

B. The license issued to a resident variable contract agent pursuant to this chapter shall terminate immediately upon the termination of the licensee's life and annuities insurance agent license, and may not be applied for again until the person has been issued a new life and annuities insurance agent license.

C. The license issued to a resident surplus lines broker pursuant to this title shall terminate immediately upon the termination of the licensee's property and casualty insurance agent license, and may not be applied for again until the person has been issued a new property and casualty insurance agent license.

D. Immediately upon termination of a settlement agent's last appointment under his title insurance agent license, the Bureau shall terminate the settlement agent's registration and the person shall not be permitted to act as a settlement agent under his title insurance agent's license until a new appointment has taken effect.

E. An appointment issued to an agent by an insurer, unless terminated, suspended or revoked, shall authorize the appointee to act as an agent for that insurer and to be compensated therefor notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 38.2-1812 and 38.2-1823.

F. A business entity licensed as a producer shall designate within 30 calendar days a new licensed producer responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth pursuant to subdivision B 2 of § 38.2-1820 following the removal, for any reason, of the previous designated licensed producer.

Code 1950, § 38.1-305; 1952, c. 317; 1978, c. 4; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.36; 1981, c. 604; 1984, c. 549; 1985, c. 616; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1997, c. 583; 2001, c. 706; 2007, c. 703; 2010, c. 281; 2016, cc. 552, 619.

§ 38.2-1825.1. Renewal application and fee; compliance with continuing education requirements; reinstatement; waiver.

A. Beginning January 1, 2021, each individual agent shall submit biennially to the Commission a renewal application in a form and manner prescribed by the Commission, along with a nonrefundable renewal application processing fee prescribed by the Commission, for the renewal of the license. Licenses shall be renewed biennially based on the agent's month and year of birth. The license for an agent born in an even-numbered year shall expire at the end of the agent's birth month in even-numbered years. The license for an agent born in an odd-numbered year shall expire at the end of the agent's birth month in odd-numbered years. Any license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have been received by the Commission and all other applicable licensing and renewal provisions in this chapter have been met shall, unless the license has been terminated, suspended, or revoked, be renewed for a two-year period. Any license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have not been received by the Commission in the manner prescribed by the Commission shall automatically be terminated.

B. Each individual agent who is not exempt under § 38.2-1871 shall submit to the Virginia Insurance Continuing Education Board or its administrator proof of compliance with the continuing education requirements set forth in Article 7 (§ 38.2-1866 et seq.) on a biennial basis in conjunction with the agent's license renewal. The agent's license shall not be renewed if the agent has failed to satisfy the applicable continuing education requirements.

C. On or before May 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, each business entity shall submit to the Commission a renewal application, along with a nonrefundable renewal application processing fee prescribed by the Commission, for the renewal of the license. Any license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have been received by the Commission and all other applicable licensing and renewal provisions in this chapter have been met shall, unless the license has been terminated, suspended, or revoked, be renewed for a two-year period. Any license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have not been received by the Commission shall automatically be terminated.

D. The nonrefundable renewal application processing fee shall be paid in a manner and in an amount prescribed by the Commission. The prescribed nonrefundable renewal application processing fee shall not be less than $10 nor more than $20 per line of authority. All fees shall be collected by the Commission and paid directly into the state treasury and credited to the fund for the maintenance of the Bureau of Insurance as provided in subsection B of § 38.2-400.

E. An individual agent whose license terminates due to failure to renew may, within 12 months from the renewal date, reinstate the same license without the necessity of passing a prelicensing written examination by:

1. Submitting a renewal application;

2. Submitting a nonrefundable reinstatement processing fee equivalent to double the nonrefundable renewal application processing fee; and

3. Satisfying the relevant continuing education requirements.

F. A licensed agent who is unable to comply with the license renewal requirements due to military service or another extenuating circumstance such as a long-term illness or incapacity may request a waiver of those requirements. Requests for waivers of renewal requirements shall be made in a form and manner prescribed by the Commission. Agents seeking a waiver of renewal requirements shall submit all documentation specified by the Commission so as to be received by the Commission no later than the last day of the renewal period. After the renewal period, agents who have failed to complete the renewal waiver requirements may request a waiver from the reinstatement requirements set forth in subdivisions E 1 and 2 within the 12-month reinstatement period. The Commission shall approve or disapprove the waiver request within 30 calendar days of receipt thereof and shall provide written notice of its decision to the applicant for waiver within five calendar days of rendering its decision. Any waiver granted pursuant to this section shall be valid only for the renewal period or reinstatement period for which the waiver request was made.

2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1826. Requirement to report to Commission.

A. Each licensed agent shall report within 30 calendar days to the Commission, and to every insurer for which he is appointed any change in his residence address, email address, or name.

B. Each licensed agent convicted of a felony shall report within 30 calendar days to the Commission the facts and circumstances regarding the criminal conviction.

C. Each licensed agent shall report to the Commission within 30 calendar days of the final disposition of the matter any administrative action taken against him in another jurisdiction or by another governmental agency in the Commonwealth. Such report shall include a copy of the order, consent to order or other relevant legal documents.

D. The license authority of any licensed resident agent shall terminate immediately when such agent has moved his residence from the Commonwealth, whether or not the Commission has been notified of such move.

E. Each business entity acting as an insurance producer shall report within 30 calendar days to the Commission the removal, for any reason, of the designated licensed producer responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth pursuant to subdivision B 2 of § 38.2-1820, along with the name of the new designated licensed producer.

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.37; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1999, c. 59; 2001, c. 706; 2016, c. 552; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1827. Appointment may include one or more classes of insurance.

Except as otherwise provided in this title, an appointment of a licensed agent authorizes that person to sell, solicit, or negotiate any one or more of the classes of insurance (i) for which the agent is licensed in this Commonwealth and (ii) for which the appointing insurer is also licensed in this Commonwealth. However, an agent holding a license that includes both life and health and property and casualty authorities shall be required to obtain both a life and health and a property and casualty appointment if the agent intends to sell, solicit, or negotiate both types of insurance, and an insurer shall be required to appoint any such agent for both life and health and property and casualty if the insurer intends to authorize the agent to sell, solicit, or negotiate both types of insurance on its behalf.

Code 1950, § 38.1-303; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.38; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1828. Selling accident and sickness insurance.

Any individual or business entity who desires to sell, solicit, or negotiate accident and sickness insurance as defined in § 38.2-109 shall obtain a health agent's license. However, this requirement does not apply to individuals or business entities eligible for limited licenses pursuant to § 38.2-1815.1, or those agents selling, soliciting or negotiating medical, hospital, surgical, funeral or weekly indemnity benefits as a part of a policy of motor vehicle or aircraft insurance.

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.39; 1985, c. 616; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1829. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2001, c. 706, cl. 2, effective September 1, 2002.

§ 38.2-1830. Temporary licenses and appointments; when issued.

A. Temporary individual licenses providing for life and health insurance authority or property and casualty insurance authority shall be issued by the Commission in the following circumstances:

1. Upon the death of an agent, to his personal representative, surviving spouse, employee, child or next of kin;

2. Upon the inability of an agent to act because of sickness, injury or mental incapacity, to his spouse, child, next of kin, employee or legal representative;

3. Upon the sale of the agent's business, to any person employed in the business. In the event no person is available and suitable for licensing and appointment, the Commission may license and appoint any other suitable person; or

4. To an applicant who is to be an appointed agent of a home service insurer, and who will be assigned a debit and will actually collect the premiums on insurance contracts during the period of such temporary license.

B. Before any temporary license is issued, the applicant shall file with the Commission an application in the form and containing the information the Commission prescribes.

C. No examination shall be required of the applicant; however, no license shall be issued until the Commission is satisfied that the applicant is trustworthy and competent to be licensed.

D. Only one temporary life and health license and one temporary property and casualty license may be issued to any individual during his lifetime, and each such temporary license shall be valid for a period of 180 calendar days.

E. Appointments made by insurers of agents holding temporary licenses shall expire upon the expiration of the temporary license, unless the agent has obtained prior to expiration of the temporary license, a permanent license of the same type, in which event the appointment shall remain in effect subject to the provisions of § 38.2-1825.

F. An individual holding a temporary license shall not be prevented from securing a license by meeting the applicable requirements for the license, nor shall a temporary license be required before an individual may obtain a license.

G. The Commission, in its sole discretion and for good cause shown, may renew licenses granted under this section.

Code 1950, § 38.1-310; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.42; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1989, c. 435; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1831. Grounds for placing on probation, refusal to issue or renew, revocation, or suspension of license.

The Commission may, in addition to or in lieu of a penalty imposed under § 38.2-218, place on probation, suspend, revoke or refuse to issue or renew any person's license for any one or more of the following causes:

1. Providing materially incorrect, misleading, incomplete or untrue information in the license application or any other document filed with the Commission;

2. Violating any insurance laws, or violating any regulation, subpoena or order of the Commission or of another state's insurance regulatory authority;

3. Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license through misrepresentation or fraud;

4. Engaging in the practice of rebating;

5. Engaging in twisting or any form thereof, where "twisting" means inducing an insured to terminate an existing policy and purchase a new policy through misrepresentation;

6. Improperly withholding, misappropriating or converting any moneys or properties received in the course of doing insurance business;

7. Intentionally misrepresenting the terms of an actual or proposed insurance contract or application for insurance;

8. Having admitted or been found to have committed any insurance unfair trade practice or fraud;

9. Having been convicted of a felony;

10. Using fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest practices, or demonstrating incompetence, or untrustworthiness in the conduct of business in this Commonwealth or elsewhere, or demonstrating financial irresponsibility in the handling of applicant, policyholder, agency, or insurance company funds;

11. Having an insurance producer license, or its equivalent, denied, suspended or revoked in any other state, province, district or territory;

12. Forging another's name to an application for insurance or to any document related to an insurance transaction;

13. Improperly using notes or any other reference material to complete an examination for an insurance license;

14. Knowingly accepting insurance business from an individual who is not licensed;

15. Failing to comply with an administrative or court order imposing a child support obligation; or

16. Failing to pay state income tax or comply with any administrative or court order directing payment of state income tax.

Code 1950, § 38.1-311; 1952, c. 317; 1970, c. 656; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.43; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1996, c. 10; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1832. Refusal to issue and revocation of license; hearing; new application.

A. If the Commission believes that any applicant for a license is not of good character or does not have a good reputation for honesty, it may refuse to issue the license, subject to the right of the applicant to demand a hearing on the application. Except as provided in § 38.2-1042, the Commission shall not revoke or suspend an existing license until the licensee is given an opportunity to be heard before the Commission. If the Commission refuses to issue a new license or proposes to revoke or suspend an existing license, it shall give the applicant or licensee at least ten calendar days' notice in writing of the time and place of the hearing if a hearing is requested. The notice shall contain a statement of the objections to the issuance of the license, or the reason for its proposed revocation or suspension, as the case may be. The notice may be given to the applicant or licensee by registered or certified mail, sent to the last known address of record pursuant to § 38.2-1826, or the last known business address if the address of record is incorrect, or in any other lawful manner the Commission prescribes. The Commission may summon witnesses to testify with respect to the applicant or licensee, and the applicant or licensee may introduce evidence in his or its behalf. No applicant to whom a license is refused after a hearing, nor any licensee whose license is revoked, shall again apply for a license until after the expiration of a period of five years from the date of the Commission's order, or such other period of time as the Commission prescribes in its order.

B. The license of a business entity may be suspended, revoked or refused if the Commission finds, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, that a violation by an individual licensee acting at the direction of, on behalf of, or with the permission of the business entity was known to be a violation by one or more of the partners, officers or managers acting on behalf of the business entity, and the violation was neither reported to the Commission nor corrective action taken.

C. In addition to or in lieu of any applicable denial, suspension or revocation of a license, a person may, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, be subject to a penalty pursuant to § 38.2-218.

D. The Commission shall retain the authority to enforce the provisions of and impose any penalty or remedy authorized by this title against any person who is under investigation for or charged with a violation of this title, even if the person's license or registration has been surrendered, terminated, suspended, revoked, or has lapsed by operation of law.

Code 1950, § 38.1-312; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.44; 1981, c. 604; 1985, c. 616; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1833. Appointments of agents.

A. Subject to the requirement of § 38.2-1801, every licensed agent may sell policies and solicit applications for insurance for any one or more of the classes of insurance for which he is licensed on behalf of an insurer (i) also licensed in this Commonwealth for those classes of insurance and (ii) by which the licensed agent has not yet been validly appointed, subject to the following requirements:

1. The insurer shall, within 30 calendar days of the date of execution of the first insurance application or policy submitted by a licensed but not yet appointed agent, either reject such application or policy or file with the Commission a notice of appointment in a form acceptable to the Commission. The Commission shall provide a means whereby an insurer may elect to appoint an agent to represent all or some of the insurers within the insurer's holding company system or group by the submission of a single notice of appointment for each appointment type applicable.

2. The insurer shall provide to the licensed agent, within the same 30-day period, a verification that the notice of appointment has been filed with the Commission.

3. Upon receipt of the notice of appointment, the Commission shall verify that the agent holds a valid license and that the notice has been properly completed and submitted. The Commission shall notify the appointing insurer if the appointment of the agent is invalid within five business days of its receipt of the appointment notice, and the insurer shall notify the agent in writing of the invalid appointment within five business days of receiving such notice from the Commission. Any agent who sells or solicits insurance on behalf of the insurer after being notified of an invalid appointment shall be in violation of this section and shall be subject to penalties as prescribed in §§ 38.2-218 and 38.2-1831.

4. An agent whose appointment by an insurer has been terminated by the insurer shall be prohibited from selling or soliciting applications or policies on behalf of that insurer unless and until reappointed by the insurer. Any such selling or solicitation on behalf of that insurer subsequent to such appointment termination and prior to such reappointment shall constitute a violation of this section by the agent and shall subject the agent to penalties as prescribed in §§ 38.2-218 and 38.2-1831.

B. Each agent's appointment record shall be public information and shall be available for public inspection during normal business hours of the Commission. The Commission may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs incurred in providing this information.

C. Each insurer shall pay a nonrefundable appointment processing fee, in an amount prescribed by the Commission, for each appointment notification submitted by the insurer to the Commission.

D. The prescribed appointment fee shall not be less than $7 nor more than $25.

E. Such fees shall be billed to the insurer by the Commission on a quarterly basis and shall be due and payable on August 10 for the quarter ending June 30, on November 10 for the quarter ending September 30, on February 10 for the quarter ending December 31, and on May 10 for the quarter ending March 31. In the event that a due date falls on a weekend or holiday, payment shall be due on the first business day following such due date.

F. Such quarterly billing shall include all appointment notifications submitted by the insurer during the immediately preceding quarter, regardless of the current status of any such appointments.

G. All appointment processing fees collected by the Commission, as well as penalties collected pursuant to subsection H, shall be paid directly into the state treasury and placed to the credit of the fund for the maintenance of the Bureau of Insurance as provided in subsection B of § 38.2-400.

H. Upon the failure of the insurer to pay amounts due under this section by the date due, the Commission:

1. Shall impose a penalty of $50 per day for each day between the date due and the date full payment is received by the Commission. The appointment fees described above shall not be considered paid in full unless and until the penalty described herein has been received by the Commission; and

2. May, in addition to the penalty imposed above, administratively terminate the appointment of each agent on whose behalf the appointment processing fee, including any penalty imposed pursuant to this section, was not received by the Commission by the date due and after the insurer has been given due notice and an opportunity to submit the overdue payment.

1985, c. 616, § 38.1-327.44:1; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1988, c. 302; 1994, c. 316; 2001, c. 706; 2003, c. 871; 2008, c. 357.

§ 38.2-1834. Duration of appointment; annual renewal of agent's appointment.

A. A valid appointment of an agent shall authorize the agent to act for the insurer during the time for which the appointing insurer is licensed to do business in this Commonwealth, unless such appointment is otherwise terminated, suspended, or revoked. No later than 10 calendar days after notice of the termination, suspension or revocation of an appointment has been sent to the agent or agency, the agent or agency shall immediately cease selling or soliciting on behalf of such insurer.

B. Prior to August 10 of each year, or the first business day thereafter if August 10 falls on a weekend or holiday, every insurer shall remit in a manner prescribed by the Commission a renewal appointment fee, for each appointment for which notice of appointment termination was not received by the Commission on or before the preceding June 30, in an amount prescribed by the Commission, which shall be collected by the Commission and, along with any penalties collected pursuant to subsection C, paid directly into the state treasury and credited to the fund for the maintenance of the Bureau of Insurance as provided in subsection B of § 38.2-400.

C. Upon the failure of the insurer to pay amounts due under this section by the date due, the Commission:

1. Shall impose a penalty of $50 per day for each calendar day between the date due and the date full payment is received by the Commission. The renewal appointment fees described above shall not be considered paid in full unless and until the penalty described herein has been received by the Commission; and

2. May, in addition to the penalty imposed above, administratively terminate the appointment of each agent on whose behalf the appointment renewal fee, including any penalty imposed pursuant to this section, was not received by the Commission by the date due and after the insurer has been given due notice and an opportunity to submit the overdue payment.

D. Except as provided in § 38.2-1834.1, upon the termination of the appointment of an agent by an insurer, the insurer shall notify the agent of such termination within five calendar days and the Commission, except as provided in subsection B of this section, within 30 calendar days in a manner acceptable to the Commission, whereupon termination of the agent's appointment to represent the insurer shall be recorded by the Commission.

E. Any license in effect on January 1, 1986, shall be deemed to be an appointment for the unexpired term of that license. Certificates of qualifications issued prior to January 1, 1986, shall be deemed to be the license required by this chapter.

F. An appointment of an agent holding a restricted or limited license shall authorize such agent to sell, solicit, or negotiate only those classes of insurance specifically included in such agent's license authority.

1985, c. 616, § 38.1-327.44:2; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1988, c. 32; 1994, c. 316; 2001, c. 706; 2003, c. 871.

§ 38.2-1834.1. Notification to Commission of termination; notice to agent; immunities; confidentiality; penalties.

A. An insurer or authorized representative of the insurer that terminates the appointment, employment, contract or other insurance business relationship with an agent or other licensee under this chapter shall notify the Commission within thirty calendar days following the effective date of the termination, using a format prescribed by the Commission, if the reason for termination is one of the reasons set forth in § 38.2-1831 or the insurer has knowledge the agent was found by a court, government body, or legally authorized self-regulatory organization authorized by law to have engaged in any of the activities in § 38.2-1356, 38.2-1363, 38.2-1831 or 38.2-1843. The propriety of any such termination for cause shall be certified in writing by an officer or authorized representative of the insurer or agent terminating the relationship. Upon the written request of the Commission, the insurer shall provide additional information, documents, records or other data pertaining to the termination or activity of the agent or other licensee.

B. The insurer or the authorized representative of the insurer shall promptly notify the Commission in a format acceptable to the Commission if, upon further review or investigation, the insurer discovers additional information that would have been reportable to the Commission in accordance with subsection A had the insurer then known of its existence.

C. 1. Within fifteen calendar days after making the notification required by subsections A and B, the insurer shall mail a copy of the notification to the agent at his last known address pursuant to the insurer's records. If the agent is terminated for cause for any of the reasons listed in § 38.2-1831, the insurer shall provide a copy of the notification to the agent at his last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid or by overnight delivery using a nationally recognized carrier.

2. Within thirty calendar days after the agent has received the original or additional notification, the agent may file written comments concerning the substance of the notification with the Commission in the form and manner required by the Commission. The agent shall, by the same means, simultaneously send a copy of the comments to the reporting insurer, and the comments shall become a part of the Commission's file and accompany every copy of a report distributed or disclosed for any reason about the agent as permitted under subsection D.

D. 1. In the absence of actual malice, an insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, a producer, the Commission, authorized representatives of the Commission, the NAIC, its affiliates or subsidiaries, or state, federal, and international law-enforcement authorities shall not be subject to civil liability, and a civil cause of action of any nature shall not arise against these entities or their respective agents or employees, as a result of any statement or information required by or provided pursuant to this section or any information relating to any statement that may be requested in writing by the Commission, from an insurer or agent, or a statement by a terminating insurer or agent to an insurer or agent limited solely and exclusively to whether a termination for cause under subsection A was reported to the Commission, provided that the propriety of any termination for cause under subsection A is certified in writing, pursuant to subsection A of this section, by an officer or authorized representative of the insurer or agent terminating the relationship.

2. In any action brought against a person that may have immunity under subdivision 1 for making any statement required by this section or providing any information relating to any statement that may be requested by the Commission, the party bringing the action shall plead specifically in any allegation that subdivision 1 does not apply because the person making the statement or providing the information did so with actual malice.

3. Subdivision 1 or 2 shall not abrogate or modify any existing statutory or common law privileges or immunities.

E. 1. Any documents, materials or other information in the control or possession of the Commission that is furnished by an insurer, agent or an employee thereof acting on behalf of the insurer or agent, or obtained by the Commission in an investigation pursuant to this chapter shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to inspection or review by the general public, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. However, the Commission is authorized to use the documents, materials or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the Commission's duties.

2. Neither the Commission nor any person who received documents, materials or other information while acting under the authority of the Commission shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to subdivision 1.

3. In order to assist in the performance of the Commission's duties under this chapter, the Commission:

a. May share documents, material or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials or information subject to subdivision 1, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, with the NAIC, its affiliates or subsidiaries, and with local, state, federal, and international law-enforcement authorities, provided that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material or other information.

b. May receive documents, materials or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials or information, from the NAIC, its affiliates or subsidiaries and from regulatory and law-enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material or information.

4. No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials, or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the Commission under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in subdivision 3.

5. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the Commission from releasing final, adjudicated actions including for cause terminations that are open to public inspection pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 12.1-18 et seq.) of Title 12.1 to a database or other clearinghouse service maintained by the NAIC, its affiliates or subsidiaries of the NAIC.

F. An insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, or agent that fails to report as required under the provisions of this section or that is found to have reported with actual malice by a court of competent jurisdiction may, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, have its license or certificate of authority suspended or revoked and may be fined in accordance with Chapter 2 (§ 38.2-200 et seq.) of this title.

2001, c. 706; 2002, c. 296; 2008, c. 303.

§ 38.2-1835. Failure to appoint.

Any insurer that accepts applications from an unlicensed agent or does not appoint a licensed agent pursuant to the provisions of § 38.2-1833 shall be penalized as provided in §§ 38.2-218 and 38.2-1040.

1985, c. 616, § 38.1-327.44:3; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521.

§ 38.2-1836. Licensing nonresidents; reciprocal agreements with other states and Canadian provinces.

A. An individual or business entity who is not a resident as defined in § 38.2-1800, but who is a resident of another state or territory of the United States or a province of Canada shall receive a nonresident agent license if:

1. The applicant presents proof in a form acceptable to the Commission that the applicant is currently licensed as a resident and in good standing in his home state;

2. The applicant has submitted the proper request for licensure and has paid the fees required by § 38.2-1819;

3. The applicant has submitted or transmitted to the Commission the application for licensure that the person submitted to his home state, or in lieu of the same, a completed Uniform Application; and

4. The person's home state issues nonresident agent licenses to residents of this Commonwealth on the same basis.

B. For the purposes of this chapter, any individual whose place of residence and place of business are in a city or town located partly within the Commonwealth and partly within another state may be considered as meeting the requirements as a resident of this Commonwealth, provided the other state has established by law or regulation similar requirements as to residence of such individuals.

C. The Commission may enter into a reciprocal agreement with an appropriate official of any other state, territory or province of Canada if such an agreement is required in order for a Virginia resident to be similarly licensed as a nonresident in that state, territory or province. No applicant for a nonresident agent license shall be permitted to obtain such a license unless such agent's home state will grant a similar license to a resident of this Commonwealth.

D. The Commission may verify the agent's licensing status through the Producer Database maintained by the NAIC, its affiliates or subsidiaries.

E. A nonresident agent who moves from one state or province to another state shall file a change of address and provide a certification from the new home state within thirty calendar days of the change of legal residence. No fee or license application is required.

F. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a person licensed as a limited lines credit insurance or other type of limited lines agent in his home state shall receive a nonresident limited lines agent license, pursuant to subsection A of this section, granting the same scope of authority as is granted under the license issued by the agent's home state. A person holding an unrestricted license from his home state in which the authority of the license is less than the total authority prescribed in the associated major lines pursuant §§ 38.2-1814 through 38.2-1815.1 shall be issued a restricted nonresident license providing authority equivalent to that held by the agent in his home state.

G. Any licenses and appointments issued to nonresidents pursuant to this section shall be terminated at any time that the nonresident's equivalent authority in his home state is terminated, suspended, or revoked.

Code 1950, § 38.1-301.9; 1956, c. 541; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.45; 1980, c. 743; 1981, c. 604; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1988, c. 335; 1989, c. 435; 1990, c. 464; 2001, c. 706; 2008, c. 213.

§ 38.2-1836.1. Authority of Commission to delegate certain functions.

In order to assist in the performance of its duties, the Commission may contract with nongovernmental entities, including the NAIC or any affiliates or subsidiaries that the NAIC oversees, to perform any ministerial functions, including licensing examination administration, the collection of fees related to producer licensing and appointments, and such other functions as the Commission may deem appropriate.

2001, c. 706.