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

Article 4. Licensing of Insurance Consultants.

§ 38.2-1837. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Insurance consultant" means any individual or business entity who acts as an independent contractor in relation to his client and for a fee or compensation, other than from an insurer or agent or surplus lines broker, advises or offers or purports to advise, as to life and health or property and casualty insurance, any person actively or prospectively insured. "Insurance consultant" shall not include:

1. Any licensed attorney acting in his professional capacity;

2. A trust officer of a bank acting in the normal course of his employment;

3. Any actuary or certified public accountant who consults during the normal course of his business; and

4. Any person employed as a risk manager and who consults for his employer only.

"Life and health insurance consultant" means an insurance consultant whose services are limited to insurance as defined in §§ 38.2-102 through 38.2-109 or health services as provided for in Chapters 42 (§ 38.2-4200 et seq.) and 43 (§ 38.2-4300 et seq.) of this title.

"Property and casualty insurance consultant" means an insurance consultant whose services are limited to insurance as defined in §§ 38.2-110 through 38.2-122 and 38.2-124 through 38.2-134.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.62; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 1992, c. 574; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1838. License required of consultants; fingerprinting.

A. No person, unless he holds an appropriate license shall:

1. Represent to members of the public that he provides planning or consulting services beyond those within the normal scope of activities of a licensed insurance agent; or

2. Except as provided in § 38.2-1812.2, charge or receive, directly or indirectly, a fee or other compensation for insurance advice, other than commissions received in such person's capacity as a licensed insurance agent or surplus lines broker resulting from selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance or health care services as allowed by his license.

B. Each individual applying for an insurance consultant's license shall apply to the Commission in a form acceptable to the Commission, and shall provide satisfactory evidence of having met the following requirements:

1. To be licensed as a property and casualty insurance consultant the applicant must pass, within 183 calendar days prior to the date of application for such license, the property and casualty examination as required in § 38.2-1817, except that an applicant who, at the time of such application holds an active property and casualty insurance agent license, shall be exempt from the examination requirements;

2. To be licensed as a life and health insurance consultant, the applicant must pass, within 183 calendar days prior to the date of application for such license, both the life and annuities and the health examinations as required in § 38.2-1817, except that an applicant who, at the time of such application holds both an active life and annuities license and an active health agent license, shall be exempt from the examination requirements;

3. Each individual applicant for an insurance consultant license 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; and

4. 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.).

C. Any individual who acts as an insurance consultant as an officer, director, principal or employee of a business entity shall be required to hold an appropriate individual license as an insurance consultant.

D. A business entity acting as an insurance consultant is required to obtain an insurance consultant license. Application shall be made in a form and manner acceptable to the Commission. Before approving the application, the Commission shall find that:

1. The business entity has paid the fee set forth in this section; 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.

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

F. Each applicant for an insurance consultant's license 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.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.63; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 678; 1992, c. 574; 1997, c. 583; 2001, c. 706; 2008, c. 213; 2016, c. 552; 2018, c. 131; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1839. Contract required; placement of insurance for public bodies.

A. A licensed insurance consultant that does not sell, solicit or negotiate insurance as part of his services shall enter into a written contract with his client prior to any act as a consultant in this Commonwealth. A licensed insurance consultant that does sell, solicit or negotiate insurance in this Commonwealth as part of his services shall enter into a written contract with his client prior to the purchase of any insurance by that client. The contract shall include, without limitation, the amount and basis of any consulting fee and the duration of employment. If the insurance consultant may also receive commissions, incentives, bonuses, overrides, or any other form of remuneration either directly or indirectly as a result of his services for selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance as a part of his services in addition to a consulting fee, unless otherwise prohibited, such information shall be disclosed in the contract.

B. No insurance consultant may provide or offer to provide, directly or indirectly, insurance products to a public body while concurrently and on its behalf (i) evaluating proposals from other insurance agents and (ii) recommending the placement of insurance.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.64; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 1996, c. 989; 2001, c. 706; 2003, c. 621; 2007, c. 449.

§ 38.2-1840. Renewal application and fee; compliance with continuing education requirements; reinstatement; waiver.

A. Beginning January 1, 2021, each insurance consultant 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 insurance consultant's month and year of birth. The license for a consultant born in an even-numbered year shall expire at the end of the consultant's birth month in even-numbered years. The license for a consultant born in an odd-numbered year shall expire at the end of the consultant's birth month in odd-numbered years. Any consultant 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 consultant license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have not been received by the Commission shall automatically be terminated.

B. Each individual insurance consultant 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 insurance consultant's license renewal. The insurance consultant'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 licensed as a consultant 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 consultant 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 consultant 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 processing fee shall be paid in a manner and in an amount prescribed by the Commission. 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 insurance consultant 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 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. An individual insurance consultant 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. Insurance consultants 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, insurance consultants 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.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.65; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 1994, c. 316; 1999, c. 44; 2001, c. 706; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1841. Termination, suspension, or revocation of license.

A. A license issued to an individual insurance consultant shall authorize him to act as an insurance consultant until his license is otherwise terminated, suspended, or revoked.

B. A license issued to a business entity shall authorize such business entity to act as an insurance consultant until such 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 the insurance consultant's license issued to such partnership. The Bureau shall automatically terminate all insurance consultant 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.

C. The termination of a consultant as an insurance agent pursuant to subsection A of § 38.2-1825 shall not result in the termination of the consultant's license, provided that the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee prescribed in § 38.2-1840 continues to be paid, the consultant license continues to be renewed as required by § 38.2-1840, and the license is not otherwise revoked, suspended, or terminated.

D. The license authority of any business entity licensed as a consultant shall terminate immediately if the designated licensed producer responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth pursuant to subdivision D 2 of § 38.2-1838 is removed for any reason and a new responsible producer has not been designated and the Commission notified within 30 calendar days of such removal and of the new designated responsible producer.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.66; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 1992, c. 574; 1997, c. 583; 1999, c. 44; 2001, c. 706; 2016, c. 552; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1842. Requirement to report to Commission.

A. Each licensed insurance consultant shall report within 30 calendar days to the Commission any change in his residence address, email address, or name.

B. In addition to the requirements of §§ 59.1-69 and 59.1-70, any individual or business entity licensed as an insurance consultant in the Commonwealth and operating under an assumed or fictitious name shall notify the Commission, at the earlier of the time the application for an insurance consultant license is filed or within 30 calendar days from the date the assumed or fictitious name is adopted, setting forth the name under which the insurance consultant intends to operate in Virginia. The Commission shall also be notified within 30 calendar days from the date of cessation of the use of such assumed or fictitious name.

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

D. Each licensed insurance consultant 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.

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

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.67; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 1999, c. 59; 2001, c. 706; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1843. 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. Improperly withholding, misappropriating or converting any moneys or properties received in the course of doing insurance consulting business;

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. Engaging in the practice of rebating;

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, including reducing the fee or compensation provided for in § 38.2-1837 for the purpose of inducing a client or potential client to purchase a policy;

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 or consultant 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.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.68; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 1996, c. 10; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1844. Refusal to issue and revocation of license; hearing; new application.

A. If the Commission is of the opinion that any applicant for an insurance consultant's 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. 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 § 38.2-1842, 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.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.69; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1845. 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, territory, or province of Canada, shall receive a nonresident insurance consultant license if:

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

2. The applicant has submitted the proper application for licensure or a copy of the application for licensure submitted to his home state, and has paid the fees required by § 38.2-1838; and

3. The applicant's home state issues nonresident insurance consultant licenses to residents of this Commonwealth on the same basis, or will permit a resident of this Commonwealth to act as a consultant in such state without requiring a license.

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 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 or province.

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

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

F. Any licenses 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.

1985, c. 3, § 38.1-327.70; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 521, 678; 1988, c. 335; 2001, c. 706; 2008, c. 213.