The Office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on August 10, 2001, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: Registration and Supervision of Satellite Offices
1. If a New York licensed insurance agent intends to open 100 satellite offices in the state, is there any procedure required, due to the large number of offices being opened, in addition to the required notice pursuant to N. Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.4 (1995) (Regulation 125)?
2. Is there any type of supervision requirement that would limit the number of offices that can be supervised by one person?
1. No. The agent must comply with the notice requirement set forth in N. Y. Ins. Law § 2129(b) (McKinney 2000) and N. Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.4 (1995) (Regulation 125). The written notice shall specify the location of the headquarters and of each satellite office and the name and license numbers of the agent and the designated person responsible for each office.
2. Yes. Supervision requirements are contained in N. Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 Part 34 (1995) (Regulation 125).
A New York corporate insurance agent plans to establish approximately 100 satellite offices in New York.
N.Y. Ins. Law § 2129 (McKinney 2000) states in part: "(a) Each place of business established by the holder of an agent and/or broker license shall be under the supervision of one or more persons licensed to do the kinds of business transacted in that office. . . . Any satellite office established by a licensee must be supervised by one or more persons licensed to do the kinds of business to be transacted in that office."
The statute further provides, in subsection (b), that: "Written notice shall be given to the superintendent containing the location of each satellite office and the licensed person or persons responsible for each satellite office."
Regulation 125 sets forth details of the notice requirement, providing that the notice shall specify location of offices and identify the responsible designated person for each. (N. Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.4 (1995)). Regulation 125 also requires the appointment of a designated person, defined as "any natural person who is a licensed agent or broker and who has been designated to be responsible for and in charge of a headquarters location or satellite office. . . . " (N. Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.1(f) (1995)). "Each place of business established . . . shall be in the charge of at least one designated person. . . ." (N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.2(a) (1995) (Regulation 125).
Under the Regulation, an agent licensed pursuant to N. Y. Ins. Law § 2103(a) or (b) (McKinney 2000) must appoint a designated person who is also licensed pursuant to the same type of agents license, (a) or (b). (N. Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.2(b)(1) and (2) (1995) (Regulation 125)).
Regulation 125 further provides, in relevant part, that:
A designated person may not be responsible for more than one place of business of the same agent and broker or any other agent or broker at any one time except as specified in subdivision (e) of this section.
At least one designated person must be present in the office for which he is responsible during all or a substantial part of its business hours each day.
A designated person may be responsible for more than one place of business if, at any one time, only one place of business of the locations for which said designated person is responsible is open to the public. In such instance, where a satellite office is maintained as an adjunct to another type of business, said satellite office must be open to the public for the same hours as the other business.
(N. Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.2 (c), (d), and (e) (1995)).
Therefore, if the corporate insurance agent plans to establish 100 satellite offices in New York, it must appoint at least one designated person per satellite office to supervise them, except as provided in N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 34.2(e) (1995) above.
For further information you may contact Associate Attorney Jeffrey A. Stonehill at the New York City Office.