The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on January 31, 2002, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
RE: Renewal of Life and Accident and Health Insurance Agents License.
Does a license to act as a life and accident and health insurance agent require renewal?
The inquirer was informed by the Licensing Bureau of the Insurance Department that the inquirers license, which was originally issued in 1995, had expired in 1997 since a renewal application was not filed. The inquirer asked whether a license to act as a life and accident and health insurance agent requires renewal.
N.Y. Ins. Law § 2103(a) (McKinney 2000) provides in pertinent part as follows:
(a) The superintendent may issue a license to any person . . . who . . . has complied with the requirements of this chapter, authorizing such licensee to act as an insurance agent with respect to life insurance, including for this purpose annuity contracts and supplemental contracts of non-cancellable disability insurance, or with respect to accident and health insurance, including for this purpose, health maintenance organization contracts, legal services insurance or with respect to any combination of the above, as specified in such license, on behalf of any insurer, fraternal benefit society or health maintenance organization, which is authorized to do such kind or kinds of insurance or health maintenance organization business in this state.
N.Y. Ins. Law § 2103(j) (McKinney 2000) provides in pertinent part as follows:
(1) Any license currently in force issued to an insurance agent of any insurer, fraternal benefit society or health maintenance organization pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed terminated as of June thirtieth, nineteen hundred eighty-five.
(2) On and after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-five all licenses issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be for a term of two years expiring on June thirtieth of odd numbered years. . . (emphasis added).
Note that, prior to July 1, 1985, insurance agent licenses did not require renewal. See N.Y. Ins. Law § 114(5)(b) (McKinney 1966 and Supp. 1984). The current version of the statute, N.Y. Ins. Law § 2103(j)(5) (McKinney 2000), which was in effect at the time the inquirers license was originally issued, requires licensees to file a completed renewal application containing the requisite information and to pay the prescribed fees. Additionally, since the license expired in 1997, and it has been more than two years since its expiration, the inquirer must retake the qualifying examination, but need not retake the forty hours of prelicensing education. See N.Y. Ins. Law § 2103(g)(7) and (g)(9) (McKinney 2000). Moreover, unless exempted, the inquirer must also satisfy the continuing education requirements to have the license renewed. See N.Y. Ins. Law § 2132(h) (McKinney 2000).
For further information, you may contact Attorney Pascale Joasil at the New York City office.