The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on June 30, 2003, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: Attorney Licensing Requirement-Commissions on Sale of Insurance.
Does an attorney licensed to practice law in New York require a separate license as an insurance agent or insurance broker in order to receive commissions for the sale of insurance?
Yes. In order to receive commissions while acting as an insurance agent or insurance broker, an attorney must be licensed accordingly pursuant to Section 2102 and 2103 or 2104 of the New York Insurance Law.
N.Y. Ins. Law § 2101(a) and (c) (McKinney 2000 & Supp. 2003) defines "insurance agent" and "insurance broker". Pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 2102 (McKinney 2000 & Supp. 2003), a person is prohibited from acting as an insurance agent or insurance broker without being licensed as such. N.Y. Ins. Law § 2103 and § 2104 (McKinney 2000 & Supp. 2003) contain the licensing requirements to act as an insurance agent and broker in New York. None of these sections exempt attorneys from the licensing requirements for agents and brokers.
Furthermore with respect to receiving commissions from insurers, N.Y. Ins. Law § 2114, 2115 and 2116 (McKinney 2000 and Supp. 2003) generally prohibit the payment of commissions for the sale of insurance except to an appropriate licensed insurance agent or broker.
For further information you may contact Supervising Attorney Lawrence M. Fuchsberg at the New York City Office.