OGC Op. No. 10-09-01
The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on September 7, 2010 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
RE: Insurance Producers Using an Alternate Title
May a licensed insurance agent or broker use an occupational title in addition to the producer’s title of insurance agent or broker?
Yes. Nothing in the Insurance Law proscribes a licensed insurance agent or broker from using an occupational title in addition to the producer’s title of insurance agent or broker. However, the insurance agent or broker should not use the title in a way that could mislead an insured or prospective insured; otherwise, the Superintendent of Insurance could find the producer to be acting in an untrustworthy manner within the meaning of N.Y. Ins. Law
The inquiry is of a general nature, without reference to particular facts.
The inquirer asks whether an insurance agent or broker (i.e., insurance “producer”) may use the designation of “Risk Management Advisor” as a supplement to the title of “Insurance Broker” in the producer’s promotional materials.
No provisions of the Insurance Law or the regulations promulgated thereunder proscribe an insurance producer’s use of an additional occupational title. However, the insurance producer should take care not to use the title in a way that might mislead an insured or prospective insured, lest the Superintendent find that the producer is acting in an untrustworthy manner within the meaning of Insurance Law
In addition to the bars on untrustworthiness and conflict of interest, the producer should take heed of General Business Law
Although this opinion calls attention to the General Business Law, as a formal matter this opinion is limited to an interpretation of the Insurance Law, and does not officially address whether the proposed arrangement may run afoul of any other law.
For further information you may contact Senior Attorney Brenda M. Gibbs at the Albany Office.