Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 3320Ratification Number: 211Act Number: 141Primary Sponsor: BoanType of Legislation: GBSubject: Insurance agents, education requirementsCompanion Bill Number: 527Date Bill Passed both Bodies: Jun 05, 1991Computer Document Number: CYY/18034.SDGovernor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: Jun 12, 1991Introduced Date: Jan 24, 1991Date of Last Amendment: Jun 04, 1991Last History Body: ------Last History Date: Jun 12, 1991Last History Type: Act No. 141Scope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Boan McElveenType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- 3320 ------ Jun 12, 1991 Act No. 141 3320 ------ Jun 12, 1991 Signed by Governor 3320 ------ Jun 06, 1991 Ratified R 211 3320 House Jun 05, 1991 Concurred in Senate amendment, enrolled for ratification 3320 Senate Jun 05, 1991 Read third time, returned with amendment 3320 Senate Jun 04, 1991 Amended, read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Wednesday, June 5 3320 Senate Apr 24, 1991 Committee Report: majority 02 favorable, with amendment, minority unfavorable 3320 Senate Feb 19, 1991 Introduced, read first time, 02 referred to Committee 3320 House Feb 15, 1991 Read third time, sent to Senate 3320 House Feb 14, 1991 Unanimous consent for third reading on next Legislative day 3320 House Feb 14, 1991 Amended, read second time 3320 House Feb 13, 1991 Committee Report: Favorable 26 with amendment 3320 House Jan 24, 1991 Introduced, read first time, 26 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A141, R211, H3320)
AN ACT TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 43, TITLE 38, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO INSURANCE AGENTS, BY ADDING SECTION 38-43-106 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR BIENNIAL CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR AGENTS LICENSED OR QUALIFIED TO SELL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE OR LIFE, ACCIDENT AND HEALTH INSURANCE, OR BOTH, TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS, TO AUTHORIZE THE CHIEF INSURANCE COMMISSIONER TO ADMINISTER THESE REQUIREMENTS AND TO PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THESE PROVISIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE BY THE COMMISSIONER TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS WITH RESPECT TO APPROVED COURSES OF INSTRUCTION, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THESE PROVISIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds and declares that the business of insurance is complex and complicated, with rapidly increasing statutory and market changes, as well as rapidly increasing consumer requirements and demands. Therefore, it is clearly in the public interest that licensed insurance agents, with reasonable exceptions, be required to complete at least minimum biennial insurance-related education to insure their continuing competency to serve the needs of South Carolina's insuring public.
Continuing education requirements
SECTION 2. Article 1, Chapter 43, Title 38 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 38-43-106. (A) In addition to the requirements contained in Section 38-43-105, any applicant or agent licensed to sell property and casualty insurance or to sell life, accident and health insurance, or both, or qualified for this licensure, must complete biennially a minimum of twenty-four hours of continuing insurance education in order to be eligible for licensure for the following two years.
However, if an agent is licensed in both property and casualty and life, accident and health, the agent must complete at least one-third of the twenty-four required biennial continuing insurance education hours in courses related to each of these types of licenses or qualification for licensure.
(B) The forty-hour prelicensing educational requirement contained in Section 38-43-105 is sufficient to fulfill the requirements of this section for up to the first two years. Any waiver of this forty-hour requirement, as provided in Section 38-43-105(a)(2), is sufficient to meet the continuing insurance education requirements of this section.
(C) The Chief Insurance Commissioner shall administer these continuing education requirements and shall approve courses of instruction which qualify for these purposes. In administering this program, the commissioner, in his discretion, may promulgate regulations whereby agents provide to a continuing education administrator established within the Department of Insurance proof of compliance with continuing education requirements as a condition of license renewal or, in the alternative, contract with an outside service provider to provide record-keeping services as the continuing education administrator. The costs of the continuing education administrator must be paid from the continuing insurance education fees paid by agents in the manner provided by this section, except that course approval responsibilities may not be designated to the continuing education administrator. The continuing education administrator shall compile and maintain, in conjunction with insurers and agents, records reflecting the continuing insurance education status of all licensed or qualified agents subject to the requirements of this section. The continuing education administrator shall furnish to the insurer, within ninety days of the agent's renewal date, as specified by regulation, a report of the continuing insurance education status of all of its agents. All licensed agents shall provide evidence of their continuing insurance education status to the continuing education administrator at least one hundred twenty days before the annual renewal date. Any continuing insurance education approved courses taken subsequent to one hundred twenty days before the renewal date must be applied to the following biennial continuing insurance education required period.
The commissioner shall promulgate regulations prescribing the overall parameters of continuing education requirements, and these regulations shall expressly authorize the commissioner to recognize product-specific training offered by insurers, subject to those parameters and guidelines as are promulgated by the regulations. The commissioner shall appoint an advisory committee to make recommendations with respect to courses offered for approval, but the commissioner shall retain authority with respect to course approvals, subject to those regulations as are promulgated. When the advisory committee is approved, it shall meet regularly as needed, but no less than semiannually, to review new course applications. Also, the advisory committee shall review modifications of courses previously approved and review previously promulgated regulations to make recommendations regarding any need for modifications, deletions, or new regulations. The advisory committee must be comprised of two representatives from each of the following associations, groups, or categories:
(1) the Carolina's Association of Professional Insurance Agents;
(2) the Independent Insurance Agents of South Carolina;
(3) the South Carolina Association of Automobile Insurance Agents;
(4) the South Carolina Association of Life Underwriters;
(5) the Association of South Carolina Life Insurance Companies;
(6) the Direct Writers Insurance Companies;
(7) the Association of South Carolina Property and Casualty Insurance Companies; and
(8) insurers that are not members of national insurance trade associations.
Advisory committee members must be appointed by the commissioner from recommendations made by the respective associations, groups, or categories to the commissioner.
(D) The license of any agent may not be renewed for any license year unless the agent has completed the mandated continuing insurance education requirements during the previous two-year accreditation period. Each insurer is responsible, annually at renewal, for furnishing to the department certification that its agents meet the continuing insurance education requirements. Insurers appointing individuals who are qualified but not currently licensed for any insurer are also required, in connection with the appointment of such an agent, to certify to the department that the agent meets the continuing insurance education requirements. Each agent is responsible for payment to the continuing education administrator of a reasonable annual fee for operation of the continuing insurance education program. These fees must be used to administer the provisions of this section.
(E) This section also applies to nonresident agents unless otherwise provided herein. However, any nonresident agent who successfully satisfies continuing insurance education requirements of his resident state and certifies this information to the continuing education administrator as specified in subsection (C) is deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section regardless of the requirements of that other state.
(F) Insurance agents licensed solely for credit life or credit accident and health insurance, credit property insurance, crop hail insurance, automobile physical damage insurance, mortgage guaranty, or mortgage, title, travel accident and baggage, or the federal crop insurance are exempt from the provisions of this section. Insurance agents licensed solely for domestic insurance companies which have less than one million dollars in written premiums in any calendar year are exempt from the provisions of this section. Licensed special agents, or any or all of them, that the commissioner by regulation shall specify are exempt from the provisions of this section.
(G) The commissioner is authorized to promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this section.
(H) A licensed agent reaching the age of fifty-five, with a minimum of twenty years of continuous licensure, is exempted from the requirements of this section as to the line or lines which are otherwise subject to the provisions of this section.
(I) All information received by the advisory committee in the course and scope of its duties must be treated as confidential and proprietary and not used or disclosed outside the requirements of the duties imposed on it by law."
Applicability of provisions
SECTION 3. Certification of licensed agents pursuant to the provisions of Section 38-43-106 of the 1976 Code, as contained in Section 2 of this act, may not commence until one hundred twenty days prior to the annual agents' license renewal of the year 1994.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 12th day of June, 1991.