At the end of last week, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued a directive that offers more flexibility to the Division of Agent and Agency Services with the ability to begin processing insurance agent licenses.
Patronis said that this reform makes sense during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The licensing of insurance agents came to a complete standstill when a testing vendor shut their doors due to COVID-19. This has occurred during a time when insurance agencies are experiencing an uptick in demand. Since insurance is such an important part of Florida’s economy, we wanted to create a process where folks can start working while consumers are still protected,” Patronis said on Friday.
This directive gives insurance agencies the ability to hire new agents who have completed all the other requirements to obtain a license, but are unable to take the state exam because of this virus. These individuals will be thoroughly vetted by the Division of Agent and Agency Services and if they meet the requirements to obtain a license, the division would issue applicants a temporary license pending examination.
Applicants must pass both criminal and administrative background checks and must have completed state approved pre-licensing insurance education. The directive also provides additional consumer protections by requiring insurers to take full responsibility for the acts of these new licensees. Finally, those who are granted a temporary license pending examination will only be able to work when doing so under the direct supervision of a more seasoned agent.