Insurance agent bill inches closer to the finish line

Senate OKs legislation to make it easier for insurance agents to become licensed to sell insurance in multiple states

Jan 30, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

By Darla Mercado

senate, house, insurance agents, narab, vote, legislation
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(Bloomberg News)

The Senate voted Thursday to pass legislation that would make it easier for insurance agents to become licensed to sell insurance in multiple states.

The bill, known as the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act — or NARAB II — would establish an organization that would act as a clearinghouse for licensing nonresident insurance agents and brokers.

Though passed by a 67-32 margin in the Senate, the bill was folded into S 1926, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which means the House must approve the flood bill to get the NARAB II provision through Congress. The House passed stand-alone NARAB II legislation legislation last September.

NARAB II aims to ease the process of applying for an insurance license in multiple jurisdictions. Currently, each state has its own licensing processes, and any agent or broker selling in multiple states has to meet individual requirements in order to sell in that jurisdiction. As a result, getting a license in multiple states can be a lengthy and arduous process. With NARAB II, an adviser who is registered in one state would be able join the organization and become licensed to sell in other states. Though the bill would streamline the state-by-state licensing process, it wouldn’t change states’ regulatory authority over insurance sales.

The House previously passed a standalone version of NARAB II in 2013.

“This is commonsense legislation that will streamline the licensing process while maintaining consumer protections and regulatory authority in each state,” said Lee Covington, general counsel at the Insured Retirement Institute.

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