(a) Any natural person licensed in this state as an insurance producer or service representative for the lines of insurance listed in subsection (b), and not exempt under subsection (c), shall satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 classroom hours per year of courses, programs of instruction, or seminars as may be approved by the commissioner pursuant to this chapter. No person holding licenses for more than one line or type of insurance shall be required to complete a greater number of classroom hours than is required of a person holding a license for a single line or type of insurance.
(b) This chapter shall apply to all natural persons licensed in this state as insurance producers and service representatives for the following kinds of insurance:
(1) The life lines of authority.
(2) The property lines of authority.
(3) All other lines of insurance for which an examination is required for licensing.
(4) Any combination thereof.
(c) The continuing education requirements of this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) Any person exempt from licensing pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 27-3-27.
(2) Any person licensed only for any kind or kinds of insurance for which an examination is not required by law of this state.
(3) Any person licensed only for limited lines insurance, industrial fire, commonly known as debit fire, insurance, or any combination thereof.
(4) All producers and service representatives licensed in this state for 15 years and at least 60 years of age or older.
(5) Any person who holds a designation as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter, Certified Insurance Counselor, Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, Certified Financial Planner, Registered Health Underwriter, Registered Employee Benefits Consultant, Certified Health Consultant, or Associate Risk Manager.
(6) Newly licensed producers and service representatives for 12 months following the effective date of their license.
(7) Officers of insurers who are not engaged in the active sale of products.
(d) Up to 12 hours of excess classroom hours completed during any one-year period may be carried forward to the next year.
(e) In lieu of the 12 hours required in subsection (a), any producer or service representative employed by another producer or by an insurer to work only in the office of the employer and who is not licensed as a nonresident in any other state shall satisfactorily complete a minimum of 6 classroom hours per year.
Repealed by Act 2001-702, p. 1509, &sect; 16, effective January 1, 2002.
(a) Any fees paid by a course provider prior to April 23, 1996 for qualification to become a course provider shall be applied as credits against future fees due to the department for qualification to become a course provider under this chapter.
(b) Agents, service representatives, and brokers who have, within one year prior to April 23, 1996, completed continuing education courses approved by the commissioner and which have not been applied for continuing education requirements in a state other than Alabama, shall receive appropriate credit toward future continuing education requirements after April 23, 1996.
Repealed by Act 2001-702, p. 1509, &sect; 16, effective January 1, 2002.
The commissioner may conduct background investigations, to include criminal history inquiries, for all applicants for license as an insurance producer prior to the issuance of the license.
(a) Any person failing to meet the requirements imposed by this chapter, and who has not been granted an extension of time pursuant to this chapter, or who has submitted to the commissioner a false or fraudulent certificate of compliance shall, after a hearing thereon which hearing may be waived by the person, be subjected to the suspension of all licenses issued for any kind or kinds of insurance, and no further license shall be issued to the person for any kind or kinds of insurance until the person shall have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commissioner that he or she has complied with all of the requirements of the chapter and all other laws applicable thereto.
(b) The commissioner may grant a three-month extension for complying with the continuing education requirement under this chapter. To receive an extension under this subsection, a licensee shall file a request with the commissioner on a form provided by the commissioner. After a licensee files a request for an extension, the license of the licensee remains in effect until the commissioner makes a decision on the request. If the commissioner denies a licensee's request for an extension, the licensee shall complete continuing education requirements under this chapter within thirty days after the commissioner notifies the licensee of the denial.
(c) The commissioner may grant an extension for more than three months upon a showing that the licensee is unable to perform the normal duties of an insurance producer or upon other similar special circumstances as may be approved by the commissioner.
The courses or programs subject to this chapter shall include any course, seminar, industry recognized certification program, and out-of-state reciprocal program, program of classroom instruction, or independent self-study course authorized, developed, or sanctioned by an authorized insurer or recognized statewide association of insurance producers and shall, subject to the approval of the commissioner, qualify for the equivalency of the number of classroom hours assigned thereto by the commissioner. Any independent self-study course authorized, developed, or sanctioned by any authorized insurers or recognized state producers association, which includes an appropriate testing instrument administered by a third-party proctor requiring a passing grade of 70 percent to successfully complete and is approved by the commissioner, shall qualify for the equivalency of the number of classroom hours assigned thereto by the commissioner. Programs or courses shall be directly related to the producer's insurance product and contribute to the technical competence of the producer. All courses, course providers, and certifications, pursuant to this chapter, are subject to audit by the commissioner at any time. Course or course providers may be disqualified at the discretion of the commissioner. The commissioner may contract for computer services and equipment necessary to administer the provisions of this chapter, but there shall be no additional cost or fee to licensees except as otherwise specifically provided in this title.
The commissioner shall appoint an advisory committee to advise him or her on continuing education and other insurance matters to consist of the following members: One representative of a statewide association of life and health insurance producers, one representative of a statewide association of property and casualty insurance producers, one representative of an association of Alabama-based life insurance companies, one representative of a property and casualty insurance company, one representative of a statewide association representing health insurance producers, one member of the Alabama Senate, and one member of the Alabama House of Representatives. Members of this committee shall be appointed for terms concurrent with the term of office of the Governor of the State of Alabama and shall be entitled to a per diem allowance equal to the per diem allowance paid to state employees in the amount current at the time of the meeting.
A person teaching any approved course of instruction or lecturing at any approved seminar shall qualify for the same number of classroom hours as would be granted to a person taking and successfully completing such course, seminar, or program.
The department's application for a license renewal form shall include a question asking if the producer has met the state's continuing education requirements as set forth in this chapter, and by signing the application, he or she certifies the answer of yes or no as being a correct statement. Such certification statement may be answered either by the producer, the employer of the producer, or any insurer with which the producer is appointed. In answering the certification statement, the employer or insurer shall be entitled to rely on and act upon the oral or written statement of the producer regarding whether the producer has met the state's continuing education requirements, what courses, programs, or seminars of instruction were taken and the number of hours involved. Neither the employer nor the insurer shall be responsible or liable in any way for the failure of any producer to meet the requirements or to maintain the necessary records. No employer or insurer shall be required to investigate or inquire whether the producer has met the requirements specified herein prior to the agent becoming licensed as a producer for the employer or insurer. The responsibility for complying with the requirements of this chapter shall rest solely on the producer.
Every person subject to this chapter, or the employer of the person, and every authorized provider of continuing education courses and programs shall furnish upon request, in a form satisfactory to the commissioner, written certification as to the courses, programs, or seminars of instruction taken and successfully completed by the person to meet the requirements of this chapter.
Any person who files a false statement under this chapter, with knowledge of the falsity of the statement, is guilty of deceit. The commissioner may, after notice and hearing, revoke any license issued by the commissioner to a person found guilty of deceit under this section.
(a) The commissioner shall collect the following fees in the administration and enforcement of this chapter:
(1) License renewal fees paid in connection with the annual application for license renewal by producers and service representatives........... $20
(2) Late filing fee to be paid by each producer and service representative failing to make a timely filing of the compliance form........... $50
(3) Provider authority initial filing fee, a one-time fee to be paid by each education course provider for authority to offer continuing education courses in this state........... $300
(4) Provider authority annual renewal fee, to be paid by each education course provider for continuation of authority to offer continuing education courses in this state........... $100
(5) Course approval filing fee, to be paid by the provider for the approval of each education course or program to be offered in this state (one-time fee per course, with no need for renewal)........... $50
(b) The fees specified in subsection (a) shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Insurance Department Fund.