TRENTON — The Department of Banking and Insurance today announced it has implemented a process for issuing temporary licenses to eligible individuals seeking to become insurance producers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The temporary process is being implemented in order to assure the continuity of vital insurance services and to address the disruption in insurance producer licensing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department will begin accepting temporary license applications immediately. The temporary licenses will only be issued during the state of emergency and public health emergency declared by Governor Phil Murphy, and will be effective for 30 days following the expiration of the declarations or for 180 days from the date of issuance, whichever is sooner.
“The department is working proactively to respond to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, all testing locations for licensing examinations in the state are closed due to the pandemic. This temporary process will allow New Jerseyans, who took all their prerequisite course work and want to work as insurance agents, to be licensed during the emergency and ensure consumer access to the services they provide,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride. “We will continue to monitor and make adjustments when appropriate to address challenges created by this crisis.”
The Department issued a bulletin to all producers and insurers in the state detailing the eligibility requirements and application process for the temporary license.
Under the bulletin, an insurance company with an active certificate of authority in the state must sponsor the applicant for temporary licensure and assume responsibility for the licensee. The applicant does not need to be an employee of the company but must be actively appointed to represent the sponsoring insurer. The sponsoring insurer must be authorized to write the line(s) of insurance for which the applicant is applying.
Normally, insurance agents must complete a pre-licensure course, pass a licensing exam and be fingerprinted before they can apply for a license with the department. With all testing centers in the state closed due to the pandemic, the department is waiving the examinati
on requirement and providing temporary licenses to those who meet certain requirements.Among other requirements, an applicant for a temporary insurance producer license must be a New Jersey resident, complete a pre-licensing education course, and complete the fingerprinting/background check process set forth on the Department’s website. Applications must be submitted by the sponsoring insurer. The paper application along with any other requested documentation and fee payment must be mailed as set forth in the bulletin; applications for temporary licensure cannot be submitted electronically.
Read the bulletin: https://www.nj.gov/dobi/bulletins/blt20_21.pdf
The department also issued a bulletin extending for three months the license term for individual producer licenses which expired on or between March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Business entity licenses are also being extended for three months until August 31, 2020. Additionally, the department issued guidance to insurance education schools waiving the requirement that self-study continuing education courses culminate in a monitored examination of the material presented. In order to facilitate social distancing as mandated by EO 107, for self-study courses taken from March 9, 2020 through June 30, 2020, the examination does not need to be monitored.
Read the bulletin: https://www.nj.gov/dobi/bulletins/blt20_20.pdf
The bulletins build on other actions taken by the Department to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents and businesses, which include:
- Directing insurers to provide emergency grace period for payment of insurance premiums for residents and businesses
- Working with regulated entities to provide mortgage payment relief
- Working with regulated entities to expand payment relief for student loan borrowers
- Expanding access to telehealth and tele-mental health services
- Requiring regulated entities to cover and waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing
- Encouraging regulated entities to assist residents and businesses affected by disruptions due to COVID-19
For helpful information about COVID-19 or for more on the department’s response to the pandemic, visit the Department’s COVID-19 Information page.