DFS Summarizes Agent in Charge Requirements
The beginning of a new year is a good time to revisit the “agent in charge” requirement applicable to agency locations. The Department of Financial Services has helped facilitate this review with a recent summary of the agent in charge requirements and responsibilities.
Designation of Agent in Charge– Each person operating an insurance agency, and each location of a multiple location agency, must designate a licensed and appointed agent in charge for each location. An agent in charge is defined as the licensed and appointed agent responsible for the supervision of all individuals within an insurance agency.
Each business location established by an agent or insurance agency must be in the active full-time charge of a licensed and appointed agent holding the required licenses for the lines of insurance transacted at the location. The agent in charge of an insurance agency may be the agent in charge of additional branch locations if: (1) insurance activities requiring licensure as an insurance agent do not occur at the locations when either the agent in charge or another appropriately licensed agent is not physically present, and (2) unlicensed employees at the locations do not engage in insurance activities that require licensure as an insurance agent or customer representative.
Each insurance agency and branch office is required to designate an agent in charge and file the agent’s name, license number, and physical address of the insurance agency location with DFS. This is done using the MyProfile function on the DFS’ website.
Changes– A change of the designated agent in charge must be reported to DFS within 30 days, and becomes effective upon notification to DFS. An insurance agency location is precluded from conducting the business of insurance unless an agent in charge is designated by, and providing services to, the agency at all times. When the agent in charge ends his or her affiliation with the agency, the agency must designate another agent in charge within 30 days. If the agency fails to make such designation within 90 days after the designated agent has ended his or her affiliation with the agency, the agency license will automatically expire.
Responsibilities– The agent in charge of an insurance agency is accountable for misconduct or violations committed by the licensee or agent or by any person under her or his supervision acting on behalf of the agency. However, the agent in charge is not criminally liable for the misconduct unless he or she personally committed the act or knew or should have known of the acts and of the facts that constitute the violation.
For more information about the duties and responsibilities of the agent in charge, see section 626.0428, Florida Statutes.