DFS Grants Licensing Flexibility During COVID-19 Crisis
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis has issued directive 2020-07 allowing the Department of Financial Services to issue agent licenses even if the testing requirement is not met. CFO Jimmy Patronis commented, “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.”
This directive allows insurance agencies 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 the virus. If these candidates indeed otherwise meet the other licensing requirements, including the background and fingerprinting requirements, they will be issued temporary licenses pending examination. The directive also provides additional consumer protections by requiring insurers to take full responsibility for the acts of these licensees. The temporary licensees also will be limited to working under the direct supervision of a more seasoned agent.
The temporary licenses will expire six months after issuance or upon replacement by a permanent license, whichever is earlier.