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CA Department of Insurance

Law Defining "Agents" and "Brokers"

The People of the State of California do Enact as follows:

Section 1. Section 1621 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

1621.An insurance agent is a person who transacts insurance, including 24-hour care coverage as defined in Section 1749.02, other than life, disability, or health insurance, on behalf of an admitted insurance company. The term "insurance agent" as used in this chapter does not include a life agent as defined in this article.

SEC. 2. Section 1623 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

1623.(a) An insurance broker is a person who, for compensation and on behalf of another person, transacts insurance other than life insurance with, but not on behalf of, an admitted insurer. It shall be presumed that the person is acting as an insurance broker if the person is licensed to act as an insurance broker, maintains the bond required by this chapter, and discloses, in a written agreement signed by the consumer, all of the following:

(1) That the person is transacting insurance on behalf of the consumer.

(2) A description of the basic services the person will perform as a broker.

(3) The amount of all broker fees being charged by the person.

(4) If applicable, the fact that the person may be entitled to receive compensation from the insurer, directly or indirectly, for the consumer's purchase of insurance a consequence of the transaction.

(b) If a transaction involves both a retail broker and a wholesale intermediary broker, the wholesale intermediary broker shall be deemed to have satisfied its disclosure obligations under this section if it provides written disclosure to the retail broker of the criteria set forth in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of subdivision (a).

(c) The presumption of broker status is rebutted as to any transaction in the admitted market in which any of the following is present:

(1) The licensee is appointed, pursuant to Section 1704, as an agent of the insurer for the particular class or type of insurance being transacted.

(2) The licensee has a written agreement with an insurer containing express terms that authorize the licensee to obligate the insurer without first obtaining notification from the insurer that the insurer has accepted, conditionally or unconditionally, the submitted risk.

(3) The licensee is authorized, pursuant to a written agreement with an insurer, to appoint other licensees as agents of the insurer, pursuant to Section 1704.

(4) The licensee is authorized, pursuant to a written agreement with an insurer, to pay claims on behalf of the insurer.

(d) In all other cases, the presumption of broker status is rebutted based on the totality of the circumstances indicating that the broker-agent is acting on behalf of the insurer.

(e) For purposes of this section, "totality of the circumstances" means evidence indicating whether a broker-agent was acting on behalf of the insurer or was acting on behalf of a third person. In determining the totality of circumstances, all relevant facts and circumstances shall be reviewed and the review is not limited to any particular fact or factors and this section does not require that any particular circumstance receive greater or lesser weight.

SEC. 3.Section 1732 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

1732.A person acting as an insurance broker may, on behalf of an insurance company, collect and transmit premium or return premium and deliver policies and other documents evidencing insurance. Performance of those functions shall not be construed for any purpose to mean that the person is an insurance agent.


You may refer to the following link from the Official California Legislative Information Web site for a pdf formatted copy of AB 2956: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2951-3000/ab_2956_bill_20080925_chaptered.pdf

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