separator
Skip to Contentseparator HomeseparatorCheck License StatussepartorContact UssepartorRequest for Assistance
Welcome to the California Department of Insurance
Site tools
Decrease font size Increase font size Site map Help Print-friendly version
AGENTS & BROKERS: Senior Designation FAQ

Must a designation comply with AB 2150 if it refers to products that are frequently sold to seniors, but not only sold to seniors? For example, would the designations "Chartered Long Term Care Insurance Advisor" or "Registered Annuity Specialist" need Department approval?

To establish whether a designation requires Department approval, one must first determine whether it falls within the language of California Insurance Code (C.I.C.) Section 787.1(d)(1), which reads:

(d)(1) A word, phrase, acronym, or logo shall be deemed a senior designation if it contains the word "senior," "Medicare," "Medi-Cal," "retire," "mature," "gerontology," or "elder," or any variation or synonym of one of these words within several words of the word "certified," "chartered," "registered," "adviser," "specialist," "consultant," "agent," "broker," "insurance," "planner," "professional," "enrolled," "accredited," "analyst," or "fellow," or any variation or synonym of one of these words. A word, phrase, acronym, or logo may constitute a senior designation if it meets the definition in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) regardless of whether it contains one of the words recited in this subdivision.

Even if a designation does not fall within section (d)(1), it may still require Department approval if it meets the definition of "senior designation" recited in C.I.C. Section 787.1(a)(1). 

(a)(1) "Senior designation" means any degree, title, credential, certificate, certification, accreditation, or approval, that expresses or implies that a broker or agent possesses expertise, training, competence, honesty, or reliability with regard to advising seniors in particular on finance, insurance, or risk management.

The designation "Chartered Long Term Care Insurance Advisor" includes the word "chartered," which is listed in section (d)(1), but it does not use that word within several words of the word "senior," "Medicare," "Medi-Cal," "retire," "mature," "gerontology," or "elder," or any variation or synonym of one of these words. Therefore, it does not fall within section (d)(1). 

Nor does the designation express or imply that a broker or agent possesses expertise, training, competence, honesty, or reliability with regard to advising seniors in particular on finance, insurance, or risk management. If 80% or more of LTC policies were purchased by seniors, then the phrase ""Chartered Long Term Care Insurance Advisor" might by implication be deemed to suggest expertise, training, competence, honesty, or reliability with regards to advising seniors. However, the mere fact that many, or even a majority of policies of a particular type are bought by seniors, does not per se imply expertise etc. with regard to  seniors in particular.

May a producer hold a job title that includes the word "senior," such as "Senior Vice President" or "Senior Insurance Specialist"?

A title containing "senior" may always be used when soliciting or otherwise transacting insurance with persons under age 65 (provided the title is not misleading for a reason beyond the scope of AB 2150). However, when soliciting or transacting insurance with a person age 65 or older, whether a job title with the word "senior" may be used depends on the other words in the title. To analyze the permissibility of a job title for use with persons 65 or older, one should determine first if the title falls within Insurance Code section 787.1(d)(1). If it does, the title may not be used with seniors. If it does not, determine whether the title is a "senior designation" under the definition in section 787.1(a)(1). Again, if it is, it may not be used with seniors. C.I.C. Section 787.1(d)(1) reads:

(d)(1) A word, phrase, acronym, or logo shall be deemed a senior designation if it contains the word "senior," "Medicare," "Medi-Cal," "retire," "mature," "gerontology," or "elder," or any variation or synonym of one of these words within several words of the word "certified," "chartered," "registered," "adviser," "specialist," "consultant," "agent," "broker," "insurance," "planner," "professional," "enrolled," "accredited," "analyst," or "fellow," or any variation or synonym of one of these words. A word, phrase, acronym, or logo may constitute a senior designation if it meets the definition in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) regardless of whether it contains one of the words recited in this subdivision.

C.I.C. Section 787.1(a)(1) reads:

(a)(1) "Senior designation" means any degree, title, credential, certificate, certification, accreditation, or approval, that expresses or implies that a broker or agent possesses expertise, training, competence, honesty, or reliability with regard to advising seniors in particular on finance, insurance, or risk management.

The job title "Senior Vice President" may be used in transacting with a person 65 or older because it falls outside of both sections (d)(1) and (a)(1). However, the job title "Senior Insurance Specialist" may not be used with seniors; it clearly falls within section (d)(1) because the words "senior" and "specialist" appear within a few words of each other. "Senior Agent" also falls within section (d)(1). Some have argued that most consumers would interpret the word "senior" in the title "Senior Agent" to refer to seniority within an organization, rather than to expertise in selling insurance to seniors due to having completed a course of training or passed a certification exam. Though possibly true, section 787.1(b)(1)(B) plainly does not permit the use of this title in selling insurance to seniors (unless it has been approved as a senior designation). The title may be used with non-seniors, i.e., those under age 65, without Department approval. The same analysis applies to "Senior Consultant.""Senior Client Advocate" constitutes another senior designation to which AB 2150 applies because it falls within section (d)(1). Section (d)(1) deems a designation to be a senior designation if it contains the word "senior" within several words of the word "agent" or "advisor," or within several words of a synonym of one of those words. "Advocate" is a synonym of "agent" and "advisor." An advocate is both an agent of and an advisor to his or her client. "Senior Client Advocate" also meets the definition of "senior designation" recited in section (a)(1) because, when used in the context of transacting insurance with seniors, it implies expertise, training, competence, honesty, or reliability with regard to advising seniors in particular on finance, insurance, or risk management."Senior Account Manager," "Senior Marketing Director," and "Senior Account Executive" fall outside of both sections (d)(1) and (a)(1), and therefore do not constitute a senior designation. 

Keep in mind that many designations do not fall within the definition of "senior designation," and may continue to be used, and even designations that are "senior designations" but which have not received approval or a determination may continue to be used with non-seniors.

A list of designations that have been approved appears on the "Senior Designation" page of the Department's website. This page also lists some of the more common insurance and financial services designations that the Department has concluded are not "senior designations." The senior designation law does not apply to those designations, and holders of them may continue to use them indefinitely.

Back to Top  

separator