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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: November 29, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
California Department of Insurance Announces Streamlined License Application Process
Customer Service Enhancements and Operational Efficiencies Continue for Insurance Agents, Brokers, Adjusters and Bail Agents

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Insurance (CDI) today announced a new process for professionals submitting insurance agent, broker, adjuster and bail agent license applications to CDI. The new process enhances customer service and increases the operational efficiency of handling licensing applications statewide.

"Anytime the department can streamline a process and save applicants money, it's a welcomed improvement," said Commissioner Jones. "This important change also saves valuable staff time in handling the license application process by eliminating a large number of pending applications."

This improved process requires individuals to pass the qualifying license examination before they submit the required application. As a result, individuals pay the license application fee only if they pass the examination, which for most licenses is $128. In addition to these savings, the new process streamlines the handling of license applications and results in increased efficiencies for the staff that handle them for the department. This eliminates applications that were in a pending status while the applicant underwent the examination.

The change applies to California residents who apply for any insurance agent or broker license in which an examination is required (i.e., life, accident and health, property, casualty, personal lines, limited lines automobile and life limited to funeral and burial expenses). In addition, the change applies to all insurance adjuster and bail agent applicants.

In the past, individuals applying for these licenses were required to first submit a license application and include the license fee. They were then required to schedule their qualifying examination and submit a separate $37 fee. As a result, some individuals who did not pass the examination were required to pay a license application fee for a license they were never eligible to obtain because they failed to pass the exam.

Additionally, because the department is required by law to retain license applications for one year, the department was tracking hundreds of pending license applications needlessly.

This recent streamlining is the latest in CDI's ongoing efforts to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction in its licensing process. In early 2011, the department launched new options for license applicants to schedule and take examinations. Specifically, applicants can schedule their examinations either online or on the telephone as well as take their examinations at any one of 18 sites located statewide. Previously, there were only four sites. All of these examination sites include an onsite livescan fingerprint technician and most offer Saturday and evening appointments. The additional sites located throughout the state save applicants time and travel expenses.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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