Ethics continuing education requirement
1. What does the statute require?
California Insurance Code (CIC) Section 1749.3 requires Property Broker-Agents and/or Casualty Broker-Agents and Life agents and/or Accident and Health or Sickness agents to complete three hours of ethics training during their two-year license term. Personal Lines broker-agents and Limited Lines Automobile insurance agents will also be required to complete three hours of ethics training during their two-year license term.
2. Does a California non-resident have to complete California's ethics training?
Per Section 1749.2 of the CIC, California non-residents are exempt from having to complete the ethics continuing education requirement. Although non-resident licensees are except from the ethics continuing education requirement, non-resident licensee must complete the required annuity and long-term care training. The annuity training is provided in Section 1749.8 of the CIC which states that non-resident life-only agent licensees who sell annuity products must complete an initial eight-hour annuity training course and then complete a four-hour annuity training course each license renewal. Similarly, Section 10234.93 of the CIC states that non-resident life-only agents who sell long-term care are required to complete eight hours of long-term care training each license term.
3. Is the ethics requirement in addition to a resident agents' continuing education (CE) requirement?
No, this approved ethics training course will be part of, not in addition to, the agents' CE requirement.
4. Does a licensed agent need to take a single two-hour or four-hour ethics course, in order to meet their specific CE requirement?
No, these approved ethics courses are available in various hour increments. There are one, two, three, four, and more CE credit hours given to approved ethics courses. The agent must complete courses that have credit hours that either meet or exceed the agent's required number of ethics CE hours.
5. Will an agent who is 70 years old and has been licensed in good standing for 30 continuous years in the State of California need to complete the ethics continuing education requirement?
No, Section 1749.3 (c) of the CIC states, in part, that a licensee shall not be required to comply with the continuing education requirements stated in Section 1749 et seq. of the CIC if the licensee submits proof satisfactory to the commissioner that he or she has been a licensee in good standing for 30 continuous years in this state and is 70 years of age or older. However, the licensees that are except from continuing education training stated in Section 1749(c) of the CIC that sell annuity or long-term care products must complete the required annuity training stated in Section 1749.8 of the CIC and the long-term care training that is stated in Section 10234.93 of the CIC.
6. Is a licensee holding the Life-Limited To The Payment Of Funeral And Burial Expenses insurance, be required to complete the ethics continuing education requirement?
No, since this agent is not required to complete any continuing education the agent is also exempt from the ethics CE requirement. However, the Life-Limited To The Payment Of Funeral And Burial Expenses is required to complete the annuity training requirement stated in Section 1749.8 of the California Insurance Code, if transacting an annuity product at any time.
7. When a Life Agent, Accident and Health or Sickness Agent, Property Broker-Agent, Casualty Broker-Agent or Personal Lines Broker-Agent is placed on inactive status due to a disability, military duty, maternity leave, etc. but is now ready to return to an active status and is making up the continuing education (CE) hours missed throughout each renewal period, how many ethics continuing education courses must the agent take?
When a licensee goes from an inactive status to an active status, the licensee must complete the required continuing education (CE) hours for the renewal terms he or she was inactive (i.e. the licensee is inactive for two license terms, the licensee would need to complete 48 hours of continuing education credit). The inactive licensee would need to complete the number of required continuing education hours and a portion of the continuing education hours would need to meet the ethics CE requirement. For example, if a Property Broker-Agent licensee is inactive for two license terms, the licensee would need to complete a total of six hours of ethics continuing education in order to have a license with an active status.
8. If an applicant was recently licensed and took 12 hours of code and ethics, as part of their pre-licensing requirement, will this agent still need to take the ethics approved class?
Yes, ethics continuing education courses are developed to meet established ethics curriculum standards. The prelicensing code and ethics course do not meet those standards. The newly licensed Life Agent and/or Accident and Health Agent or Sickness and/or Property Broker-Agent and/or Casualty Broker-Agent will be required to complete three hours of an approved ethics continuing education course during his or her two-year license term.
9. Can surplus ethics continuing education hours be carried over for use in the next licensing renewal period?
No, the licensee must complete three hours of ethics continuing education as part of the 24 hours of the continuing education required every two year license renewal period.