60K.19 Continuing insurance education.
Subdivision 1. Definition. For the purposes of this section, "course" means a course, program of instruction, or seminar of continuing insurance education. A "professional designation examination" means a written, proctored, and graded examination the passage of which leads to a bona fide insurance or financial planning professional designation used by agents.
Subd. 2. Applicability. This section applies to all natural persons licensed by this state to sell classes of insurance for which licensing examinations are required.
Subd. 3. Exemptions. This section does not apply to:
(a) persons soliciting or selling solely on behalf of companies organized and operating according to chapter 67A; or
(b) persons holding life and health, or property and casualty licenses who, at the time of license renewal, certify to the commissioner in writing that they will sell only credit life, credit accident and health, credit involuntary unemployment, and credit property insurance, during that year and do in fact so limit their sale of insurance.
Subd. 4. Continuing insurance education advisory task force. The commissioner of commerce may appoint a continuing insurance education advisory task force consisting of 13 members. All members must be residents of Minnesota. Three members must neither be employed by an insurance company nor licensed as an insurance agent. These three members are not eligible to be chair and are compensated according to section 15.059, subdivision 6. Each of the other ten members must be actively engaged in some activity in the insurance industry in this state and have a principal office located in this state. These ten members serve without compensation, but are paid reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties in the same amount and in the same manner as state employees. Three of these ten members must be employed in capacities other than as licensed agents by insurance companies authorized to do business in this state. The remaining seven members must be licensed insurance agents actively engaged in the solicitation and sale of insurance and currently subject to continuing education requirements. Membership on the advisory task force must represent, to the extent possible, the various phases of the insurance industry and especially the several classes of insurance.
The commissioner shall appoint the members of the task force. Before making appointments to the advisory task force, the commissioner shall solicit nominations from the several professional organizations representing persons selling insurance in this state and from the organizations representing companies authorized to do business in this state.
Subd. 5. Powers of the advisory task force. (a) Applications for approval of individuals responsible for monitoring course offerings must be submitted to the commissioner on forms prescribed by the commissioner and must be accompanied by a fee of not more than $100 payable to the state of Minnesota for deposit in the general fund. A fee of $10 for each hour or fraction of one hour of course approval sought must be forwarded with the application for course approval. If the advisory task force is created, it shall make recommendations to the commissioner regarding the accreditation of courses sponsored by institutions, both public and private, which satisfy the criteria established by this section, the number of credit hours to be assigned to the courses, and rules which may be promulgated by the commissioner. The advisory task force shall seek out and encourage the presentation of courses.
(b) If the advisory task force is created, it shall make recommendations and provide subsequent evaluations to the commissioner regarding procedures for reporting compliance with the minimum education requirement.
(c) The advisory task force shall recommend the approval or disapproval of professional designation examinations that meet the criteria established by this section and the number of continuing education credit hours to be awarded for passage of the examination. In order to be approved, a professional designation examination must:
(1) lead to a recognized insurance or financial planning professional designation used by agents; and
(2) conclude with a written examination that is proctored and graded.
Subd. 6. Powers of the commissioner. (a) The commissioner shall make the final determination as to accreditation and assignment of credit hours for courses.
(b) The commissioner shall adopt procedures for reporting compliance with the minimum education requirement.
(c) The commissioner shall promulgate rules according to chapter 14 to carry out the purposes of this section.
Subd. 7. Criteria for course accreditation. (a) The commissioner may accredit a course only to the extent it is designed to impart substantive and procedural knowledge of the insurance field. The burden of demonstrating that the course satisfies this requirement is on the individual or organization seeking accreditation. The commissioner shall approve any educational program approved by Minnesota Continuing Legal Education relating to the insurance field. The commissioner is authorized to establish a procedure for renewal of course accreditation.
(b) The commissioner shall approve or disapprove professional designation examinations that are recommended for approval by the advisory task force. In order for an agent to receive full continuing education credit for a professional designation examination, the agent must pass the examination. An agent may not receive credit for classroom instruction preparing for the professional designation examination and also receive continuing education credit for passing the professional designation examination.
(c) The commissioner may not accredit a course:
(1) that is designed to prepare students for a license examination;
(2) in mechanical office or business skills, including typing, speedreading, use of calculators, or other machines or equipment;
(3) in sales promotion, including meetings held in conjunction with the general business of the licensed agent; or
(4) in motivation, the art of selling, psychology, or time management.
Subd. 8. Minimum education requirement. Each person subject to this section shall complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of courses accredited by the commissioner during each 24-month licensing period, two hours of which must be devoted to state law, regulations, and rules applicable to the line or lines of insurance for which the agent is licensed. Any person whose initial licensing period extends more than six months shall complete 15 hours of courses accredited by the commissioner during the initial license period. Any person teaching or lecturing at an accredited course qualifies for 1-1/2 times the number of credit hours that would be granted to a person completing the accredited course. No more than 15 credit hours per licensing period may be credited to a person for courses sponsored by, offered by, or affiliated with an insurance company or its agents. Courses sponsored by, offered by, or affiliated with an insurance company or agent may restrict its students to agents of the company or agency.
Subd. 9. Waiver of requirements. (a) The commissioner may grant a waiver or an extension of time up to 90 days to complete the minimum education requirement to an individual upon a showing of good cause. It is the licensed person's responsibility to request a waiver or extension on a form prescribed by the commissioner. As of the day the licensed person properly files a request for a waiver or extension, the license remains in effect until the commissioner notifies the licensed person of the commissioner's decision. The commissioner may approve a waiver or extension subject to any reasonable conditions. The person's license remains in effect during the compliance period determined by the commissioner. If the licensed person fails to comply with any reasonable conditions imposed by the commissioner, the commissioner shall terminate the license. If the request for a waiver or extension is denied by the commissioner, the licensed person shall have 30 days within which to satisfy the minimum education requirement involved in the request for a waiver or extension. If the minimum education requirement is not satisfied within the compliance period, the commissioner shall terminate the person's license.
(b) Upon application on a form prescribed by the commissioner, the commissioner may grant a waiver of the minimum education requirement to a licensee who is no longer actively engaged in the solicitation and sale of insurance. A licensed person seeking a waiver from the requirements of this section may be required to submit information to the commissioner that substantiates the person's retirement or inactive status. A licensed person receiving a waiver from the commissioner may maintain and renew a license but may not solicit or sell new insurance business while this waiver is in effect. A licensee may, for a fee, continue to service an insurance policy for which the licensee is the agent of record, if the policy is in force at the time the waiver is granted. An insurer may not terminate a service contract or refuse to pay compensation because the waiver does not allow the licensee to solicit or sell new insurance.
For the purposes of receiving renewal commissions and other benefits or compensation from insurers, an agent receiving a waiver under this paragraph is considered to be the holder of a valid insurance agent license in this state.
Subd. 10. Reporting. (a) After completing the minimum education requirement, each person subject to this section shall file or cause to be filed a compliance report in accordance with the procedures adopted by the commissioner. The compliance report must not claim credit for continuing education not actually completed at the date of filing the report.
(b) An institution offering an accredited course shall comply with the procedure for reporting compliance adopted by the commissioner.
(c) If a person subject to this section completes a nonaccredited course, that person may submit a written report to the advisory committee accompanied by a fee of not more than $10 payable to the state of Minnesota for deposit in the general fund. This report must be accompanied by proof satisfactory to the commissioner that the person has completed the minimum education requirement for the annual period during which the nonaccredited course was completed. Upon the recommendation of the advisory committee that the course satisfies the criteria for course accreditation, the commissioner may approve the nonaccredited course and shall so inform the person. If the nonaccredited course is approved by the commissioner, it may be used to satisfy the minimum education requirement for the person's next annual compliance period.
Subd. 11. Enforcement. If a person subject to this section fails to complete the minimum education or reporting requirement or to pay the prescribed fees for any annual period, no license may be renewed or continued in force for that person for any class of insurance beginning June 1 of the year due and that person may not act as an insurance agent until the person has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commissioner that all requirements of this section have been complied with or that a waiver or extension has been obtained.
HIST: 1983 c 289 s 114 subd 1; 1983 c 328 s 6; 1984 c 552 s 3; 1984 c 578 s 2; 1984 c 592 s 34-36; 1984 c 655 art 1 s 92; 1Sp1985 c 10 s 53,54; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 337 s 8-10; 1989 c 231 s 1-5; 1992 c 513 art 3 s 25; 1992 c 564 art 1 s 19,20; 1993 c 343 s 7; 1994 c 632 art 4 s 31; 1996 c 439 art 1 s 7-9; 1997 c 187 art 3 s 14; 1999 c 177 s 32,33
* NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 7 by Laws 1999, chapter *177, section 32, is effective July 1, 2000. Laws 1999, chapter *177, section 89.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes