Volume 1, No. 7 - October 2010
In The Know
- Keeping you informed is what it's all about

Fingerprinting at Pearson VUE Locations
If you ever go to a Pearson VUE testing site to get fingerprinted, there are some requirements you should know ahead of time. You will need to provide two forms of signature identification at the time of your reservation. One must have a photo and be issued by a government agency, e.g., driver's license, military identification card, passport, etc.  Also, you should not bring family members, guests, pets or others to the Pearson VUE site at the time of your reservation. If you do arrive with additional persons not associated with the reservation, you may be turned away.

The Difference Between a License and an Appointment
Different areas of the insurance industry interchange these two terms, which can cause a lot of misunderstanding, especially if you are trying to take over an orphaned account with a insurer or an agency. Both "license" and "appointment" are defined in Section 626.015, Florida Statutes. "License" is the authority, shown in a document, issued by the department or office authorizing a person to be appointed to transact insurance or adjust claims for the kind, line, or class of insurance identified in the document. "Appointment" is the authority given to a licensee by an insurer, employer, or one's self to transact insurance or adjust claims on behalf of an insurer or employer. Simply put: holding a license does not grant you the authority to transact insurance or adjust claims until you have been appointed. Appointments must be filed with the department.

Variable Licenses and Securities Regulation -- Get Registered!
Certain Florida insurance license types allow agents who are registered representatives with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) to sell variable insurance and annuity products. The insurance agent, the insurer, and the insurance agent’s supervising firm (referred to as the "broker-dealer") are required by state and federal law to ensure the appropriate FINRA registration is held by an agent selling a variable product. Registration is also required by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR). It is important to understand that you are NOT authorized to sell a variable product in Florida if you are NOT a registered representative or investment adviser through FINRA.

The Florida Life, Health and Variable Annuity Study Manual, which is used to prepare individuals to take the license exam, contains information regarding the way variable products work, general information on securities instruments, and the market in general.

Holding a variable license without proper registration does NOT give an agent authority to act as a registered representative or investment adviser. Following are a few examples that can represent "unregistered activity" according to FINRA, OFR and DFS:

  • Evaluating the performance of a particular security
  • Making recommendations to a consumer to liquidate a security
  • Making recommendations to purchase or avoid products that you are not qualified to sell or offer advice

These are but a few ways agents can create compliance problems for themselves with the regulatory agencies mentioned above. Unregistered activity can result in administrative or even criminal action by all the regulatory agencies, and provide cause for a consumer to file a civil complaint.

Be careful not to cross the line and jeopardize your license or livelihood by operating beyond the scope of your qualifications as dictated by the licenses and registrations held.