Thursday, December 11, 2008

Uh Oh... California Latest State To Restrict Use of Senior Designations

by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone

Assembly Bill 2150, effective January 1, 2009, is the latest in a spate of laws enacted by states to halt the use of any senior designations by agents, brokers, and other financial professionals. (except, of course, those of which Mother State approves.

In typical mountains from molehills fashion, California is leading the nation in enacting more useless legislation to combat the non-problems of the world.

The last thing we need here in California is more legislation. How about a little less nannying and a little more solvency?

Consumers need to exercise discretion, common sense and vigilance when dealing with their money and rely a bit less on politicians to take care of them.

Here's a little snippet of the latest Nanny Law:

On September 26, 2008, Assembly Bill 2150 (Berg, Chapter 327, Statutes of 2008) was signed into law and will take effect on January 1, 2009. This new law, which adds Section 787.1 to the California Insurance Code (CIC), prohibits insurance agents and brokers from using a “senior designation” unless the designation has been approved by the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

A senior designation is defined as 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.

A word, phrase, acronym, or logo constitutes 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 also constitute a senior designation even if it does not contain one of these words.

Use of Senior Designations

Section 787.1 of the CIC establishes several conditions for agents and brokers when using senior
designations. The use of a senior designation means utilizing a word, phrase, acronym, or logo, in any oral or written communication from which a sale of insurance to a senior may directly or indirectly result, that states or suggests, alone or in context, that a broker or agent holds a senior designation.

A broker or agent may not use a senior designation in a manner that misleads a person as to the
significance of the senior designation. In addition, a broker or agent may not use a senior designation unless:

(1) The broker or agent has been granted the right to use the designation by the organization that issues the designation and the broker or agent is currently authorized by the organization to
use the designation;

(2) The designation has been approved by the commissioner for use by brokers and agents
in the sale of insurance to seniors; and Insurers, Agents, Brokers and Other Interested
Parties New Law Regulating Use of Senior Designations

(3) The broker or agent has been licensed for at least four years to sell the types of insurance
with which the designation is used.

Exemptions from Requirements

An advanced academic degree, such as a Ph.D., M.B.A., or M.S., may be used without meeting these requirements if the degree was awarded by an institution of higher education that has been accredited by an organization that is on the United States Department of Education's list entitled "Accrediting Agencies
Recognized for Title IV Purposes."

However, no general exemption exists for a job title. Therefore, an agent may not use a title such as
“Senior Insurance Advisor,” even if the word “senior” refers to seniority within a producer organization,
rather than to senior citizens.
?????? HUH?

Wow! I am so glad I have the State of California watching out for me.

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