A question frequently arises with regard to whether or not a license is required for people who function as telemarketers or customer service representatives. This letter is intended to reinforce what has been, and remains, this Department’s position on this question.

Under Connecticut law anyone who solicits, negotiates or effects contracts of insurance in this state must be a licensed insurance producer. If a person answers questions over the telephone providing explanations about coverage; makes suggestions as to coverage needed; effects changes to an existing policy; or binds new coverage, even if only through words as "You’re covered.", a license is necessary. Each of these activities involves solicitation, negotiation or the effecting of insurance coverage.

If a person answers the telephone, only records information regarding insurance and then passes the information to a licensed producer who calls the client and effects coverage, the person need not be a licensed insurance producer. It seems unlikely that this would often be the case.

To avoid potential problems of unlicensed people conducting insurance business, if there is any question as to whether a license is needed, it may be wise to err on the side of caution and license the person.

The same potential problem exists in insurance agencies as in telemarketing areas of insurance companies. Please remind your agents of their responsibility to license their people who, regardless of title, solicit, negotiate or effect contracts of insurance. If you wish them to represent you in the sale of your products, you must appoint them once they receive their producer license.

I hope this eliminates any confusion that may have existed.

["Telemarketers" is from a mailing dated June 2, 1998 by George M Reider, Jr, Insurance Commissioner, to all Connecticut insurers]