6 - Producer Licensing
The Producer Licensing Department is responsible for the licensing of all individual and business entities in the business of insurance. The Department also issues Certification Letters, Clearance Letters, duplicate or replacement licenses, and responds to public record requests involving active and non-active licensees. In addition, the Department is also responsible for assuring that all insurers who appoint licensed producers annually renew or non-renew their appointments.
In particular, the Department processes all new license applications and renewal applications associated with more than ten license types.
- Ensure that individuals and business entities conducting the business of insurance in Massachusetts are qualified and in good standing, and that they conduct business within the requirements of the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth
- Process all licensing applications in a timely and accurate manner
- Respond to all licensing inquiries in a timely and accurate manner
- Provide excellent customer service to our licensees
- Properly train staff members to carry out the mission of the Producer Licensing Department and that of the Division of Insurance
6.2 2009 Goals
Provide business entities with the tools and knowledge on how to best utilize the newly enhanced OLLIE Phase II system (Online Licensing for Individuals and Business Entities).
Ensure that the Online Producer Appointment (OPRA) renewal website is operational by mid-October, with insurers renewing within 45 days. The OPRA site went live on August 24, 2009 - three months sooner than the previous year.
Cross-train Department staff members on licensing procedures for 90% of all license types, including all online services.
Train new staff members on all aspects of the Producer Licensing Department.
6.3 Primary Activities
Online Licensing of Individuals and Entities - OLLIE
OLLIE is an online insurance licensing system that offers individual insurance producers and business entity producers the opportunity to renew their licenses and update their profiles online. In 2008, the Producer Licensing Department participated in the development and design of OLLIE Phase II. OLLIE II sought to provide business entities - also known as insurance agencies - the ability to renew their producer licenses online. The goals of the project were to:
- Enhance the OLLIE website for business entities
- Enhance the internal licensing database - Consolidated Licensing and Regulation Information System (CLARIS)
- Update the AgentFinder website
On January 12, 2009, OLLIE Phase II was launched to all business entity producer licensees. The renewal process - formerly completed via paper applications only - is now greatly streamlined with a reduction in turnaround time. Paper renewal applications are still permitted and are used by those who do not wish to renew online. OLLIE license renewals can now be processed with unprecedented speed. The system is accessible 24/7 and frequent email communications from the Division keep producers informed of their application status. As of February 27, 2009, 65.8% of Business Entity Producers scheduled to renew their licenses in February 2009 did so via OLLIE. This adoption rate exceeded our expectations.
For all first time OLLIE users, renewal letters now mailed to licensed producers include a Personal Identification Number. The PIN allows the licensees to log on prior to their renewal and either renew online or update their user profiles. The Department is responsible for responding to all inquiries that arrive in the OLLIE Help Mailbox. The OLLIE Help Mailbox is assigned to one staff member weekly on a rotating basis. Requests for OLLIE PIN's are sent to the OLLIE Help Mailbox by licensees.
NAIC Address Change Request (ACR)
The Department led a project team on an initiative to allow producers to input address changes for their Massachusetts producer licenses via the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). NIPR now transmits address updates for existing Individual Producers that are contained within the existing CLARIS licensing database. When required, the Producer Licensing Staff reviews these automated updates using a newly developed customized CLARIS interface. This new address change implementation has assisted all licensees, as changes can be performed in 24 hours and paper requests are no longer necessary.
6.4 Special Activities
RFR for Testing Vendor
The Director of Producer Licensing and the Deputy Commissioner of Administration wrote a Request for Response (RFR) for the purpose of obtaining a testing /continuing education vendor. The current vendor's contract expired in April, 2009. The Director served as Procurement Team Leader of the Procurement Management Team. Additional members of the team included the Deputy Commissioner of Administration, the Continuing Education Committee Chairperson, and two attorneys from the Legal Division. The team developed an evaluation scorecard and a reference checklist. All references were checked and each bidder (three in total) was evaluated. Bids were received on time. Prometric was again selected and continued in its current role as the testing /continuing education vendor.
External Website & Producer Pages
A Frequently Asked Questions section and a Licensing Department Fee section were developed by the Director and are now posted on the Division's website.
Prometric Exam Workshop & Social Security Number Project
A number of internal staff members from the Division, along with external subject matter experts from the insurance industry, volunteered their time and expertise by attending the annual Prometric Exam Review workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to review examination questions, subject percentages and overall quality of the examinations.
The Department, along with the Division's IT Department, worked with Prometric on a project to cease the use of Social Security numbers. Continuing Education providers previously used Social Security numbers for their classroom rosters and to electronically transmit CE credits to Prometric. Beginning January 5, 2010, licensees will be identified by their Massachusetts producer license numbers.