07 / Aug / 2013
- REFERRED TO RULES
08 / Jan / 2014
- REFERRED TO INSURANCE
Relates to the licensing of agents of authorized title insurance corporations; repealer
(R, C, IP) 51st Senate District
Relates to the licensing of agents of authorized title insurance corporations.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K ________________________________________________________________________ 5923 2013-2014 Regular Sessions I N S E N A T E August 7, 2013 ___________ Introduced by Sen. SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to the licensing of agents of authorized title insurance corporations; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The opening paragraph of subsection (k) of section 2101 of the insurance law, as added by chapter 687 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows: In this article, "insurance producer" means an insurance agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, insurance broker, reinsurance intermediary, excess lines broker, or any other person required to be licensed under the laws of this state to sell, solicit or negotiate insurance. Such term shall not include: S 2. Paragraph 4 of subsection (k) of section 2101 of the insurance law is REPEALED and paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are renum- bered paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. S 3. Section 2101 of the insurance law is amended by adding a new subsection (y) to read as follows: (Y) (1) IN THIS CHAPTER, "TITLE INSURANCE AGENT" MEANS ANY AUTHORIZED OR ACKNOWLEDGED AGENT OF A TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION, WHICH EVALUATES THE TITLE SEARCH TO DETERMINE INSURABILITY OF TITLE AND PERFORMS SUBSTANTIALLY ALL OF THE FOLLOWING FUNCTIONS: (A) PREPARES AND ISSUES A TITLE INSURANCE COMMITMENT OR CERTIFICATE OF TITLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ISSUING A TITLE INSURANCE POLICY; (B) CLEARS UNDERWRITING EXCEPTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF A TITLE INSURANCE POLICY; (C) ITSELF OR BY ITS DESIGNEE MARKS UP THE TITLE INSURANCE COMMITMENT OR CERTIFICATE OF TITLE TO BIND A TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION; EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11674-01-3 S. 5923 2 (D) PREPARES AND ISSUES A TITLE INSURANCE POLICY ON BEHALF OF A TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION; (E) COLLECTS THE TITLE INSURANCE PREMIUM, A PORTION OF WHICH IS REMIT- TED TO THE TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION. (2) NO TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION DOING BUSINESS IN THIS STATE, AND NO AGENT OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE THEREOF, SHALL PAY ANY PERCENTAGE OF THE TITLE INSURANCE PREMIUM OR FEES COLLECTED TO ANY PERSON, FIRM, ASSO- CIATION OR CORPORATION FOR PERFORMING ANY OF THE FUNCTIONS OF A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, EXCEPT TO A LICENSED TITLE INSURANCE AGENT. (3) SUCH TERM SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY REGULAR SALARIED OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF AN AUTHORIZED TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION OR OF A LICENSED TITLE INSURANCE AGENT. S 4. Subparagraph (A) of paragraph 1 of subsection (a) of section 2102 of the insurance law, as amended by section 8 of part I of chapter 61 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: (A) No person, firm, association or corporation shall act as an insur- ance producer, insurance adjuster OR TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or life settlement broker in this state without having authority to do so by virtue of a license issued and in force pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. S 5. Subsection (a) of section 2109 of the insurance law, paragraph 3 as amended by chapter 687 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows: (a) The superintendent may issue a temporary insurance agent's LICENSE, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT'S LICENSE or insurance broker's license, or both, AN INSURANCE AGENT'S AND INSURANCE BROKER'S LICENSE, without requiring the applicant to pass a written examination or to satisfy the requirements of subsection (c) of section two thousand one hundred four of this article except as to age, in the case of a license issued pursu- ant to paragraph two [hereof] OF THIS SUBSECTION, in the following cases: (1) in the case of the death of a person who at the time of his death was a licensed accident and health insurance agent under subsection (a) of section two thousand one hundred three of this article, a licensed insurance agent under subsection (b) of such section, A LICENSED TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or a licensed insurance broker: (A) to the executor or administrator of the estate of such deceased agent or broker; (B) to a surviving next of kin of such deceased agent or broker, where no administrator of his estate has been appointed and no executor has qualified under his duly probated will; (C) to the surviving member or members of a firm or association, which at the time of the death of a member was such a licensed insurance agent, LICENSED TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or licensed insurance broker; or (D) to an officer or director of a corporation upon the death of the only officer or director who was qualified as a sub-licensee or to the executor or administrator of the estate of such deceased officer or director; (2) to any person who may be designated by a person licensed pursuant to this chapter as an insurance agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or an insurance broker, or both AN INSURANCE AGENT AND INSURANCE BROKER, and who is absent because of service in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including a partnership or corporation which is licensed pursuant to this chapter as an insurance agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or as an insurance broker, or both AN INSURANCE AGENT AND INSUR- ANCE BROKER, in a case where the sub-licensee or all sub-licensees, if S. 5923 3 more than one, named in the license or licenses issued to such partner- ship or corporation is or are absent because of service in any branch of the armed forces of the United States; and (3) to the next of kin of a person who has become totally disabled and prevented from pursuing any of the duties of his or her occupation, and who at the commencement of his or her disability was a licensed accident and health insurance agent under subsection (a) of section two thousand one hundred three of this article, a licensed insurance agent under subsection (b) of such section, A LICENSED TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or a licensed insurance broker. S 6. Subsection (c) of section 2109 of the insurance law is amended to read as follows: (c) Such license or licenses shall authorize the person or persons named therein to renew the business of the deceased, absent or disabled INSURANCE agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, or INSURANCE broker, or both AN INSURANCE AGENT AND INSURANCE BROKER, as the case may be, or of the firm or, in the case of a license issued pursuant to paragraph one or three of subsection (a) [hereof] OF THIS SECTION, the association whose busi- ness is being continued thereunder, each such agent, broker, firm or association being referred to in this section as "original licensee", expiring during the period in which such temporary license or licenses are in force, to collect premiums due and payable to the original licen- see or, in the case of a license issued pursuant to paragraph one of subsection (a) [hereof] OF THIS SECTION, to his estate, and to perform such other acts as an insurance agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or as an insurance broker, or both AN INSURANCE AGENT AND INSURANCE BROKER, as the case may be, as are incidental to the continuance of the insurance business of such original licensee. S 7. Paragraph 4 of subsection (e) of section 2109 of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 687 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows: (4) No person or persons so licensed, EXCEPT FOR A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, shall, by virtue of such license, be authorized to solicit, nego- tiate or sell new insurance. S 8. Paragraph 3 of subsection (f) of section 2109 of the insurance law is amended to read as follows: (3) No person so licensed, EXCEPT FOR A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, shall solicit new business under such license. S 9. Paragraph 2 of subsection (g) of section 2109 of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 687 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows: (2) No person or persons so licensed, EXCEPT FOR A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, shall, by virtue of such license, be authorized to solicit, nego- tiate or sell new insurance. S 10. The section heading and subsections (a) and (b) of section 2110 of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 499 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read as follows: Revocation or suspension of license of insurance producer, insurance consultant, adjuster [or], life settlement broker OR TITLE INSURANCE AGENT. (a) The superintendent may refuse to renew, revoke, or may suspend for a period the superintendent determines the license of any insurance producer, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, insurance consultant, adjus- ter or life settlement broker, if, after notice and hearing, the super- intendent determines that the licensee or any sub-licensee has: (1) violated any insurance laws, or violated any regulation, subpoena or order of the superintendent or of another state's insurance commis- S. 5923 4 sioner, or has violated any law in the course of his or her dealings in such capacity; (2) provided materially incorrect, materially misleading, materially incomplete or materially untrue information in the license application; (3) obtained or attempted to obtain a license through misrepresen- tation or fraud; (4)(A) used fraudulent, coercive or dishonest practices; (B) demonstrated incompetence; (C) demonstrated untrustworthiness; or (D) demonstrated financial irresponsibility in the conduct of business in this state or elsewhere; (5) improperly withheld, misappropriated or converted any monies or properties received in the course of business in this state or else- where; (6) intentionally misrepresented the terms of an actual or proposed insurance contract, life settlement contract or application for insur- ance; (7) has been convicted of a felony; (8) admitted or been found to have committed any insurance unfair trade practice or fraud; (9) had an insurance producer license, a life settlement broker license, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT LICENSE, or its equivalent, denied, suspended or revoked in any other state, province, district or territo- ry; (10) forged another's name to an application for insurance or life settlement contract or to any document related to an insurance or life settlement transaction; (11) improperly used notes or any other reference material to complete an examination for an insurance license or life settlement broker license; (12) knowingly accepted insurance business from an individual who is not licensed; (13) failed to comply with an administrative or court order imposing a child support obligation; (14) failed to pay state income tax or comply with any administrative or court order directing payment of state income tax; (15) while acting as a life settlement broker, failed to protect the privacy of the insured or owner or other person for whom the life settlement broker was required to provide protection pursuant to article seventy-eight of this chapter; or (16) ceased to meet the requirements for licensure under this chapter. (b) Before revoking or suspending the license of any insurance produc- er, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, life settlement broker or other licensee pursuant to the provisions of this article, the superintendent shall, except when proceeding pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, give notice to the licensee and to every sub-licensee and shall hold, or cause to be held, a hearing not less than ten days after the giving of such notice. S 11. Subsections (a) and (d) of section 2112 of the insurance law, subsection (a) as amended by chapter 540 of the laws of 1996 and subsection (d) as amended by chapter 687 of the laws of 2003, are amended to read as follows: (a) Every insurer, fraternal benefit society or health maintenance organization doing business in this state shall file a certificate of appointment in such form as the superintendent may prescribe in order to S. 5923 5 appoint insurance agents OR TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS to represent such insurer, fraternal benefit society or health maintenance organization. (d) Every insurer, fraternal benefit society or health maintenance organization or insurance producer or the authorized representative of the insurer, fraternal benefit society, health maintenance organization or insurance producer doing business in this state shall, upon termi- nation of the certificate of appointment as set forth in subsection (a) of this section of any insurance agent OR TITLE INSURANCE AGENT licensed in this state, or upon termination for cause for activities as set forth in subsection (a) of section two thousand one hundred ten of this arti- cle, of the certificate of appointment, of employment, of a contract or other insurance business relationship with any insurance producer, file with the superintendent within thirty days a statement, in such form as the superintendent may prescribe, of the facts relative to such termi- nation for cause. The insurer, fraternal benefit society, health mainte- nance organization, insurance producer or the authorized representative of the insurer, fraternal benefit society, health maintenance organiza- tion or insurance producer shall provide, within fifteen days after notification has been sent to the superintendent, a copy of the state- ment filed with the superintendent to the insurance producer at his, or her or its last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid or by overnight delivery using a nationally recognized carrier. Every statement made pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed a privileged communication. S 12. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 2113 to read as follows: S 2113. TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS; PROHIBITED PAYMENTS. (A) NO TITLE INSURANCE AGENT OR ANY REPRESENTATIVE OF SUCH AGENT DOING BUSINESS IN THIS STATE, SHALL PAY ANY PERCENTAGE OF THE TITLE INSURANCE PREMIUM OR FEES COLLECTED TO ANY OTHER TITLE INSURANCE AGENT OR ANY REPRESENTATIVE OF SUCH AGENT. (B) A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT SHALL NOT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ACCEPT ANY PAYMENT FOR OR REIMBURSEMENT OF ANY FEE, FINE OR PENALTY IMPOSED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT ON THE TITLE INSURANCE AGENT PURSUANT TO THIS CHAP- TER. S 13. The section heading and subsections (a) and (c) of section 2120 of the insurance law are amended to read as follows: Fiduciary capacity of insurance agents, TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS, insur- ance brokers and reinsurance intermediaries. (a) Every insurance agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT and [every] insurance broker acting as such in this state shall be responsible in a fiduciary capacity for all funds received or collected as insurance agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT or insurance broker, and shall not, without the express consent of his, HER or its principal, mingle any such funds with his, HER or its own funds or with funds held by him, HER or it in any other capacity. (c) This section shall not require any such INSURANCE agent, TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, INSURANCE broker or reinsurance intermediary to main- tain a separate bank deposit for the funds of each such principal, if and as long as the funds so held for each such principal are reasonably ascertainable from the books of account and records of such agent, broker or reinsurance intermediary, as the case may be. S 14. The section heading and subsection (a) of section 2122 of the insurance law are amended to read as follows: Advertising by insurance [agents and brokers] PRODUCERS. (a) (1) No insurance [agent or insurance broker] PRODUCER shall make or issue in this state any advertisement, sign, pamphlet, circular, card or other S. 5923 6 public announcement purporting to make known the financial condition of any insurer, unless the same shall conform to the requirements of section one thousand three hundred thirteen of this chapter. (2) No insurance [agent, insurance broker] PRODUCER or other person, shall, by any advertisement or public announcement in this state, call attention to any unauthorized insurer or insurers. S 15. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 2128 of the insurance law are amended to read as follows: (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections two thousand three hundred twenty-four and four thousand two hundred twenty-four of this chapter, no [insurance agent, insurance broker, insurance consultant, excess line broker, reinsurance intermediary or insurance adjuster] LICENSEE SUBJECT TO THIS CHAPTER shall receive any commissions or fees or shares thereof in connection with insurance coverages placed for or insurance services rendered to the state, its agencies and departments, public benefit corporations, municipalities and other governmental subdivisions in this state, unless such [insurance agent, insurance broker, insurance consultant, excess line broker, reinsurance interme- diary or insurance adjuster] LICENSEE actually placed insurance cover- ages on behalf of or rendered insurance services to the state, its agen- cies and departments, public benefit corporations, municipalities and other governmental subdivisions in this state. (b) The superintendent shall, by regulation, require [insurance agents, insurance brokers, insurance consultants, excess line brokers, reinsurance intermediaries and insurance adjusters] LICENSEES SUBJECT TO THIS CHAPTER to file disclosure statements with the insurance department and the most senior official of the governmental unit involved, with respect to any insurance coverages placed for or insurance services rendered to the state, its agencies and departments, public benefit corporations, municipalities and other governmental subdivisions in this state, EXCEPT THAT TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATIONS AND TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS SHALL ONLY BE REQUIRED TO FILE DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS ANNUALLY. ANY SUBMISSIONS MADE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED TRADE SECRETS WHICH IF DISCLOSED TO ANY THIRD PARTY WOULD CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL INJURY TO THE COMPETITIVE POSITION OF THE SUBMITTER. AS SUCH, SAID DISCLOSURES ARE EXEMPT FROM FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW REQUESTS PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (D) OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION EIGHT-SEVEN OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW. S 16. Subsection (b) of section 2132 of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 499 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: (b) This section shall not apply to: (1) those persons holding licenses for which an examination is not required by the laws of this state; (2) any limited licensees or any other licensees as the superintendent may exempt subject to any continuing education requirements deemed appropriate by the superintendent; [or] (3) for purposes of the continuing education requirements for life settlements, an insurance producer with a life line of authority who is acting as a life settlement broker pursuant to section two thousand one hundred thirty-seven of this article[.]; OR (4) FOR PURPOSES OF A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT LICENSE, AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THIS STATE, PROVIDED SAID ATTORNEY IS IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION. S 17. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 2139 to read as follows: S. 5923 7 S 2139. TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS; LICENSING.(A) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY ISSUE A LICENSE TO ANY PERSON, FIRM, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION WHO OR WHICH HAS COMPLIED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CHAPTER, AUTHORIZING THE LICENSEE TO ACT AS A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT OF ANY AUTHORIZED TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION. (B) ANY SUCH LICENSE ISSUED TO A FIRM OR ASSOCIATION SHALL AUTHORIZE ONLY THE MEMBERS THEREOF, NAMED IN SUCH LICENSE AS SUB-LICENSEES, TO ACT INDIVIDUALLY AS TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS THEREUNDER, AND ANY SUCH LICENSE ISSUED TO A CORPORATION SHALL AUTHORIZE ONLY THE OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS THEREOF, NAMED IN SUCH LICENSE AS SUB-LICENSEES, TO ACT INDIVIDUALLY AS TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS THEREUNDER. EVERY SUB-LICENSEE ACTING AS A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT PURSUANT TO SUCH A LICENSE SHALL BE AUTHORIZED SO TO ACT ONLY IN THE NAME OF THE LICENSEE. IN THE CASE OF A LICENSE ISSUED TO A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, AT LEAST ONE DESIGNATED SUB-LICENSEE MUST HAVE A FINANCIAL OR OTHER BENEFICIAL INTEREST IN THE LICENSEE. (C) EVERY INDIVIDUAL APPLICANT FOR A LICENSE UNDER THIS SECTION AND EVERY PROPOSED LICENSEE SHALL BE EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AT THE TIME OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH LICENSE. (D)(1) BEFORE ANY ORIGINAL TITLE INSURANCE AGENT'S LICENSE IS ISSUED, THERE SHALL BE ON FILE IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT AN APPLICA- TION BY THE PROSPECTIVE LICENSEE IN SUCH FORM OR FORMS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO, ALONG WITH A FEE IN THE AMOUNT OF FORTY DOLLARS FOR EACH YEAR OR FRACTION OF A YEAR IN WHICH THE LICENSE SHALL BE VALID, AND CONTAIN- ING INFORMATION THE SUPERINTENDENT PRESCRIBES. FOR EACH BUSINESS ENTITY, THE SUB-LICENSEE OR SUB-LICENSEES NAMED IN THE APPLICATION SHALL BE DESIGNATED RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS ENTITY'S COMPLIANCE WITH THIS CHAPTER AND REGULATION PROMULGATED THEREUNDER. (2) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY REQUIRE ANY INDIVIDUAL NAMED IN THE APPLI- CATION FOR SUCH LICENSE TO SUBMIT A SET OF FINGERPRINTS. SUCH FINGER- PRINTS SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES FOR A STATE A CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD" SHALL MEAN A RECORD OF ALL CONVICTIONS OF CRIMES AND ANY PENDING CRIMINAL CHARGES MAINTAINED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BY THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES AND THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. ALL SUCH CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS SENT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE CONFIDENTIAL PURSUANT TO THE APPLICABLE FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS, AND SHALL NOT BE PUBLISHED OR IN ANY WAY DISCLOSED TO PERSONS OTHER THAN THE SUPERINTENDENT, UNLESS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW. THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL PROVIDE SUCH APPLICANT WITH A COPY OF HIS OR HER CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD, IF ANY, TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE-A OF THE CORRECTION LAW, AND INFORM SUCH APPLICANT OF HIS OR HER RIGHT TO SEEK CORRECTION OF ANY INCORRECT INFORMATION CONTAINED IN SUCH RECORD PURSU- ANT TO REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES ESTABLISHED BY THE DIVISION OF CRIMI- NAL JUSTICE SERVICES. ALL DETERMINATIONS TO GRANT OR DENY CLEARANCE FOR LICENSURE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBDIVI- SION SIXTEEN OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED NINETY-SIX OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW AND ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE-A OF THE CORRECTION LAW. WHEN THE SUPERINTENDENT DENIES AN APPLICATION, WRITTEN NOTICE OF SUCH DETERMINATION SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE PROSPECTIVE APPLICANT WHO SHALL BE AFFORDED NOTICE AND THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD AND OFFER PROOF IN OPPOSITION TO SUCH DETERMINATION. (E) THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL, IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE COMPETENCY OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL APPLICANT AND OF EVERY PROPOSED SUB-LICENSEE FOR THE TITLE INSURANCE AGENT LICENSE, REQUIRE SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO SUBMIT TO A PERSONAL WRITTEN EXAMINATION AND TO PASS THE SAME TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT. THE EXAMINATION SHALL BE HELD AT SUCH TIMES AND S. 5923 8 PLACES AS THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL FROM TIME TO TIME DETERMINE. EVERY INDIVIDUAL APPLYING TO TAKE ANY WRITTEN EXAMINATION SHALL, AT THE TIME OF APPLYING THEREFOR, PAY TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OR, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT, DIRECTLY TO ANY ORGANIZATION THAT IS UNDER CONTRACT TO PROVIDE EXAMINATION SERVICES, AN EXAMINATION FEE OF AN AMOUNT THAT IS THE ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ADMINISTRATIVE COST OF CONDUCTING SAID QUALIFYING EXAMINATION AS CERTIFIED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT FROM TIME TO TIME. AN EXAMINATION FEE REPRESENTS AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE AND SHALL NOT BE REFUNDABLE. THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY ACCEPT, IN LIEU OF ANY SUCH EXAMINA- TION, THE RESULT OF ANY PREVIOUS WRITTEN EXAMINATION, GIVEN BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, WHICH IN THE SUPERINTENDENT'S JUDGMENT, IS EQUIVALENT TO THE EXAMINATION FOR WHICH IT IS SUBSTITUTED. (F) EVERY INDIVIDUAL SEEKING TO QUALIFY TO OBTAIN A LICENSE UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PASS THE TYPE OR TYPES OF EXAMINATION PRESCRIBED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT FOR WHICH THE LICENSE IS SOUGHT. (G) NO SUCH WRITTEN EXAMINATION OR PRE-LICENSING EDUCATION SHALL BE REQUIRED OF ANY: (1) APPLICANT WHO HAS PASSED THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION GIVEN BY THE SUPERINTENDENT FOR A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT'S LICENSE AND WAS LICENSED AS SUCH, OR OF ANY APPLICANT WHO WAS LICENSED AS A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT BUT DID NOT PASS SUCH AN EXAMINATION; PROVIDED THE APPLICANT APPLIES WITHIN TWO YEARS FOLLOWING THE DATE OF TERMINATION OF THE APPLICANT'S LICENSE; (2) APPLICANT SEEKING TO OBTAIN A LICENSE AS A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, WHEN SUCH APPLICANT IS A LICENSED ATTORNEY-AT-LAW IN THIS STATE PROVIDED SAID ATTORNEY IS IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION; (3) INDIVIDUAL SEEKING TO BE NAMED A LICENSEE OR SUB-LICENSEE, WHO IS A NON-RESIDENT AND HAS BEEN A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT IN THE INDIVIDUAL'S HOME STATE FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE INDIVID- UAL'S HOME STATE GRANTS NON-RESIDENT LICENSES TO RESIDENTS OF THIS STATE ON THE SAME BASIS. (H) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION, NO COURSE OF STUDY OR WRITTEN EXAMINATION SHALL BE REQUIRED WITH RESPECT TO ANY APPLICANT WHO FILES AN APPLICATION UNDER THIS SECTION WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE AND WHO DEMONSTRATES TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT THAT SUCH PROSPECTIVE LICENSEE OR ITS PROSPECTIVE SUB-LICENSEE HAS REGULARLY AND CONTINUOUSLY PERFORMED THE FUNCTIONS OF A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT IN THIS STATE FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST FIVE YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE FILING OF SUCH APPLICATION. (I) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY REFUSE TO ISSUE TO AN APPLICATION A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT'S LICENSE IF, IN THE SUPERINTENDENT'S JUDGMENT, THE PROPOSED LICENSEE OR ANY SUB-LICENSEE: IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY AND COMPETENT TO ACT AS SUCH AGENT; HAS GIVEN CAUSE FOR THE REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF SUCH A LICENSE; OR HAS FAILED TO COMPLY WITH ANY PREREQUISITE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH LICENSE. (J) (1) EVERY LICENSE ISSUED TO A BUSINESS ENTITY PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION SHALL EXPIRE ON JUNE THIRTIETH OF ODD-NUMBERED YEARS. (2) EVERY LICENSE ISSUED TO AN INDIVIDUAL BORN IN AN ODD-NUMBERED YEAR SHALL EXPIRE ON THE INDIVIDUAL'S BIRTHDAY IN EACH ODD-NUMBERED YEAR. LICENSES ISSUED TO INDIVIDUALS BORN IN EVEN-NUMBERED YEARS SHALL EXPIRE ON THE INDIVIDUAL'S BIRTHDAY IN EACH EVEN-NUMBERED YEAR. EVERY SUCH LICENSE MAY BE RENEWED FOR THE ENSUING PERIOD OF TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS UPON THE FILING OF AN APPLICATION IN CONFORMITY WITH THIS SUBSECTION. S. 5923 9 (3) THE LICENSE MAY BE ISSUED FOR ALL OF SUCH TWO YEAR TERMS, OR UPON APPLICATION MADE DURING ANY SUCH TERM, FOR THE BALANCE THEREOF. (4) ANY LICENSE SHALL BE CONSIDERED IN GOOD STANDING WITHIN THE LICENSE TERM UNLESS: (A) REVOKED OR SUSPENDED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT PURSUANT TO THIS ARTI- CLE; OR (B) IF AT THE EXPIRATION DATE OF THE LICENSE TERM, THE LICENSEE FAILS TO FILE A RENEWAL APPLICATION, PROVIDED THE LICENSE WAS IN GOOD STANDING DURING THE TERM. (5) BEFORE THE RENEWAL OF ANY TITLE INSURANCE AGENT'S LICENSE SHALL BE ISSUED, THE LICENSEE SHALL HAVE: (A) FILED A COMPLETED RENEWAL APPLICATION IN SUCH FORM OR FORMS, AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO, AND CONTAINING SUCH INFORMATION AS THE SUPERINTEN- DENT MAY PRESCRIBE; (B) SUBMITTED EVIDENCE OF COMPLIANCE WITH CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED FORTY OF THIS ARTICLE. (C) PAID SUCH FEES AS ARE PRESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION. (6) IF AN APPLICATION FOR A RENEWAL LICENSE SHALL HAVE BEEN FILED WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF SUCH LICENSE, THEN THE LICENSE SOUGHT TO BE RENEWED SHALL CONTINUE IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT EITHER UNTIL THE ISSUANCE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE RENEWAL LICENSE APPLIED FOR OR UNTIL FIVE DAYS AFTER THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL HAVE REFUSED TO ISSUE SUCH RENEWAL LICENSE AND SHALL HAVE GIVEN NOTICE OF SUCH REFUSAL TO THE APPLICANT AND TO EACH PROPOSED SUB-LICENSEE. BEFORE REFUSING TO RENEW ANY SUCH LICENSE, EXCEPT ON THE GROUND OF FAILURE TO PASS A WRITTEN EXAMINATION, THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL NOTIFY THE APPLI- CANT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT'S INTENTION TO DO SO AND SHALL GIVE THE APPLICANT A HEARING. (7) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY, IN ISSUING A RENEWAL LICENSE, DISPENSE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF A VERIFIED APPLICATION BY ANY INDIVIDUAL LICEN- SEE OR SUB-LICENSEE WHO, BY REASON OF BEING ENGAGED IN ANY MILITARY SERVICE FOR THE UNITED STATES, IS UNABLE TO MAKE PERSONAL APPLICATION FOR SUCH RENEWAL LICENSE, UPON THE FILING OF AN APPLICATION ON BEHALF OF SUCH INDIVIDUAL, IN SUCH FORM AS THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL PRESCRIBE, BY SOME PERSON OR PERSONS WHO IN HIS JUDGMENT HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND WHO MAKE AFFIDAVIT SHOWING SUCH MILITARY SERVICE AND THE INABILITY OF SUCH TITLE INSURANCE AGENT TO MAKE A PERSONAL APPLICATION. (8) AN INDIVIDUAL LICENSEE OR SUB-LICENSEE WHO IS UNABLE TO COMPLY WITH LICENSE RENEWAL PROCEDURES DUE TO OTHER EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH AS A LONG-TERM MEDICAL DISABILITY, MAY REQUEST A WAIVER OF SUCH PROCEDURES, IN SUCH FORM AS THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL PRESCRIBE. THE LICENSEE OR SUB-LICENSEE MAY ALSO REQUEST A WAIVER OF ANY EXAMINATION REQUIREMENT OR ANY OTHER FINE OR SANCTION IMPOSED FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH RENEWAL PROCEDURES. (9) AN APPLICATION FOR THE RENEWAL OF A LICENSE SHALL BE FILED WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT NOT LESS THAN SIXTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE DATE THE LICENSE EXPIRES OR THE APPLICANT SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A FURTHER FEE OF TEN DOLLARS FOR LATE FILING. (10) NO LICENSE FEE SHALL BE REQUIRED OF ANY PERSON WHO SERVED AS A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES AT ANY TIME, AND WHO SHALL HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED THEREFROM UNDER CONDITIONS OTHER THAN DISHONORABLE, IN A CURRENT LICENSING PERIOD FOR THE DURATION OF SUCH PERIOD. (11) EXCEPT WHERE A CORPORATION, ASSOCIATION OR FIRM LICENSED AS A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT IS APPLYING TO ADD A SUB-LICENSEE, OR THE DATE OF S. 5923 10 THE EXPIRATION OF THE LICENSE IS CHANGED, THERE SHALL BE NO FEE REQUIRED FOR THE ISSUANCE OF AN AMENDED LICENSE. (12) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY ISSUE A REPLACEMENT LICENSE FOR A CURRENT- LY IN-FORCE LICENSE THAT HAS BEEN LOST OR DESTROYED. BEFORE SUCH REPLACEMENT LICENSE SHALL BE ISSUED, THERE SHALL BE ON FILE IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT A WRITTEN APPLICATION FOR SUCH REPLACEMENT LICENSE, AFFIRMING UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY THAT THE ORIGINAL LICENSE HAS BEEN LOST OR DESTROYED, TOGETHER WITH A FEE OF FIFTEEN DOLLARS. (K) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY REFUSE TO ISSUE A LICENSE OR RENEWAL LICENSE, AS THE CASE MAY BE, TO ANY APPLICANT IF THE SUPERINTENDENT FINDS THAT SUCH APPLICANT HAS BEEN OR WILL BE, AS AFORESAID, RECEIVING ANY BENEFIT OR ADVANTAGE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION SIX THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED NINE OF THIS CHAPTER, OR IF THE SUPERINTENDENT FINDS THAT MORE THAN TEN PERCENT OF THE AGGREGATE NET COMMISSIONS RECEIVED DURING THE TERM OF THE EXISTING LICENSE, IF ANY, OR TO BE RECEIVED DURING THE TERM OF THE LICENSE APPLIED FOR, BY THE APPLICANT, RESULTED OR WILL RESULT FROM INSURANCE ON THE PROPERTY AND RISKS SET FORTH IN SUBPARAGRAPHS (A), (B) AND (C) OF PARAGRAPH ONE OF SUBSECTION (I) OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED THREE OF THIS ARTICLE. (L) ALL LICENSED TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO THE DUE PROCESS PROVISIONS AS PROVIDED BY THE STATE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT. S 18. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 2140 to read as follows: S 2140. CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS. (A) THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS LICENSED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE WHO ARE NATURAL PERSONS AND TO INDIVIDUALS DESIGNATED AS A SUB- LICENSEE TO FULFILL THE CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENTITY LICENSED UNDER THIS ARTICLE. (B) THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THESE REQUIREMENTS: (1) AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THIS STATE PROVIDED SAID ATTORNEY IS IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION; (2) ANY LICENSEES AS THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY EXEMPT SUBJECT TO ANY CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY THE SUPERINTEN- DENT. (C) PERSONS LICENSED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AND NOT EXEMPT UNDER THIS ARTICLE, SHALL BIENNIALLY SATISFACTORILY COMPLETE SUCH COURSES OR PROGRAMS OF INSTRUCTION AS MAY BE APPROVED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, AS FOLLOWS: (1) ANY PERSON HOLDING A LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AND NOT EXEMPT UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION SHALL, DURING EACH FULL BIENNIAL LICENSING PERIOD, SATISFACTORILY COMPLETE COURSES OR PROGRAMS OF INSTRUCTION OR ATTEND SEMINARS AS MAY BE APPROVED BY THE SUPERINTEN- DENT EQUIVALENT TO FIFTEEN CREDIT HOURS OF INSTRUCTION. (2) EXCESS CREDIT HOURS ACCUMULATED DURING ANY BIENNIAL LICENSING PERIOD SHALL NOT CARRY FORWARD TO THE NEXT BIENNIAL LICENSING PERIOD. (D)(1) THE COURSES OR PROGRAMS OF INSTRUCTION SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED, WHICH SHALL BE DEEMED TO MEET THE SUPERINTENDENT'S STANDARDS FOR CONTIN- UING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS, SHALL BE COURSES, PROGRAMS OF INSTRUCTION OR SEMINARS, APPROVED AS TO METHOD AND CONTENT BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, RELATED TO TITLE INSURANCE, AND GIVEN BY A DEGREE CONFERRING COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY WHOSE CURRICULUM IS REGISTERED WITH THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AT THE TIME THE PERSON TAKES THE COURSE, WHETHER SUCH COURSE BE GIVEN AS PART OF SUCH CURRICULUM OR SEPARATELY, OR BY ANY OTHER INSTITUTION, AGENTS' ASSOCIATION, TRADE ASSOCIATION, BAR ASSOCIATION OR TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION, WHICH MAINTAINS EQUIVALENT STANDARDS OF S. 5923 11 INSTRUCTION AND WHICH SHALL HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR SUCH PURPOSE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT. (2) THE NUMBER OF CREDIT HOURS ASSIGNED TO EACH OF THE COURSES OR PROGRAMS OF INSTRUCTION SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH ONE OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT. (E) A PERSON WHO TEACHES ANY APPROVED COURSE OF INSTRUCTION OR WHO LECTURES AT ANY APPROVED SEMINAR, AND WHO IS SUBJECT TO THIS SECTION, SHALL BE GRANTED THREE CREDIT HOURS FOR EACH FIFTY MINUTES OF PRESENTA- TION AND ONE CREDIT FOR EACH FIFTY MINUTES OF REPEAT PRESENTATIONS DURING ANY BIENNIAL LICENSING PERIOD. (F) EVERY PERSON SUBJECT TO THIS SECTION SHALL FURNISH, IN A FORM SATISFACTORY TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, CERTIFICATION ATTESTING TO THE COURSE OR PROGRAMS OF INSTRUCTION TAKEN AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED BY SUCH PERSON PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (D) OF THIS SECTION. (G) (1) ANY PERSON FAILING TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED BY THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO RENEW THE LICENSE. (2) ANY PERSON WHOSE LICENSE WAS NOT RENEWED SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO BECOME RELICENSED DURING THE NEXT BIENNIAL LICENSING PERIOD UNTIL THAT PERSON HAS DEMONSTRATED TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT THAT CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE LAST BIENNIAL LICENSING PERIOD WERE MET. (3) ANY PERSON WHOSE LICENSE WAS NOT RENEWED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH ONE OF THIS SUBSECTION, WHO ACCUMULATES SUFFICIENT CREDIT HOURS FOR THE PRIOR LICENSING PERIOD TO QUALIFY FOR RELICENSING IN THE BIENNIAL PERIOD FOLLOWING SUCH NON-RENEWAL, MAY NOT APPLY THOSE SAME CREDIT HOURS TOWARD THE CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CURRENT BIENNIAL LICENSING PERIOD. (H)(1) ANY ENTITY ELIGIBLE TO PROVIDE COURSES, PROGRAMS OF INSTRUC- TION, OR SEMINARS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION (D) OF THIS SECTION, MUST FILE FOR APPROVAL BY THE SUPERINTENDENT ON A BIENNIAL BASIS, TO CONFORM WITH ITS AREA OF INSTRUCTION, A PROVIDER ORGANIZATION APPLICA- TION AND A COURSE SUBMISSION APPLICATION FOR EACH COURSE, PROGRAM AND SEMINAR, AND COURSES MAY BE ADDED ON APPROVAL BY THE SUPERINTENDENT DURING THE PERIOD ON NOTIFICATION TO THE SUPERINTENDENT AND PAYMENT OF THE APPROPRIATE FILING FEE. (2) THE PROVIDER ORGANIZATION APPLICATION SHALL INCLUDE THE NAMES OF ALL INSTRUCTORS TO BE USED DURING THE CONTRACT PERIOD, AND INSTRUCTORS MAY BE ADDED DURING THE PERIOD BY NOTIFYING THE SUPERINTENDENT AND PAYING THE APPROPRIATE FILING FEE. (3) THE COMPLETED APPLICATIONS SHALL BE RETURNED IN A TIMELY MANNER, AS SPECIFIED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, WITH A NON-REFUNDABLE FILING FEE OF TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ORGANIZATION, FIFTY DOLLARS PER COURSE, PROGRAM AND SEMINAR, AND FIFTY DOLLARS PER INSTRUCTOR. (4) APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION SHALL BE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT. (I) EACH LICENSEE SHALL PAY A BIENNIAL FEE OF TEN DOLLARS PER LICENSE, FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION CERTIFICATE FILING AND RECORDING CHARGES, TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OR, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT, DIRECTLY TO AN ORGANIZATION UNDER CONTRACT TO PROVIDE CONTINUING EDUCATION ADMIN- ISTRATIVE SERVICES. S 19. Section 2314 of the insurance law is amended to read as follows: S 2314. Charging of rates. No authorized insurer [shall, and], no licensed insurance agent, NO TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, no employee or other representative of an authorized insurer, and no licensed insurance broker shall knowingly, charge or demand a rate or receive a premium which departs from the rates, rating plans, classifications, schedules, S. 5923 12 rules and standards in effect on behalf of the insurer, or shall issue or make any policy or contract involving a violation thereof. S 20. Subsection (e) of section 2324 of the insurance law is amended to read as follows: (e) This section shall not apply to any policy or contract of reinsur- ance nor to any contract or policy of life insurance, accident insurance or health insurance which is subject to the provisions of section four thousand two hundred twenty-four of this chapter, NOR TO ANY CONTRACT OR POLICY OF TITLE INSURANCE, nor to any contract or policy of marine insurance, other than contracts or policies of automobile insurance, or of marine protection and indemnity insurance, nor to any insurance contract, or rate of insurance in connection with any insurance contract either against loss or damage to, or legal liability in connection with, any property located wholly outside of this state or any activity carried on outside of this state or any motor vehicle or aircraft prin- cipally garaged and used outside of this state. S 21. Subsection (d) of section 6409 of the insurance law is amended to read as follows: (d) No title insurance corporation OR TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, or any other person acting for or on behalf of it, shall make any rebate of any portion of the fee, premium or charge made, or pay or give to any appli- cant for insurance, or to any person, firm, or corporation acting as agent, representative, attorney, or employee of the owner, lessee, mort- gagee or the prospective owner, lessee, or mortgagee of the real proper- ty or any interest therein, either directly or indirectly, any commis- sion, any part of its fees or charges, or any other consideration or valuable thing, as an inducement for, or as compensation for, any title insurance business. Any person or entity who accepts or receives such a commission or rebate shall be subject to a penalty equal to the greater of [one] FIVE thousand dollars or five times the amount [thereof] OF THE REBATE, AND ANY PERSON OR ENTITY WHO OTHERWISE VIOLATES THIS SUB-SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A PENALTY EQUAL TO THE GREATER OF FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR THE AMOUNT OF THE TITLE INSURANCE PREMIUM EARNED ON THE TRAN- SACTION ON WHICH THE VIOLATION OCCURRED, EXCEPT, AS TO A TITLE INSURANCE AGENT, SUCH SUM SHALL NOT INCLUDE THAT PORTION OF THE PREMIUM PAID OR PAYABLE TO THE TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION. S 22. Subsection (a) of section 107 of the insurance law is amended by adding a new paragraph 54 to read as follows: (54) "TITLE INSURANCE AGENT" SHALL HAVE THE MEANING ASCRIBED TO IT BY PARAGRAPH ONE OF SUBSECTION (Y) OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER. S 23. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediately: (1) the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date; (2) the superintendent of financial services shall promulgate applica- tion forms for persons, firms and corporations seeking to obtain a license as a title insurance agent; and (3) each person, firm or corporation who has filed an application for a license as a title insurance agent on or before January 1, 2014 or within 90 days after the superintendent of financial services has promulgated application forms pursuant to this act, whichever date is later, may act as such licensee without a license issued pursuant to S. 5923 13 sections 2138, 2139, or 2140 of the insurance law until the superinten- dent of financial services has made a final determination on the appli- cation for such license filed by such person, firm or corporation.
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