Personal Lines Broker-Agents in California Need Surety Bonds

guide to california personal lines broker-agents

California Assembly Bill 1696 was passed on October 2, 2017, meaning that personal lines broker-agents will be subject to the existing bond requirements for property and casualty broker-agents. The law requires a $10,000 bond in connection with acting as a broker-agent and it goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Read on and learn everything you need to know about being a licensed California Insurance Broker-Agent.

Personal Lines and Property & Casualty Broker-Agents

Personal insurance lines provide protection from loss that people are unable to afford to cover out of pocket. These insurance policies allow people to engage in everyday activities like driving cars and owning homes by offering protection from financial ruin. A personal lines licensee is a person authorized to transact different types of insurance including automobile, residential property, natural disaster, and umbrella or excess liability insurance.

Property Casualty licensees sell policies that help individuals and companies cover expenses and losses from events such as fires, burglaries, traffic accidents, and other property damage caused by emergencies. Licenses to act as a broker-agent include the type of casualty, which entitles the licensee to handle insurance coverage against legal liability, including incidents resulting in death, injury, disability, or property damage.

Documents Determining Authority to Act

There are varying requirements for California personal line and property & casualty broker-agents depending on if you are a business entity or individual and a resident or nonresident. However, according to the recent legislation, both types of broker-agents are required to submit a $10,000 bond of insurance broker (form LIC 417-5) certifying the licensee to act as an insurance broker and an action notice of appointment, including the $29 filing fee which authorizes the person to act as an insurance agent. Additionally, personal lines licensees must file an Action Notice of Solicitor if they wish to act as an insurance solicitor.

FAQ: Personal Lines Broker-Agents

What are the personal lines broker-agent qualifications?

Personal lines broker-agent qualifications include age, education, and experience requirements. Pre-licensing study and continued education qualifications vary in the number of hours to be completed and the coursework to be observed. Continued education is required for the majority of broker-agents in order for licenses to be renewed after a two-year license period. View the complete list of personal lines broker-agent qualifications here.

 If I am currently a Property & Casualty Broker-Agent, do I need to get a Personal Lines Broker-Agent License?

No, you are already authorized to deal with all the coverages that the personal lines broker-agents are licensed to sell. Because personal lines coverage categories (property, automobile, flood damage etc.) fall within property & casualty coverages, it is unnecessary to retrieve a separate license. Additionally, in regards to pre-licensing qualifications, the property & casualty broker-agent prelicensing certificate also satisfies the personal lines broker-agent prelicensing 32-hour course requirement. Therefore, there is no reason to fulfill separate pre-licensing requirements to obtain the personal lines broker-agent license.

What fees must be paid to become a Personal Lines Broker-Agent?

An application fee of $170 must be paid to the California Department of Insurance when submitting the license application. However, applicants must pay $50 to sit for a licensing examination before they are allowed to submit an application. The licensing process also requires fingerprints that may be an additional cost to the applicant.

Additional personal lines broker-agent application information and forms are available on the California Department of Insurance website.

Where to get an insurance broker surety bond

The broker-agent surety bond required by the California Department of Insurance must be in an amount of $10,000 and can be purchased for $110 for three years of coverage. SuretyBonds.com issues insurance broker bonds instantly via our secure bond checkout. Visit our dedicated California insurance broker bond page for more information or to purchase your bond today.

About the Author

Audrey Addo
Audrey is a senior at the University of Missouri - Columbia studying business administration with a focus in marketing. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for SuretyBonds.com, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide.