Insurance License Defense
Protect Your Insurance License
Unlock Legal represents insurance agents and brokers who have issues with the California Department of Insurance (CDI).
- Was your application to the CDI rejected (or you’re worried it will be)?
- Are you under investigation?
- Do you have a pending criminal matter or a criminal conviction?
Whatever your concern, Unlock Legal can help you. We are the experts in defending professionals and protecting their licenses.
If your license is in jeopardy for any reason, contact us immediately for a free consultation.
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Insurance License Defense
California insurance agents and brokers are required to have a license to do business with the public. They are regulated and licensed by the California Department of Insurance. To obtain a license, agents and brokers must meet certain qualification requirements. Every type of insurance sold in California is subject to the regulation of the department.
There are hundreds of thousands of people who are licensed to sell insurance in California. At the same time, the state has hundreds of statutes that can apply to your business and a number of reasons why it may try to take away your license.
License Applications, Denials and Statement of Issues
Applying for your license is exciting because it is one of the last hurdles before you can begin your career. For many the application process with the CDI is straightforward and simple. However, for some, past criminal convictions or other issues can lock them up. The attorneys at Unlock Legal will complete and file your application on your behalf to make sure that you have the best chance of having it granted.
If you have submitted your application and it has been denied, you are not locked out of your career. A denial of your application is called a Statement of Issues. We will defend you to the CDI with the intention that you are granted your license free and clear. If you must be on probation, we will negotiate the best possible terms and conditions. A part of your defense may be cleaning up any past criminal issues to show your rehabilitation to the licensing body.
If someone files a complaint against you with the CDI, the CDI Investigation Division may instigate an investigation against you. The CDI Investigation Division investigates suspected fraud committed by insurance agents, brokers, public adjusters, bail agents, insurance companies and other individuals and entities transacting the business of insurance who perpetrate fraud against consumers.
If an investigation occurs, the attorneys at Unlock Legal will request a copy of the complaint, assist you in preparation of any statement, prepare you for the investigation interview, and represent you at the interview with the investigator. It is important to have experienced counsel with you at an investigation interview to assist you in answering any questions appropriately, and advising you when not to speak. With the right advice and counsel an investigation may end at the interview stage. If not, your licensing body may choose to file a formal complaint against you called an Accusation.
An Accusation is a formal complaint drafted by the attorneys for the CDI. It alleges various causes of action against you which may stem from conviction of a crime, and/or allegations of other bad acts like substance abuse, or deviation from the standard of care. You have only 15 days to send a Notice of Defense once you have been served with an Accusation. If you miss the deadline a default order may be rendered against you resulting in the revocation of your license.
It is imperative that you hire experienced counsel to represent you if an Accusation has been filed against you. Time is of the essence, and your career and livelihood is at stake.
Disciplinary Actions Against Insurance Agents
Both the agent’s business practices and the agent themselves can be under investigation by the department. Here are some reasons why the Department of Insurance may take enforcement action against an agent or broker:
- Deceptive business or sales practices
- A criminal conviction of the agent
- Insurance-related fraud
- Any admission or finding of fraud or misappropriation
- Conduct that demonstrates a pattern of repeated and willful disregard for the law
These are just some of a long list of reasons why the Department of Insurance can take action against you.
The department may take enforcement action for things that an agent does outside of business. For example, if you have been convicted of any crime that involves dishonesty, it can bear upon your fitness to transact insurance in California. Insurance agents have a legal obligation to report to the department any time that they are convicted of any crime. These reporting obligations can even include charges such as DUI.
Penalties for Insurance Agents
Potential penalties for insurance agents who are found to have committed a wrongful act include:
- Suspension of your license
- Revocation of your license
- Limitations on your license
In addition, the Department of Insurance may also make a referral for criminal charges to a law enforcement agency.
Reinstatement of License
If you have lost your license you are not locked out of the career of your choice. You can apply to the CDI again at any time. However, your application may be summarily denied (denied without a hearing) for five years after your initial denial. The attorneys at Unlock Legal can assist you in unlocking your license in the most expedient way possible. We love to get our insurance agents and brokers back to work as soon as possible!
Your Ability to Earn a Living Is on the Line
Depending on the type of enforcement action that the department proposes, you can lose your ability to do business and earn a living in California. However, before the department takes any type of disciplinary action, you are entitled to due process. You have the right to be heard and to counteract any allegations filed against you. The department cannot simply act on its own. Instead, they must hold a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge to formalize disciplinary action.
Even if the department attempts enforcement action, you have the right to challenge it in court. You should not attempt to defend your license on your own. You should contact an experienced attorney who knows how to deal with licensure boards. An attorney can proactively engage to maintain your ability to earn a living.
Contact an Insurance License Defense Attorney Today
If your license application has been denied or you have been charged with misconduct, you should immediately contact an experienced attorney. The lawyers at Unlock Legal defend insurance agents and other professionals who are accused of wrongful actions. To schedule an appointment, you can send us a message online or call us at (949) 988-4444.