The California Department of Insurance (DOI): Agent Licensing and Renewal

by John Hansen

The California Department of Insurance (DOI) protects consumers. They fight for more options and competition in the California health plan market. Their goal is to increase affordability and improve quality of care for California consumers.

The DOI is led by the California Commissioner, Dave Jones. This government agency licenses insurance agents throughout the state. The DOI receives 80,000 new licensees per year. Also, 136,000 agents renew their licenses each year.

Agent Licensing

Agents have to go through testing to get their licenses. The California Department of Insurance had only 3 testing locations state-wide, but now they have expanded to 24 testing locations. They added Diamond Bar and Lawndale testing facilities last year.

Assembly Republican Leader, Chad Mayes, who formerly worked as a stock broker and insurance agent commented on the process of getting his life and health license. He said, “It took me 40 hours to get my life and health agent license. It was the worst week of my life. I had to be at training from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.”

Dave Jones, the California Insurance Commissioner at the DOI commented, “Hint. Don’t leave something out.” He said when applicants leave out information or hide information, this gums up the works. We find something an applicant didn’t report to the Department of Insurance and that leads us to “look deeper and it takes more time.” Jones said that when agents report everything accurately, “We spend less time processing. Our goal is to get new licenses issued within two weeks.”

License Renewal

For license renewal the DOI has streamlined procedures, so they are now renewing licenses within 24 hours on average when all issues are satisfied.

Part of protecting California consumers is attracting good agents and keeping the bad ones out. The California Department of Insurance (DOI) wants agents with character and who are qualified to advise consumers regarding California health insurance decisions.