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Aug 05
On Mary’s Mind: You Have a New Employee - Now What?

By Mary Byrnes​AAI-M, AU​, Education Department​​

​If there's one truth, it's that change is inevitable.  So whether you're saying good luck to someone who's been with your agency forever and is retiring, or you're welcoming someone new, some things will need to be done.  We live in a gorgeous state; there's no two ways about it, but we've got some red tape too. 

Let's work through the red tape first.

We're going to focus on licensing and Sexual Harassment rather than on HR type issues.

Someone leaving?

  • If they are a sub-licensee on the agency corporate/LLC license, they're going to need to come off the license.  It's simple to do, just send an email  to the DFS (licensing@dfs.ny.gov)
  • If that person is the only sub-licensee on the corporate/LLC license, you're going to have to figure out who's going to replace them, don't wait until the last minute. This has to be done with a paper application with the DFS, it doesn't happen on a dime. We always recommend that there be more than 1 sub-licensee, that way if one of them is incapacitated for any reason, the agency doesn't come to a halt. 
  • If the person who is leaving is going to keep their license, they must go in to the DFS website and change their address, agency affiliation,  and email within 30 days of the change
  • If they are keeping their license, they'll need to change their Cybersecurity individual filing.  For more information on how to do that, check out our Cybersecurity Page at Big I New York.

Hiring someone new?

  • If they are licensed, they'll need to change their business address and email in the DFS website.  This should be done within 30 days of the change.
  • It this employee was a sub-licensee on another agency's license, they'll want to make sure that they are taken off of the other agency's license.  They have no control there any longer and they don't want the liabilities.  They can just send an email to the DFS (licensing@dfs.ny.gov)
  • Change the individual Cybersecurity filing on the DFS site, you'll find guidance on what needs to be done on our Cybersecurity Page at Big I New York.
  • Sexual Harassment training-NYS says, new employees should be trained “As employers may be liable for the actions of employees immediately upon hire, the State encourages training as soon as possible. Employers should distribute the policy to employees prior to commencing work and should have it posted."

 Training for the New Hire - If you hire someone who has no insurance experience, it's really hard for the agency to train them on agency procedure and what insurance is as well.  There are tools to help you.

  • What is insurance and how does it work?  We have training programs that are self-paced and interactive.  There are programs for Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, and a combination of both which includes the 15 PL sections & 23 CL sections.  Plus, each of these includes 7 different segments on general insurance knowledge, that start out with “What is insurance?" and each segment builds on the previous one.
  • Since these are self-paced, you could have the employee do the training during part of the day and learning your agency management system and agency procedures during another part of the day.  You can really make it work for you.
  • If you have an employee that is totally new or who has done Personal Lines forever, but that wants to tackle Commercial Lines these are a great option for you.
  • For all of these programs, the manager can be advised of the progress of the participant.
  • Although these courses aren't a substitute or preparatory for licensing, they will provide a great foundation to be drawn on when the licensing class is attended (it'll save them from having the deer in the headlights look).

Licensing your new employee - Which class to send them to

  • If you're thinking of sending someone for the Personal Lines only license, let me give you some cautionary advice.  Unless you are positively, absolutely certain, without a shadow of a doubt that they will only ever handle Personal Lines…don't do it!  Resist the temptation of only 40 hours.
  • If someone has their PL only license and later move into a CL role with the agency, they have to go back for the remainder of the training (if the vendor will even offer it) AND they'll have to take the WHOLE licensing exam including the Personal Lines again.  Even if they qualify for the classwork waiver, they still need to sit for the entire exam. 
  • Unless the new licensee is going to be a party to an agency/carrier contract they will likely not need a Property/Casualty Agents (PC) or Life, Accident & Health (LAH) license, these are both agents licenses.  More often than not, they will need either a Brokers License (BR) for property/casualty or a Life Broker (LB) for life &/or accident & health.  The PC & LAH licenses follow the relationship between the licensee and the insurance carrier, whereas the BR & LB follow the licensee.  It is very common for us to see licensees with a PC or LAH that show as “inactive" because the licensee has no certificate of appointment with a carrier.  The DFS allows 1 renewal of an inactive license, upon the second renewal date, an inactive license won't be renewed.

If you have any questions about licensing, the training for new hires, Cybersecurity etc., just get in touch with us.  Really, we're here to help.  If your agency has never used the training for new hires and you think it might be a good option for you and you'd like a demo, let us know, we'll make it happen.  ​

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