A representative of a common carrier who sells only over-the-counter, short-term travel accident ticket policies and baggage insurance.
(3) Insurance broker.
An intermediary is an insurance broker if the intermediary acts in the procuring of insurance on behalf of an applicant for insurance of an insured, and does not act on behalf of the insurer except by collecting premiums or performing other ministerial acts.
(4) Insurance agent.
An intermediary is an insurance agent if the intermediary acts as an intermediary other than as a broker.
(4g) Managing general agent.
An intermediary is a managing general agent if the intermediary does all of the following:
Manages all or a portion of the insurance business of an insurer.
Adjusts claims, negotiates reinsurance for the insurer or is affiliated or associated with a person who adjusts claims or negotiates reinsurance for the insurer.
(4m) Reinsurance broker.
A person is a reinsurance broker if the person solicits, negotiates or places reinsurance cessions or retrocessions on behalf of a ceding insurer.
(4p) Reinsurance manager.
A person is a reinsurance manager if the person has authority to bind, or manages, all or a portion of the assumed reinsurance business of an insurer.
(5) Surplus lines agent or broker.
A surplus lines agent or broker is one licensed to place insurance with unauthorized insurers, under s. 628.04 (2)
LICENSING OF INTERMEDIARIES
Requirement of license. 628.03(1)
No natural person may perform, offer to perform or advertise any service as an intermediary in this state, unless the natural person obtains a license under s. 628.04
, and no person may utilize the services of another as an intermediary if the person knows or should know that the other does not have a license as required by law.
(1m) Risk purchasing groups.
No natural person may solicit, negotiate or obtain insurance on behalf of a risk purchasing group which does business in this state unless the natural person obtains a license under s. 628.04
. A risk purchasing group may not allow a natural person to solicit, negotiate or obtain insurance on its behalf if the risk purchasing group knows that the natural person is not licensed as required by this subsection.
The commissioner may by rule exempt certain classes of natural persons from the requirement of obtaining a license:
If the functions they perform do not require special competence or trustworthiness or the regulatory surveillance made possible by licensing; or
If other existing safeguards make regulation unnecessary.
(3) Validity of contract.
No insurance contract is invalid as a result of a violation of this section.
Issuance of license. 628.04(1)(1)
Conditions and qualifications.
The commissioner shall issue a license to act as an agent to any applicant who:
Shows to the satisfaction of the commissioner:
That if a natural person, the applicant has the intent in good faith to do business as an intermediary or, if a corporation, partnership or limited liability company, has that intent and has included that purpose in the articles of incorporation, certificate of limited partnership or general partnership agreement or limited liability company operating agreement;
That if a natural person, the applicant is competent and trustworthy, or that if a partnership, limited liability company or corporation, all partners, members, directors or principal officers or persons in fact having comparable powers are competent and trustworthy, and that it will transact business in such a way that all acts that may only be performed by a licensed intermediary are performed exclusively by natural persons who are licensed under this section; and
That the applicant intends to comply with s. 628.51
with reference to compensation for effecting insurance upon the applicant's own property or other risk; and
If a nonresident, executes in a form acceptable to the commissioner an agreement to be subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner and the courts of this state on any matter related to the applicant's insurance activities in this state, on the basis of service of process under ss. 601.72
(1m) Agent may act as broker.
A licensed agent may act as an agent or as a broker.
(2) Surplus lines agents or brokers.
The commissioner may issue a license as an agent or broker authorized to place business under s. 618.41
if the applicant shows to the satisfaction of the commissioner that in addition to the qualifications necessary to obtain a general license under sub. (1)
, the applicant has the competence to deal with the problems of surplus lines insurance. The commissioner may by rule require an agent or broker authorized to place business under s. 618.41
to supply a bond not larger than $100,000, conditioned upon proper performance of obligations as a surplus lines agent or broker.
(3) Classification and examination.
The commissioner may by rule prescribe classifications of intermediaries in addition to agent and surplus lines agent or broker, by kind of authority, or kind of insurance, or in other ways, and may prescribe different standards of competence, including examinations and educational prerequisites, for each class. The commissioner may by rule set prelicensing and annual continuing education standards, but may not require a licensed intermediary to complete a course of study requiring more than 30 hours, per license, of approved continuing education, including continuing education programs approved by the commissioner and presented by the insurers, in any 2-year period. The commissioner may approve courses or programs that an applicant for an intermediary's license may attend to fulfill a prelicensing education requirement, or that a licensed intermediary may attend to fulfill a continuing education requirement, and may approve organizations that may offer approved courses or programs. The commissioner may, by rule, exempt any class of intermediaries from the continuing education requirements. So far as practicable, the commissioner shall issue a single license to each individual intermediary for a single fee.
(4) Intermediaries representing nonprofit service plans.
Intermediaries dealing with or representing nonprofit service plans must be licensed under ss. 628.03
, and are subject to all provisions of this chapter.
(5) Managing general agents and reinsurance brokers and managers.
The commissioner may, by rule, require every managing general agent that is not a natural person, every reinsurance broker and every reinsurance manager to obtain a license in order to do business in this state or with an insurer doing business in this state. The commissioner may, by rule, prescribe classifications for reinsurance brokers and managers, exemptions from the license requirement for managing general agents that are not natural persons, reinsurance brokers and reinsurance managers and grounds for suspension or revocation of a license. The commissioner shall consider the applicable model acts adopted by the national association of insurance commissioners before promulgating rules under this section.
Licensing of town mutual agents. 628.05(1)
Except as otherwise provided in sub. (2)
, or by rule promulgated by the commissioner, persons engaged in soliciting insurance exclusively for town mutuals are not subject to the requirements of s. 628.03 (1)
(2) Agents soliciting insurance requiring reinsurance.
No person may solicit any application for a contract providing coverage of the kind specified in s. 612.31 (3)
unless the person first obtains a license to do so under this chapter. The license need be only for those coverages the town mutual is authorized to write and any examination of applicants shall be appropriately limited.
History: 1975 c. 371
Licensing of fraternal agents. 628.06(1)
Subject to sub. (2)
, an agent of a fraternal is subject to the same licensing requirements as an agent for any other insurer doing the same lines of business, unless the agent was an agent for a fraternal immediately prior to October 2, 1963, and is still such an agent on June 19, 1976. The agent's authority under this exception ceases upon ceasing, for however short a period, to be an agent for a fraternal.
(2) Part-time fraternal agents.
An agent for one or more fraternals who devotes or intends to devote less than half-time to the solicitation of insurance business is not subject to the requirements of sub. (1)
. A person is presumed to have devoted half-time to the solicitation of insurance business if in the preceding calendar year the person procured life insurance contracts in a face amount in excess of $50,000, or, in the case of other kinds of insurance, on the persons of more than 25 individuals, and if the person received compensation therefor.
History: 1975 c. 373
Legislative Council Note, 1975: These subsections continue the general thrust of s. 208.21. The grandfather clause is considerably restricted. The part-time exception in sub. (2) reflects the informal and nonprofessional nature of some of the marketing methods of the smaller fraternals; some question may be raised about the merits of the exception, but it reflects strongly held views. It clearly permits nonprofessional solicitation of new members by existing members, when no compensation is involved. [Bill 643-S]
Licensing of nonresidents.
The commissioner may waive the requirement of an examination for a nonresident applicant under s. 628.04
if the jurisdiction of the applicant's residence has imposed upon the applicant requirements substantially as rigorous as those of this state and has enforced them with comparable rigor.
History: 1975 c. 371
Changes in status of intermediaries.
Every change in the members of a partnership or a limited liability company or the principal officers of a corporation licensed as an intermediary, every significant change in management powers in the entity, and so far as it relates to competency or trustworthiness as an intermediary, every change in the status and relationships of a natural person licensed as an intermediary, shall be reported to the commissioner promptly by the intermediary, in such detail and form as the commissioner by rule prescribes.
History: 1975 c. 371
; 1993 a. 112
Temporary licenses. 628.09(1)(1)
Issuance of license.
The commissioner may issue a temporary license as an intermediary for a period of not more than 3 months to the personal representative of a deceased or mentally disabled intermediary, or to a person designated by an intermediary who is otherwise disabled or has entered active duty in the U.S. armed forces, in order to give time for more favorable sale of the goodwill of a business owned by the intermediary, for the recovery or return of the intermediary, or for the orderly training and licensing of new personnel for the intermediary's business. This subsection does not apply to life insurance agents.
(2) Limitation on authority.
The commissioner may by order limit the authority of any temporary licensee in any way deemed necessary to protect insureds and the public. The commissioner may require the temporary licensee to have a suitable sponsor who is a licensed intermediary or insurer and who assumes full legal responsibility for all acts and omissions of the temporary licensee, may impose special bonding requirements and may impose other similar requirements designed to protect insureds and the public.
The commissioner may administer an examination as a prerequisite to the issuance of a temporary license.
(4) Duration of license.
The commissioner may by order revoke a temporary license if the interests of insureds or the public are endangered. A temporary license may be extended beyond the initial period specified under sub. (1)
, for additional periods of not more than 3 months each, with the total period not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate. A temporary license may not continue after the owner or the personal representative disposes of the business.
The fees for a temporary license are the same as for a permanent license. No additional fee may be charged for extensions under sub. (4)
, nor for the issuance of a subsequent license under s. 628.04
if that license is issued while the temporary license remains in effect.
(6) Status of temporary licensee.
A temporary licensee is a fully qualified intermediary for all purposes other than the process of licensing, the duration of the license and the limits imposed under sub. (2)
History: 1975 c. 371
; 1981 c. 38
Termination of license. 628.10(1)
An intermediary's license issued under s. 628.04
remains in force until it is revoked or limited under sub. (2)
, until it is suspended under sub. (2)
or s. 227.51 (3)
, until it is surrendered or until the licensee dies or is adjudicated incompetent as defined in s. 880.01 (4)
(2) Revocation, suspension, and limitation of licenses. 628.10(2)(a)(a) For failure to comply with continuing education requirements.
The commissioner may by order suspend the license of any intermediary who fails to produce evidence of compliance with continuing education standards set by the commissioner. If an intermediary whose license has been suspended under this paragraph produces evidence of compliance within 60 days after the date on which the license is suspended, the commissioner shall reinstate the license effective on the date of suspension. If such an intermediary does not produce evidence of compliance within 60 days, the license is revoked and the intermediary may be relicensed only after satisfying all requirements under s. 628.04
Nonpayment of fees.
The license of an intermediary who fails to pay a fee when due is suspended on and after the date when the fee is due, if the commissioner gave the intermediary reasonable notice that the fee was due and the license would be suspended if timely payment was not made. If the intermediary pays the fee within 60 days after the date it is due, the license is reinstated effective on the date of suspension. If payment is not made within 60 days, the license is revoked and the intermediary may be relicensed only after satisfying all requirements under s. 628.04
For other reasons.
After a hearing, the commissioner may revoke, suspend or limit in whole or in part the license of any intermediary if the commissioner finds that the licensee is unqualified as an intermediary, is not of good character or has repeatedly or knowingly violated an insurance statute or rule or a valid order of the commissioner under s. 601.41 (4)
, or if the intermediary's methods and practices in the conduct of business endanger, or financial resources are inadequate to safeguard, the legitimate interests of customers and the public. Nothing in this paragraph limits the authority of the commissioner to suspend summarily an intermediary's license under s. 227.51 (3)
(3) Delay for new application.
An order revoking an intermediary's license under sub. (2)
may specify a time not to exceed 5 years within which the former intermediary may not apply for a new license. If no time is specified, the intermediary may not apply for 5 years. An intermediary whose license is revoked under sub. (2) (am)
may immediately reapply.
Any intermediary whose license is suspended or revoked shall, when the suspension ends or a new license is issued, pay all fees that would have been payable if the license had not been suspended or revoked, unless the commissioner by order waives the payment of the fees.
Listing of insurance agents.
An insurer shall report to the commissioner at such intervals as the commissioner establishes by rule all appointments, including renewals of appointments, and all terminations of appointments of insurance agents to do business in this state, and shall pay the fees prescribed under s. 601.31 (1) (n)
Liability of surplus lines insurer.
If a surplus lines insurer has assumed a risk and if the premium therefor has been received by the surplus lines agent or broker who placed the insurance, then as between the insurer and the insured the insurer is deemed to have received the premium due to it for the coverage; and the insurer is liable to the insured for losses covered by the insurance and for unearned premiums upon cancellation of the insurance, whether or not the surplus lines agent or broker is indebted to the insurer. Each surplus lines insurer assuming a surplus lines risk under this section thereby subjects itself to the terms of this section.
History: 1975 c. 371
Sale of insurance through vending machines.
No insurance policies may be sold by a vending machine except policies of personal travel accident insurance providing benefits for accidental bodily injury or accidental death.
Disclosure required. 628.32(1)(1)
An intermediary may not accept compensation from an insured or from both an insured and another source due to the insured's purchase of insurance or for advice regarding the insured's insurance needs or coverage unless the intermediary, before the insured incurs an obligation to pay compensation, clearly and conspicuously and in writing discloses to the insured all of the following:
The amount of compensation to be paid by the insured, excluding commissions paid by the insurer to the intermediary.
If compensation will be paid by another source, the fact that the intermediary will also receive compensation from the other source.
The commissioner may promulgate rules prescribing the form for disclosure under sub. (1)
Unfair marketing practices. 628.34(1)(a)(a)
No person who is or should be licensed under chs. 600
, no employe or agent of any such person, no person whose primary interest is as a competitor of a person licensed under chs. 600
, and no person on behalf of any of the foregoing persons may make or cause to be made any communication relating to an insurance contract, the insurance business, any insurer or any intermediary which contains false or misleading information, including information misleading because of incompleteness. Filing a report and, with intent to deceive a person examining it, making a false entry in a record or wilfully refraining from making a proper entry, are "communications" within the meaning of this paragraph. No intermediary or insurer may use any business name, slogan, emblem or related device that is misleading or likely to cause the intermediary or insurer to be mistaken for another insurer or intermediary already in business.
Presumption of insurer's violation.
If an insurance agent distributes cards or documents, exhibits a sign or publishes an advertisement which violates par. (a)
, having reference to a particular insurer that the agent represents, the agent's violation creates a rebuttable presumption that the violation was also committed by the insurer.
No insurer, no employe of an insurer, and no insurance intermediary may seek to induce any person to enter into an insurance contract or to terminate an existing insurance contract by offering benefits not specified in the policy, nor may any insurer make any agreement of insurance that is not clearly expressed in the policy to be issued. This subsection does not preclude the reduction of premiums by reason of expense savings, including commission reductions, resulting from any form of mass marketing.
No insurer may unfairly discriminate among policyholders by charging different premiums or by offering different terms of coverage except on the basis of classifications related to the nature and the degree of the risk covered or the expenses involved, subject to ss. 632.365
. Rates are not unfairly discriminatory if they are averaged broadly among persons insured under a group, blanket or franchise policy, and terms are not unfairly discriminatory merely because they are more favorable than in a similar individual policy.
Effective date note
Par. (a) is shown as amended eff. 5-1-97 by 1995 Wis. Act 289
. Prior to 5-1-97 it reads:
Effective date text
(a) No insurer may unfairly discriminate among policyholders by charging different premiums or by offering different terms of coverage except on the basis of classifications related to the nature and the degree of the risk covered or the expenses involved, subject to s. 632.365. Rates are not unfairly discriminatory if they are averaged broadly among persons insured under a group, blanket or franchise policy, and terms are not unfairly discriminatory merely because they are more favorable than in a similar individual policy.