BILL NUMBER: AB 1899	ENROLLED
	BILL TEXT

	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 23, 2016
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 30, 2016
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 19, 2016
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 15, 2016
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 16, 2016

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Calderon

                        FEBRUARY 11, 2016

   An act to amend, repeal, and add Section 1677 of the Insurance
Code, relating to insurance.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1899, Calderon. Insurance: production agents: license
examinations.
   Existing law requires the Insurance Commissioner to give, at least
once each month, in each of the cities in which he or she has an
office, qualifying examinations for production agent licenses.
Existing law requires every qualifying examination for a production
agent license to be in writing and to be of sufficient scope to
satisfy the commissioner that the applicant has sufficient knowledge
of, and is reasonably familiar with, the insurance laws of this state
and with the provisions, terms, and conditions of the insurance that
may be transacted pursuant to the license sought, and that the
applicant has a general and fair understanding of the obligations and
duties of the holder of that license.
   This bill, from January 1, 2018, to January 1, 2024, would require
the examination for a license as a life agent, life-only agent, and
accident and health agent be provided in English and Spanish. The
bill would require the Insurance Commissioner to evaluate the
qualifying examination taken in Spanish and submit a report to the
Legislature by March 1, 2023, as provided.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
   (a) Every citizen of California deserves equal access to the
protection provided by various insurance products.
   (b) Spanish-speaking individuals make up a large portion of the
population in California. Estimates from the 2014 American Community
Survey (ACS) indicate that 38.6 percent of Californians report their
ethnicity as Latino. The ACS data also indicates that 22 percent of
households in which Spanish is spoken have no member over 14 years of
age who speaks English fluently or "very well." According to
research published by Florida State University in 2006, Latino
households are less likely to own life insurance than the general
population, with 34 percent of Latinos purchasing life insurance
compared to 62 percent of the general population. A 2012 Insurance
Barometer Study by the Life Insurance and Market Research Association
found the same and concluded that a contributing factor to that
difference is that Latino households are less likely to have contact
with an insurance agent. The Latino population is expected to
continue to grow in California, with 2014 Department of Finance
projections suggesting that Latinos are expected to number 23.7
million in 2050, or 47.6 percent of all Californians.
   (c) By offering the opportunity for Spanish-speaking individuals
to take insurance licensing exams, California will increase the
number of insurance agents and brokers able to serve Spanish-speaking
consumers, while also opening a career path currently unavailable to
this population.
   (d) Several insurance companies offer Spanish translations of the
insurance products they offer, a practice the Legislature commends
and encourages to be followed by every insurance company and every
product offered in order to ensure that the consumer more fully
understands the full scope of his or her coverage and can make more
informed purchasing decisions.
   (e) The option to have the insurance licensure examination
administered in Spanish will decrease potential miscommunication,
increase agents' understanding of their duties and obligations, and
allow California to keep pace with the needs of its multilingual and
multicultural insurance consumers.
   (f) It is essential that all of the state's residents have access
to vital health services that can prolong and enhance their lives,
and that state government continues to take reasonable and effective
actions that will facilitate access to these services.
  SEC. 2.  Section 1677 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:
   1677.  (a) Each qualifying examination for a license pursuant to
this chapter shall be in writing and shall be of sufficient scope to
satisfy the commissioner that the applicant has sufficient knowledge
of, and is reasonably familiar with, the insurance laws of this state
and with the provisions, terms, and conditions of the insurance that
may be transacted pursuant to the license sought, and that the
applicant has a general and fair understanding of the obligations and
duties of the holder of that license.
   (b) On and after January 1, 2018, the examination for a license as
a life agent, life-only agent, and accident and health agent shall
be provided in English and Spanish.
   (c) The commissioner shall evaluate the qualifying examination
taken in Spanish and submit a report of the results to the
Legislature no later than March 1, 2023. The report shall be
submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code and
shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
   (1) The number of people taking the examination.
   (2) The pass rate, including a comparison between the comparable
licensing examination taken in English.
   (3) The number of licenseholders that sat for the examination
provided in Spanish and passed the examination that remain licensed.
   (4) The number of consumer complaints received and enforcement
actions taken with regard to the licenseholders who passed the
examination in Spanish.
   (d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2024, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2024, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 3.  Section 1677 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:
   1677.  (a) Each qualifying examination for a license pursuant to
this chapter shall be in writing and shall be of sufficient scope to
satisfy the commissioner that the applicant has sufficient knowledge
of, and is reasonably familiar with, the insurance laws of this state
and with the provisions, terms, and conditions of the insurance that
may be transacted pursuant to the license sought, and that the
applicant has a general and fair understanding of the obligations and
duties of the holder of that license.
   (b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024.