In 1995, the Legislature added section 1725.5 to the California Insurance Code (Cal. Ins. Code) to require various types of insurance licensees to print their license numbers on business cards, written price quotations for insurance products, and print advertisements distributed exclusively in this state for insurance products. That law took effect in 1997.
Requirement for License Number on Emails
At that time, the use of emails to transact insurance was rare, but today it is a common practice. Senate Bill (SB) 1242 (Committee on Insurance, Chapter 424, Statutes of 2022) added subsection (c) to Cal. Ins. Code section 1725.5 to modernize the requirements. Subsection (c) requires the specified licensees to include their license numbers on emails involving an activity for which a license is required so consumers can confirm that the person maintains an active license with the California Department of Insurance.
Starting January 1, 2023, the new Cal. Ins. Code section 1725.5(c) will take effect and require specific resident and non-resident insurance producers, independent insurance adjusters, public insurance adjusters, and analysts include their license number on emails.
This Notice answers some of the most common questions about the new law.
1. Which types of individual and organization* insurance licenses does the law apply to?
- Property broker-agents (Cal. Ins. Code section 1625)
- Casualty broker-agents (Cal. Ins. Code section 1625)
- Life agents (Cal. Ins. Code section 1626)
- Variable life and variable annuity (Cal. Ins. Code section 1758.1)
- Accident and health or sickness agents (Cal. Ins. Code section 1626)
- Personal lines agents (Cal. Ins. Code section 1625.5)
- Limited lines automobile insurance agents (Cal. Ins. Code section 1625.55)
- Surplus lines brokers (Cal. Ins. Code section 1765)
- Independent insurance adjusters (Cal. Ins. Code section 14020)
- Public insurance adjusters (Cal. Ins. Code section 15006)
- Life and disability insurance analysts (Cal. Ins. Code sections 1831 through 1849)
2. Does the law apply to all emails?
The law applies to every email, regardless of where the emails are sent from or to, that involves an activity for which a person must hold one of the above types of license.
3. Are clerical activities that are exempt from licensure impacted by this law?
No. Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations sections 2193 through 2193.3, which govern the clerical activities that are exempt from licensure, are not impacted by this new requirement. Section 1725.5(c) applies to emails that “involve an activity for which a license is required.”
4. Does the license number need to be a minimum size?
Yes. The license number must be in a type size that is no smaller than the largest of any street address, email address, or telephone number of the licensee. For example, if an email includes a 10-point street address, an 11-point email address, and a 12-point telephone number, then the license number must be at least 12-point.
5. Does the license number need to be in a specific location on the email?
Yes. The license number of an individual licensee must appear adjacent to or on the line below the individual’s name or title. The license number of an organization must appear adjacent to or on the line below the organization’s name.
*Cal. Ins. Code section 1628 defines “organization” as meaning any legal entity other than a natural person. The term “organization” includes corporations, partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and unincorporated associations that hold a license.