National Programs offers a variety of shared services to our acquired companies, from new product development and technology to data analytics, marketing, legal, finance and more. Today we’re focusing on our Licensing team, and how they save our companies time (and legal headaches!) by ensuring all teammates’ licenses and CE credits are up to date.
“We’ve found that many offices have one employee who tries to handle licensing matters in addition to all their other work,” explains Nikki Turner, senior licensing manager.
“My team provides a dedicated service to National Program offices: handling all the licensing details for them. This allows each of the companies’ leaders to devote time to doing what they do best: growing their business.”
The team is solely focused on licensing and reporting as required for National Programs’ corporate entities and teammates. As the demand for their services has grown, they’ve gained four new employees within the past couple of years. Collectively the team has 50+ years of experience including paralegal experience, specializing in the licensing arena.
“We work with individuals who are new to insurance and encourage them through the study and exam process. We also work with individuals who have been licensed for years,” Turner explains. “We’re alongside them throughout the entire license period including continuing education and license renewal.
“My team’s involvement provides confidence that licensing and reporting are being handled, and handled correctly.”
Her team helps with pre-licensing education courses that are required, setting up the initial exam, through license renewals and reminding them to complete their CE courses. States vary as to the number of required CE courses. The type of license held also varies in number of CE credits needed during the two-year license period. Typically, she says, it’s 24 hours every two years.
“A lot of these companies that we’ve taken on had been working to manage their licensing requirements on multiple spreadsheets, without any real system. It’s only a small part of their job, and it’s so easy to overlook the details. So potentially they were leaving lots of room for error in these state requirements that absolutely leave no room for error. Fines can be quite substantial,” adds Wendy Castelo, vice president, Marketing Services.
“Our licensing platform automates many steps, but our team is still called on often to work with individuals to obtain their licenses, or someone who’s having difficulties of various types,” said Turner. “We act as a resource for many National Programs companies.”
She estimates her team handles 800 entity licenses and 6,000 for teammates – approximately 7,000 licenses in all.
Turner’s team also handles licensing reporting required by various state insurance entities, for third-party administrators, risk purchasing groups and managing general agency reporting to the tune of 100+ reports.
“Licensing and reporting aren’t rocket science, but they operate with different rules depending on the type of license and the state, and it takes considerable knowledge and skill to handle it well,” Turner summed up.