MacDonald bill provides flexibility for insurance agents continuing education

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Wednesday introduced legislation to allow insurance agents to count their professional association work toward part of their licensing renewal requirements.

“The insurance industry contributes billions of dollars annually to Michigan’s economy and provides thousands of Michigan workers with well-paying careers,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “My bill would give agents who are active in a professional insurance organization more flexibility in how they meet the state’s continuing education licensing requirement — enabling them to focus more on meeting the needs of Michigan families.”

In Michigan, insurance agents wishing to renew their licenses must attend or instruct at least 24 hours of continuing education classes, home study or online training — every two years.

Senate Bill 256 would allow an active member of a local, regional, state or national professional insurance association to be credited for four of the required continuing education hours as a result of their service in the association.

“My goal is to encourage more insurance agents to be active in their professional community,” MacDonald said. “To protect integrity, the bill prevents the four credited hours from counting toward the required three hours of insurance ethics classes or casework.”

Among the bill’s requirements for the hours to be counted are that the association would need to certify with the state that the agent has an active membership for the duration of the continuing education period and attended 50% of the association’s regular meetings.

According to a 2016 Anderson Economic Group report, the insurance industry supports over 114,000 jobs in Michigan and spends $37.1 billion each year in the state.