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    « Health Care Reform Primer: Wellness Programs | Main | Health Care Reform Primer: Wellness Programs, Non-Discrimination »

    January 24, 2011


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    Auto Insurance

    Yes the survivor will get the commission after the death of the insurance producer. Good answer.

    Dar Novak

    Tim, Everyone should have his or her affairs in order because one never knows..... I worked for a small agency and the owner had no continuation plan in place - much less a corporation owned life policy that would have given me or the corporation the funds to buy out the other stockholders when he passed away in the late 70s. I had kept after him to at least let me take out the policy on him but he refused. Upon his death it was (to say the least) nasty and depressing. A 'forced sale' was extremely unpleasant and nobody received significant worth. A sad tale.

    Tim Dodge

    The best illustration is always provided by someone who's been there. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Bill Collins

    My agency is incorporated and I and I own all of the voting stock. The Corporation would pass to my heirs according to my will. All agency staff are fully licensed but none of them are licensed on the agency license,rather they are licensed with companies. I hold both a Pc license and a brokers license.

    I assume the Corporation can continue to operate at my passing and receive commissions. My wife, if she succeeds me should be able to be employed by the agency and receive a salary. Any comment on the above would be appreciated. Three of my son's are attorney's I could ask them and I will but would be interested in your opinion

    Tim Dodge

    Under New York law, your survivors can receive commissions from renewals of policies you sold while you were alive and licensed. They would not be able to receive commissions on related new business (additional policies sold to those clients) unless they hold licenses. To be a sublicensee on a corporate license, the person must be either a director or an officer of the corporation. If your wife or one of the employees was to succeed you as president of the corporation, that person could be come a sublicensee. A corporation can list more than one sublicensee, so it's not an either/or proposition.

    Please let me know if you need more information.


    Can commissions be collected and distributed to heirs of an agent that died 30 years ago? My fathers will and subsequent trust stated that his rights to commissions were to be sent to the trust. It seems the trust dropped the ball and never followed through in collecting the commissions. Any insight or ideas on next steps would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    MIA Insurance

    Followup to prior query about surviving agent receiving deceased agent unclaimed commissions: It should be noted that the deceased agents death certificate was provided to remaining agent after resident state determined and acknowledged the surviving agent had a viable relationship to the deceased agent.


    How long should you keep E & O insurance on a deceased agent who was a sole-proprietor? Once his estate is allocated to the beneficiaries is there any need for the E & O?


    How do I notify the companies where commissions come from? Addresses?idt


    Is there a way to see if an estate representative is receiving commissions from a deceased agent?

    Tim Dodge

    Sherri - Your question is better directed to an estate attorney. I honestly don't know whether legal actions can be taken against an estate that has settled. If it cannot, then there probably is no need for continued E&O coverage.

    JoAnn - I recommend notifying the marketing department of every carrier for whom the deceased was an appointed agent.

    Jak - I'm not aware of any way to get this information.

    John Kuehnle

    In the above scenario - the agent dies and his widow is able to continue collecting renewal commissions - what is the best business organization to ensure this? I am currently Sole Proprietor, but am considering setting up an LLC so as to facilitate continuation of commissions.
    Can anyone advise?

    Tim Dodge

    John - that question is probably best directed to a qualified financial adviser. I know that an LLC provides liability protections and possibly some tax advantages, but I'm by no means an expert.


    My husband passed a year and half. I am unlicensed . Can I get the commission from renewals? Do I have to report it to the NEW YORK INS.DEPT.
    Thank you


    I am the solo president of my husband's business, how han I become a sublicensed.

    Tim Dodge

    Thalia, I'm sorry for your loss. It is legal for you to receive commissions from renewals of policies that your husband sold while he held a valid license. I am not aware of anything in the New York Insurance Law that would require you to report receipt of the commissions to the New York State Department of Financial Services.

    Tim Dodge

    Thalia, In order to become a sub-licensee on the agency's license, you must be qualified to hold an individual license (you don't necessarily have to obtain an individual license, but you must meet the qualifications.) New York insurance law requires agents and brokers to take a 90 hour pre-licensing education course and pass a licensing exam. Once that is done, complete and submit the form at to the NYSDFS.

    Linda Brian

    I noticed that all of these answers pertain to New York laws and are quite old. Does the same pertain to widows in CA? And updated to 2020?

    Tim Dodge

    Unfortunately, my expertise is New York licensing law. I'm not familiar with the requirements in California.

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