Article suggests agency staff improperly screened for felonies by Department
With no shortage of drama in the headline, the Philadelphia Inquirer article is submitting that convicted felons (including murderers, robbers, kidnappers, drug dealers, etc.) are obtaining waivers allowing them to sell insurance to an unsuspecting public. The article points to two specific examples where the screening used was either insufficient to identify more recent transgressions or where the individual later reverted back to criminal behavior. The article is also hinting that these ailments are caused by the fact that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department is understaffed. While the attention is currently focused on the Department, it may be time to brush up on the issue and prepare for any unwelcome trickle-down effect.
How the 1033 waiver affects you - Background checks
First of all, you need to be aware of the federal law which prohibits anyone (not just producers) from working in the insurance industry if they have ever (no time limit) been convicted of a felony for dishonesty or breach of trust, unless they have applied for and received written consent from the insurance regulator. As an employer, it is important for you to know that it is also a violation for you to willfully employ such an individual if you did not check they had secured the required consent.
While the law does not expressly require background checks to be conducted, they are the next best thing, and at this point the best way to address the prohibition in a way that shows due diligence and concern for compliance. Background checks can be simple, easy, and inexpensive, and our resources will walk you through the process painlessly.