California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 451 into law, a bill strongly supported by IIABCal and other industry organizations that will permit the California Department of Insurance to offer its licensing examinations in additional languages.
The new law will require the examination for a license for a life agent, accident and health or sickness agent, property broker-agent, and casualty broker-agent to be provided in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and, commencing July 1, 2024, Tagalog.
“Given our state’s diverse population and the ever-increasing number of bilingual agents, applicants, and customers, we believe that this commonsense measure expands opportunities for our agents and industry,” IIABCal and a coalition of industry organizations wrote to the Governor, encouraging him to sign the bill into law. “The option to have the examination administered in several languages will decrease potential miscommunication, increase agent understanding of their duties and obligations, and allow California to keep pace with the needs of its multilingual and multicultural insurance consumers. Also notable, the measure garnered unanimous bipartisan approval in the Legislature. This simple change in law will enhance agents’ and consumers’ access to critical insurance products and services.”
Joining IIABCal in supporting the legislation were the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies (ACLHIC), the California Agents and Health Insurance Professionals (CAHIP), the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA—California), the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA).
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2024 (with the addition of Tagalog on July 1, 2024). Currently, the examinations are administered only in English and Spanish. Gov. Newsom signed the bill into law on Sept. 1. To review the bill’s text: Bill Text - AB-451 Insurance: license examinations. (ca.gov)
To read the joint letter submitted in support of AB 451, click here.