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Applications: Ohio Department of Insurance and the Confusion of “Involved”

Published: Apr 12, 2022 by Levi Tkach

As part of its administrative agency defense practice, attorneys at Graff & McGovern, LPA, regularly appear before the Ohio Department of Insurance. While no two cases are identical, common themes emerge in many cases. Often, one of the Department’s formal allegations against the agent is that the submitted application was, “misleading, incomplete, or materially untrue” per Ohio Revised Code 3905.14(B)(1).  In most of these circumstances, the agent did not completely read, or did not fully understand Question #2 relating to “involvement” with separate administrative proceedings or review.

Although simple in theory, by its nature, Question #2 is a complex question. Much of the confusion comes from the structure of this specific question. Question #2 is the longest question on the application. Question #2 consists of two hundred and twenty-two words spread across seven run-on sentences. Question #2 is so complex that as part of the question, it provides three separate definitions for the term “involved.” These competing definitions include the existence of formal discipline, being named as a party to a proceeding, and denial or compulsory withdrawal of an application.

The Department takes issues regarding truthfulness very seriously. While most agents never intend to provide false information on their applications, the Department places the burden of suitability on the applicant. One incorrect response puts the agent’s entire career in jeopardy. It is often in the agent’s best interest to seek additional clarification regarding the facts of their situation before responding and submitting their application. Even those agents who know they must provide an affirmative response to Question #2 are well served to obtain advice regarding how to structure their explanation.

If you are applying for a license with the Ohio Department of Insurance and you are unsure about your involvement in a prior or current proceeding, consider speaking with an attorney knowledgeable in this are of law. Levi Tkach of Graff & McGovern is an expert in administrative law.  He can be reached at 614-228-5800, extension 4, or