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Court Decision Changes Department of Insurance Modification Hearings

Published: May 31, 2023 by Brandon Smith

When the Department of Insurance revokes an agent’s license or accepts the voluntary surrender for cause of an agent’s license, it cannot make that action permanent. After five years, the agent who surrendered their license or who had their license revoked can request a modification to the order permitting them to apply for a new license.

However, the Department is not required to grant the modification and the burden is on the agent to prove certain prerequisites have been met to qualify for modification. Only once those prerequisites are proved does the Department have the authority to modify its prior order.

Last year, an agent contacted us who had requested a modification and been denied. During the administrative proceedings, our client failed to prove the prerequisites–in large part because she was never informed that they existed. Despite this failure of notice, the Department declined to modify the order or to hold a new hearing after putting our client on notice of the prerequisites.

We appealed.

The Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas agreed with us and ordered the Department to hold a new hearing with proper notice.

The Department held a new hearing and issued notice detailing the prerequisites and that it was our client’s burden to prove them.

With the benefit of notice of the prerequisites and our assistance, our client proved they met the requirements for modification. Earlier this month, the Department granted the modification request and will allow our client to apply for a new license.

If you are an insurance agent whose license is revoked or surrendered or if you have been sanctioned by a state agency and would like to discuss your appeal options, you should consider contacting one of the licensed attorneys at Graff & McGovern, LPA. Attorney Brandon Smith is available at (614) 228-5800, x. 7 and