Insurance Licence in AZ with a felony.

by Guest » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:15 pm


I am currently on probation in AZ for unlawful discharge or a firearm, a class 6 undesignated felony. After I complete my 2 year term of probation, the charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor. Basically, I drank too much, got very drunk, and I shot a gun at the ground. There were no victims, no property was damaged, no one was threatened, and it was my first and only offense. The crime occurred in April 2010, and I was convicted in August 2010.

I am an EMT currently, and have been for 4 years, and was able to obtain recertification with the felony conviction. I am also a full time college student, have had the same job for the past 4 years, and am a Kiwanian. I tell you all of this to establish that I am not a criminal, and that the one time mistake truly was that; a mistake.

I now want to get my Property and Casualty license in AZ, and am wondering if this will bar me from obtaining it. Any advice you can offer to help me pursue this goal would be much appreciated.


Total Comments: 24

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 06:25 am Post Subject:

Although your felony conviction will have to be disclosed, it is not the kind that would ordinarily prevent you from obtaining an insurance license. But each state applies its own understanding to applications for licenses.

Arizona's insurance code states:

20-295. License denial, suspension or revocation; civil penalty

A. The director may deny, suspend for not more than twelve months, revoke or refuse to renew an insurance producer's license or may impose a civil penalty in accordance with subsection F of this section or any combination of actions for any one or more of the following causes:

1. Providing incorrect, misleading, incomplete or materially untrue information in the license application.

2. Violating any provision of this title or any rule, subpoena or order of the director.

3. Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license through misrepresentation or fraud.

4. Improperly withholding, misappropriating or converting any monies or properties received in the course of doing insurance business.

5. Intentionally misrepresenting the terms of an actual or proposed insurance contract or application for insurance.

6. Having been convicted of a felony.

7. Having admitted or been found to have committed any insurance unfair trade practice or fraud.

8. Using fraudulent, coercive or dishonest practices, or demonstrating incompetence, untrustworthiness or financial irresponsibility in the conduct of business in this state or elsewhere.

9. Having an insurance producer license, or its equivalent, denied, suspended or revoked in any state, province, district or territory.

10. Forging another's name to any document related to an insurance transaction.

11. Aiding or assisting any person in the unauthorized transaction of insurance business.

12. Violating section 41-624, subsection B or C.

13. Violating section 6-1410, 6-1412 or 6-1413.

14. Using the insurance producer's license principally to procure insurance that covers the life, property or insurable interests, other than to insure an interest in property that is being sold under a contract or that is securing a loan, of any of the following:

(a) The licensee.

(b) The licensee's family or relatives to the second degree.

(c) The licensee's employer.

(d) The licensee's employees.

(e) A firm or corporation, or its employees, in which the licensee owns a substantial interest.

B. The director may deny, suspend for not more than twelve months, revoke or refuse to renew the license of a business entity:

1. For any of the causes prescribed in subsection A of this section if the cause relates to the designated producer or any member, officer, director or manager of the business entity.

2. If the director finds that an individual insurance producer's violation was known or should have been known by the designated producer or one or more of the members, officers, directors or managers acting on behalf of the business entity and the violation was not seasonably reported to the director and no reasonable corrective action was taken.

C. If the director denies an application for a license, the director shall notify the applicant in accordance with title 41, chapter 6, article 10.

D. The director may revoke, suspend or refuse to renew a license after notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with title 41, chapter 6, article 10.

E. Any hearing required by this section shall be conducted as prescribed in chapter 1, article 2 of this title and title 41, chapter 6, article 10.

F. In addition to or instead of any suspension, revocation or refusal to renew a license pursuant to this section, after a hearing the director may:

1. Impose a civil penalty of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for each unintentional failure or violation, up to an aggregate civil penalty of two thousand five hundred dollars.

2. Impose a civil penalty of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars for each intentional failure or violation, up to an aggregate civil penalty of fifteen thousand dollars.

3. Order the licensee to provide restitution to any party injured by the licensee's action.

G. The licensee shall pay any civil penalty to the director who shall deposit it, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, in the state general fund. The civil penalty is in addition to any other applicable penalty or restraint either in this article or in any other law and may be recovered in a civil action brought by the director. For the purposes of subsection F of this section, a single publication, exhibition or utterance of any matter in violation of this title is deemed one violation or failure, including an edition of a newspaper, book or magazine, a single representation to an audience, a single broadcast over radio or television or a single exhibition of a motion picture.

H. The director shall retain the authority to enforce this title and impose any penalty or remedy authorized by this title against any person who is under investigation for or charged with a violation of this title even if the person's license has been surrendered or has lapsed by operation of law.

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 08:02 am Post Subject:

Thank you very much for finding that for me, looks like I need to get to letter writing again. Going to ask for some character reference letters as well. I went through the same thing in obtaining recertification for my EMT certification, they could deny me, but given the totality of the circumstances, they chose not to.

How should I procede from here? Take the class, take state test, pass, then ask? Or ask, take the test, pass?

Thanks again for taking the time to find that for me, much appreciated.

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 04:42 pm Post Subject:

How should I procede from here?

You should make a written inquiry to the AZ Dept of Insurance asking how your conviction would be treated. The words "a felony" in 20-295 (A)(6) = "ANY" felony.

I don't see anything about a statute of limitations, but that could be lurking somewhere in the "regulations", not the "code". I don't have the same familiarity with AZ insurance code or regulations that I do with CA.

In CA, the "code" states that any felony in the last five years can result (and usually does) in a denial of an application for a license WITHOUT a hearing into the matter. When that happens, another section of the code allows denial of an application WITHOUT a hearing if an application was denied in the past five years, so filing an application a few days too soon could actually result in having to wait an additional five years before you could apply again.

You might even be able to talk to someone at the DOI on the phone to get your questions answered. Even though your conviction might be reduced to a misdemeanor, the wording of a question on the application might be: "Have you EVER been convicted of a felony?" Your answer to that would have to be a "yes" in CA, even though your record showed up as a misdemeanor. And "failure to disclose" is always worse than the disclosure itself.

Tread carefully. I would not take any prelicensing course or make any application unless I knew that my application would not be denied.

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 01:27 am Post Subject:

Just a followup, I spoke with someone at the DOI a few days ago and was informed that I could not be given a yes or no answer until I applied for licensure. I figure that 99 dollars isn't much of an risk to lose for me and I signed up for a class.

When I do apply for licensure I have many good contacts to write character letters for me, and I will also include a personal statement about the events that transpired on the night in question.

Thanks again for your help!

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 03:02 am Post Subject:

When I do apply for licensure I have many good contacts to write character letters for me, and I will also include a personal statement about the events that transpired on the night in question.

Your decision to "come clean" is commendable. However, when you file your license application, just answer the questions "Yes" or "No" as the correct information requires, and supply the basic documentation they need (probably just the "minute orders" of the court -- but you will certainly hear from the DOI telling you what to submit).

Before you fire all your ammunition, wait. Just wait. See what happens with your application. You have not committed one of the federal crimes that requires a "1033 Waiver," and it does not appear that you have committed a state crime that would prevent you from being licensed.

So once you have filed your application, the ball is in the Commissioner's court, and he could call you to a hearing or he could let you take the exam. If he chooses not to call you to a hearing, wonderful! You take your exam and pass and get your license.

Calling attention to yourself by submitting a letter of explanation before you've been asked to do so is not required and it is not concealing anything. Giving them the info in advance might trigger a, "So what is he really trying to hide?" response, and you don't necessarily intend for that to happen.

Having the character references is terrific, writing a narrative of explanation is great. But save it for when you really need it.

You should file your license application and see what they say BEFORE taking any classes. Not because you shouldn't spend the money to take the class, but because you want the information you learn to be fresh in your mind when you take the exam. If you take your class now, but it takes three months to get a test date, you may have trouble recalling the information for the exam.

Best of all success to you!!

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 08:37 am Post Subject:

You have been an amazing source of information, I really appreciate that you have taken all this time to answer my questions.

I will keep this thread updated with what happens, thanks a lot MaxHerr.

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 07:32 pm Post Subject:

You're welcome! Just remember, when the license application question asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" the answer is YES, even if the charge is later reduced to a misdemeanor as the result of completion of probation.

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 06:28 am Post Subject: Got it!

Great news!

I took my exam about two months ago, passed, and was licensed the next day.

The woman at the front counter was unsure of my felony at first, but asked a quick question of a colleague and I was sent on my way with my license! Was a very painless process altogether.

In AZ you are not able to file your license application before completing the test, so I wasn't able to do that, I did however, ask instructors at a few different schools and agents that I know about non violent/non fraud felonies and licences. They all said it would likely not be a problem. The Dept of Insurance would not give me much information other than that the main thing taken into consideration was the type of crime. Meaning, they did not care (and I'm paraphrasing) except if you defrauded someone, stole, or committed a violent crime. From what I have heard, even violent crimes can be excused. Stealing and fraud, however, are likely to result in denial.

Take all of that information with a grain of salt, and check for yourself if you are interested in getting licensed in AZ.

Thanks for answering all of my questions MaxHerr, you made this whole thing a lot easier and a more predictable process, you are awesome!

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 01:41 pm Post Subject:

Best of all success to you!

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 04:25 pm Post Subject: cBjbvujivA

I wanted to spend a miunte to thank you for this.

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