NU Online News Service, June 11, 6:13 p.m. — Washington
The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Washington, has filed lawsuits against the states of Florida and Nevada seeking to have their countersignature laws declared unconstitutional.
The lawsuits, which were filed in federal district courts in each state, charge that countersignature laws violate constitutional protections that prohibit states from discriminating against residents and businesses of other states.
Ken Crerar, president of CIAB, said at a press briefing that the decision to file the lawsuits reflects frustration over agent licensing reform efforts dating back more than 60 years.
While states are starting to make progress, Crerar said, countersignature laws represent the most egregious protection measures still on the books in some states.
He called countersignature requirements “pure profit” for agents who reside in the relevant states, because they receive a fee without having to do any work.
In Florida and Nevada, the system leads to millions of dollars a year in unnecessary costs, Crerar said.
Nicole Allen, director of government relations for CIAB, said that in Florida, non-resident agents must pay up to 50% of their commissions to resident agents simply to get their signatures on policies.