A group of 5 states will begin testing a centralized insurance producer fingerprinting program April 1.[@@]

The fingerprinting pilot program will include Alaska, California, Idaho, New York, and Pennsylvania, according to Alaska regulator Linda Brunette.

Brunette described the pilot program for regulators here for a producer licensing working group session at the spring meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.

Organizers of the pilot program hope creating a centralized agent fingerprint repository will increase uniformity in state producer fingerprinting programs.

For now, Brunette said, regulators will keep the fingerprints in a state producer licensing database, but regulators could add to the prints to a public database later.

When the pilot program starts, states will be able to share fingerprints through the state producer licensing database, but states will have to request reports to get information such as criminal history reports, according to officials who spoke at the working group session.

Michael Lovendusky, a representative of the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, said that it is the understanding of industry that keeping fingerprints on file in a central repository will help insurance company officers and directors keep up with state requests for fingerprints.

But Wes Bissett, a representative for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Washington, said the idea of putting producer fingerprints in a public database raises privacy concerns.