States should make sure their agent licensing programs are fair, an interest group says.

The Coalition for Financial Security, Washington, is talking about exam fairness in connection with the 25th anniversary of a lawsuit settlement involving Golden Rule Insurance Company, Indianapolis.

Golden Rule argued in the lawsuit that the life insurance licensing exam in Illinois was racially biased, according to the CFS, Washington.

A recent CFS survey found “double-digit racial disparities” in passing rates for state life insurance licensing exams, the group says.

In some states, candidates with advanced degrees fail more than 40% of the time, and 94% of the states surveyed have life exam passing rates below the 70% level recommended by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., in its licensing handbook, the CFS says.

Many states “may have unintentionally permitted their insurance exams to become artificial barriers to entry into the insurance profession,” the CFS says.

The CFS notes on its website that supporters include the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington; and MetLife Inc., New York.