Insurance Code section 1669(d) empowers the California Insurance Commissioner to summarily deny (without a hearing) a license application within five years of a license revocation. For an insurance broker who has lost their license, this five year window can present a trap. If you re-apply within five years and are denied, under section 1669(c), the five year period starts again. Five years is a very long time to wait to resuscitate a career. Is there any faster way back to licensure?
The key to breaking this cycle is presenting a correct message and evidence of rehabilitation and mitigation through non-statutory remedies. This critical information also needs to be presented to the correct decision-maker at the Department of Insurance in a format that will trigger action by the Insurance Commissioner.
The road back to licensure can be difficult. Although we have had many instances where we could persuade the Department to issue a license without a hearing, the Insurance Commissioner may want the matter to be heard before an administrative law judge before a license can be issued. This may entail additional litigation, although occasionally a settlement can be reached. Also, sometimes in a particularly difficult case, our efforts may result in denial, and we may have to build a stronger case upon that denial in a subsequent effort until the license is reinstated. In this process, we have to partner with the client to be patient, positive and persistent. However, almost always this approach is much faster than waiting five years to re-start the licensure process.
Lastly, and importantly, waiting five years is not a guarantee of regaining a license. The Department may still want a hearing before an administrative judge, which can add anywhere from eight months to two years to the process. Therefore, it is an easy decision to initiate the process of re-licensure much earlier than five years with the help of an experienced license attorney.