A bill has been introduced and is in committee at the Nebraska Unicameral that would allow agents to earn six hours of continuing education credit by being a member of a professional association. When I first heard that Senator Mark Kolterman was putting forth this bill, I figured that any professional agent would applaud and support such legislation. Imagine my surprise when hearing that there are some in our industry actually questioning if this is good legislation. Really, you see no value in being a member of your association? As a member of NAIFA and NAHU and a strong supporter of The Big I, this bill seems to be a no-brainer to me. I am active with my association and know for a fact that I learn much from my involvement that is helpful to my clients. The Department of Insurance realizes the value that professional agents bring to the general public. Allowing six hours of CE is not going to alter the need for agents to stay current with other educational opportunities and the agent will still be required to obtain CE for Ethics in order to renew their license. What this may do, however, is help to steer agents to join an association. This helps the consumer since being involved in an association is shown to improve the chances of an agent staying in the business; in addition, there are significantly less complaints against NAIFA members than non-members. This lessens the workload on the Department of Insurance. Much of this comes because of the ethical standards to which NAIFA members adhere. Also, members are more likely to be exposed to additional professional development opportunities and positive business practices.

So, why there may be those who question this legislation, I would like to ask if you support it. Please send me a note whether you support or oppose it and the reasons for your decision. It would help me understand the view of the industry. Your professional associations like NAIFA, not only protect you from bad legislation but, at least here in Nebraska, are doing their part to make agent’s CE requirements easier.

Send a note of thanks to Senator Kolterman for introducing the bill, to our lobbyist Mick Mines for doing the legwork, and your NAIFA Nebraska Board for pushing to make this a reality.