Title 38, Chapter 43 of the South Carolina Code of Laws defines the regulations and requirements for insurance producers and agencies. Agency licenses are renewed in January of even-numbered years. The fee is $40.
- In order to maintain the agency license, an agency must pay the license fee and have at least one licensed and appointed producer assigned to the agency. Any business transacted by an agency or producer with a lapsed or canceled license shall constitute the unauthorized transaction of insurance business and is subject to regulatory action.
- The requirement for an agency license does not apply to any agency owned by, and operated under, the name of an individual licensed producer, so long as no other person, firm or entity has any interest in, or affiliation with, the business of the individual producer or their agency. This type of agency is considered a sole proprietorship.
- No such agency shall be licensed under a name which is likely to lead a person of average intelligence to believe that the agency is an insurer, an agency of any government, or a club, fraternity, association, or social or military organization, or which is otherwise deceptive or misleading. Foreign corporations, limited partnerships and other entities are required by law to be registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State's Office. Contact the Secretary of State's Office by calling 803-734-2158.
- Only one license is required for each agency and a separate license is not required for branch office locations unless the agency has more than one federal employer identification number (FEIN) number.
Any changes made within the agency that differ from the information on the initial agency application (i.e., name change, change in ownership, licensed producer, etc.) must be submitted in writing to the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
Change of Agency Address
S.C. Code Section 38-43-107 requires agency owners to notify the Department within 30 days of any address change. Agencies can update their address online at NIPR. Failure to keep a current agency address will result in administrative penalties being assessed against the agency.
Steps to Obtain an Agency License
The agency must have at least one South Carolina licensed producer. Only then can the agency submit the following documentation to the South Carolina Department of Insurance:
- If the agency is not domiciled in South Carolina and the agency license status cannot be verified on the State Producer Licensing Database (SPLD), certification from the agency's home state must be submitted.