Friday, October 30, 2009

National licensing group names OIC staffer "Regulator of the Year"

The Securities and Insurance Licensing Association (SILA) has named a Washington state insurance program manager “Regulator of the Year,” in recognition of his contribution to the state’s efforts to modernize and streamline licensing of insurance agents and brokers. (In Washington, agents and brokers are now known as “insurance producers.” )

Award winner Jeff Baughman, who works for Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler as the Licensing and Education Program Manager, was named this week at a ceremony in Phoenix, Ariz.

SILA’s “Warren E. Spruill Regulator Recognition Award” is given annually to a regulator who works to better the relationship between insurance departments and the industry.

Washington’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner has been working hard to make it possible for all licensing transactions, including accepting new applications and renewals, to be performed over the Internet. The online system was completed earlier this year.

Baughman also served as the agency’s business lead in implementing statutory changes on July 1st that brought the state very close to full compliance with the national standards for uniformity and reciprocity in the licensing of agents and brokers. Kreidler is proposing legislation to complete that goal, including dropping a fingerprinting requirement for background checks for non-resident applicants.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to see the work of Jeff and the agency recognized at the national level,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner John Hamje. “We’re very proud of Jeff, and are equally proud of the numerous other agency staff members who’ve worked to make these projects a reality since they were first initiated in 2004. Everyone involved in this process should take great pride in this award.”

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