The purpose of this regulation is to set forth standards to
protect consumers from misleading and fraudulent marketing practices with
respect to the use of senior-specific certifications and professional
designations in the solicitation, sale or purchase of, or advice made in
connection with, a life insurance or annuity product.
This regulation shall apply to any solicitation, sale or purchase
of, or advice made in connection with, a life insurance or annuity product by
an insurance producer.
For purposes of this regulation, "insurance producer" means a
person required to be licensed under the laws of this State to sell, solicit or
negotiate insurance, including annuities.
Prohibited Uses of Senior-Specific
Certifications and Professional Designations
is an unfair and deceptive act or practice in the business of insurance within
the meaning of Chapter
7 of the 1976 Code of Laws of South
Carolina, as amended, for an insurance producer to use a senior-specific
certification or professional designation that indicates or implies in such a
way as to mislead a purchaser or prospective purchaser that the insurance
producer has special certification or training in advising or servicing seniors
in connection with the solicitation, sale or purchase of a life insurance or
annuity product or in the provision of advice as to the value of or the
advisability of purchasing or selling a life insurance or annuity product,
either directly or indirectly through publications or writings, or by issuing
or promulgating analyses or reports related to a life insurance or annuity
The prohibited use of
senior-specific certifications or professional designations includes, but is
not limited to, the following:
(a) Use of a
certification or professional designation by an insurance producer who has not
actually earned or is otherwise ineligible to use such certification or
(b) Use of a
nonexistent or self-conferred certification or professional
(c) Use of a
certification or professional designation that indicates or implies a level of
occupational qualifications obtained through education, training or experience
that the insurance producer using the certification or designation does not
Use of a
certification or professional designation that was obtained from a certifying
or designating organization that:
primarily engaged in the business of instruction in sales or
(ii) Does not have
reasonable standards or procedures for assuring the competency of its
certificants or designees;
Does not have reasonable standards or procedures for monitoring and
disciplining its certificants or designees for improper or unethical conduct;
(iv) Does not have reasonable
continuing education requirements for its certificants or designees in order to
maintain the certificate or designation.
There is a rebuttable
presumption that a certifying or designating organization is not disqualified
solely for purposes of subsection A(2)(d) when the certification or designation
issued from the organization does not primarily apply to sales or marketing and
when the organization or the certification or designation in question has been
(1) The American National
Standards Institute (ANSI);
National Commission for Certifying Agencies; or
(3) Any organization that is on the U.S.
Department of Education's list entitled "Accrediting Agencies Recognized for
Title IV Purposes."
In determining whether a combination of words or an acronym standing for a
combination of words constitutes a certification or professional designation
indicating or implying that a person has special certification or training in
advising or servicing seniors, factors to be considered shall include:
(1) Use of one or more words such as
"senior," "retirement," "elder," or like words combined with one or more words
such as "certified," "registered," "chartered," "advisor," "specialist,"
"consultant," "planner," or like words, in the name of the certification or
professional designation; and
The manner in which those words are combined.
purposes of this regulation, a job title within an organization that is
licensed or registered by a state or federal financial services regulatory
agency is not a certification or professional designation, unless it is used in
a manner that would confuse or mislead a reasonable consumer, when the job
(a) Indicates seniority or standing
within the organization; or
Specifies an individual's area of specialization within the
purposes of this subsection, financial services regulatory agency includes, but
is not limited to, an agency that regulates insurers, insurance producers,
broker-dealers, investment advisers, or investment companies as defined under
the Investment Company Act of 1940.
This regulation shall become effective upon final publication in
the State Register.
S.C. Code Regs.
Added by State Register
Volume 34, Issue No. 5, eff May 28,