Which policy requires an agent to register with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) before selling?
Interest-Sensitive Whole Life
The Correct Answer Is:
- Variable Life
The correct answer is Variable Life. Selling Variable Life insurance policies typically requires agents to register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), not the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) as it was previously known.
FINRA is the self-regulatory organization that oversees securities firms and brokers in the United States. Here’s a detailed explanation of why this answer is correct and why the other options are not:
Variable Life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that combines a death benefit with an investment component. Policyholders have the opportunity to invest in sub-accounts, which are similar to mutual funds, within their policy.
The performance of these investments directly impacts the policy’s cash value and, consequently, the death benefit. Due to the investment aspect of Variable Life policies, agents who sell these policies must be registered with FINRA.
Variable Life insurance policies are considered securities under U.S. federal securities laws because they involve an element of investment risk. As such, agents who sell Variable Life policies are required to be registered with FINRA, which is the primary self-regulatory organization overseeing securities brokers and firms in the United States.
This registration ensures that agents have the necessary qualifications, understanding of the products, and compliance with securities laws to sell Variable Life policies.
Why the other options are not correct:
a) Credit Life:
Credit Life insurance is a type of life insurance policy designed to pay off a specific debt, such as a mortgage or a personal loan, in the event of the insured’s death.
Credit Life insurance does not involve investment components, and agents selling these policies are not required to register with FINRA or deal with securities regulation. It is a relatively straightforward insurance product tied to a specific debt, rather than an investment.
b) Universal Life:
Universal Life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that offers flexibility in premium payments and death benefit amounts. While Universal Life policies have a cash value component that may be invested, they are typically not considered securities under U.S. federal securities laws.
Therefore, agents selling Universal Life policies typically do not need to register with FINRA or deal with securities regulation, as long as the investment component doesn’t resemble traditional securities.
c) Interest-Sensitive Whole Life:
Interest-Sensitive Whole Life insurance is another type of permanent life insurance that adjusts its interest rate based on prevailing market rates. While it may have an investment component, it is usually structured in a way that does not trigger securities regulation.
Agents selling Interest-Sensitive Whole Life policies generally do not need to register with FINRA, as these policies are primarily insurance products.
In summary, the correct answer is Variable Life because it involves the sale of insurance policies with a significant investment component, and agents must register with FINRA to ensure compliance with securities regulations.
The other options, including Credit Life, Universal Life, and Interest-Sensitive Whole Life, do not typically require agents to register with FINRA because they are primarily insurance products without the same level of investment risk associated with Variable Life policies.
Understanding the regulatory requirements for different insurance products is essential for agents to conduct their business in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.