In an effort to ensure only licensed brokers have the authority to sell insurance, HR tech company and broker Zenefits has announced a new cloud-based app that will prevent any unlicensed brokers from selling insurance — and Zenefits intends to make it free for any brokerage to use.

“This is Zenefits taking an industry-leading role in compliance,” David Sacks, Zenefits CEO, says. “We want the entire industry to benefit from the technology we’ve built to solve our own licensing issues.” A reference to the resignation of former CEO Parker Conrad after an internal app designed to circumvent required licensing hours surfaced late last year.

Built on the Salesforce App Cloud, Zenefits’ licensing controls application prevents any current or prospective client accounts from being assigned to a broker or adviser who does not have a valid insurance license in the correct state.

Streamlined process
“With more than 10,000 licenses, we process thousands of verifications every month,” Joshua Stein, chief compliance officer for Zenefits, says. “Automating the licensing controls has streamlined that to ensure greater accuracy and save a tremendous amount of time.”

Brian Goldfarb, senior vice president of App Cloud at Salesforce, says many companies are leveraging the cloud to build apps at the speed of business, but those in regulated industries have struggled to take full advantage of the cloud, due to regulatory and compliance constraints.

The licensing controls application will also help companies manage license renewals, which can become extremely complex due to the many different licenses required to sell insurance from state-to-state.

Michael Lujan, president of the California Association of Health Underwriters, says insurance licensing rules serve as an important consumer protection and this step taken by Zenefits to ensure all staff are properly licensed and in compliance is a smart solution.

“Using a platform like Salesforce to help validate licensing for system transactions makes sense for agencies that have similar challenges tracking their large staff licensing and compliance,” Lujan says.

This fall, Zenefits will announce how other insurance companies can freely access the licensing controls application and integrate with the National Insurance Producer Registry Producer Database.

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