Thanks from insurance commissioner

Through my first nine months at the Kansas Insurance Department, we have made some important reforms to enforce the laws in statute, improve operations and provide better service to consumers. 

One of the reforms I am most pleased about implementing is ensuring integrity in the producer license application process. I think honesty is an important part of every job, but especially important for insurance agents who are to be a trusted source in helping consumers make decisions that may greatly impact their lives. 

At my direction, the department now verifies with the Department of Revenue if an applicant is delinquent in payment of their taxes, regardless of what they state on the application.

Since the department began this process, we found the Department of Revenue denied or was unable to verify the tax status of roughly 16 percent of applicants. This means they either are in fact delinquent in paying their taxes or have another issue that prevents verification. 

Once this occurs we notify the applicant that they will need to provide a certificate of tax clearance to the department or be in a payment plan with the Department of Revenue for us to move forward with the license application. I am proud to report that we have turned nearly 150 (70 percent) of the denied or unable to verify applications into an approved status. 

When people do not pay their taxes, it increases the burden on everyone else. There are a lot of hardworking Kansans who pay their taxes every day and it is my hope that this new process helps lessen the burden. 

While there is still too much government bureaucracy to wade through, I wanted to provide you with an example where two government agencies actually worked together. That does not happen nearly enough. I appreciate the Department of Revenue working with us to verify this information as it is beneficial to them as well!

It is an honor to serve you and your family in the Kansas Insurance Department.

Vicki Schmidt, Topeka