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In the looking-glass world of professional liability claims against insurance agents and brokers, words that we take as clear can become unrecognizably twisted and fraught with ambiguity. Perhaps no word suffers this indignity more frequently than “agent.”

In the insurance industry, an “agent” is commonly understood to be a person who transacts insurance by the appointment of, and on behalf of, an insurance carrier. California law exempts from this definition life, health and disability insurance and “life agents,” a separately defined term. (Cal. Insurance Code ?? 1621 and 1622.) In contrast, “An insurance broker is a person who, for compensation and on behalf of another person, transacts insurance other than life insurance with, but not on behalf of, an admitted insurer.” (? 1623)

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Louie Castoria

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