Insurance agents and companies engaged in insurance-related activities are going back and forth to protect themselves from illegal or unethical practices. Identity theft and other crimes can affect their bottom line as well as their reputation and revenue. One way to protect themselves is to obtain a national producer number, or NPN. This unique identifier is issued to individuals and businesses by the National Insurance Producer Registry, or NIPR.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
You can obtain an NPN number from the National Insurance Producer Registry. The easiest way to find someone's NPN number is to conduct an online search on the National Insurance Producer Registry's website.
What Is an NPN Number?
Many states are no longer using insurance license numbers. Individuals and businesses can instead register for a national producer number, or NPN. This identifier tracks individuals and organizations offering insurance products and protects them from having their Social Security numbers displayed in the National Insurance Producer Registry's database.
Insurance agents and brokers as well as producers and adjusters engaged in insurance-related activities are assigned an NPN. With this number, regulatory bodies can easily identify a person even if he is licensed to do business in multiple states. Additionally, it protects identity by circumventing the use of Social Security numbers.
You may conduct an NPN search through the NIPR website. The organization is governed by chief insurance regulators from all across the United States. Its mission is to assist state insurance regulators, ensure uniform financial reporting by insurance providers and establish industry best practices in the U.S. Furthermore, it strives to improve state regulation of insurance and ensure fair treatment of insurance customers.
How to Find an NPN
If you want to look up an insurance agent before doing business together, access the NIPR website. Click "Look Up My National Producer Number." Next, you'll have three options:
- Enter the agent's Social Security number and last name
- Enter the agent's license number, license type and state
- Enter the agency's FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number)
Check the CAPTCHA box and click "Submit Query." If the data provided is valid, your NPN search will generate the information you're seeking. To look up an insurance company, enter its FEIN. The entire process takes just a few seconds and can be completed online.
Use Third-Party Services
If for some reason you can't access the NIPR website or retrieve the information you need, consider using third-party services. Sircon, for example, allows individuals and business entities to conduct an NPN search through its platform. This service is available for a limited number of states, though.
Go to Sircon.com, select "View a List of All Services" and then click "Lookup National Producer Number (NPN)." You'll be redirected to a new page where you can choose to look up individual agents or companies. If you need to find an agent's NPN, enter her license number, individual Social Security number and the state where she operates and then click "Submit." To retrieve a company's NPN insurance number, enter its name, EIN and state.
Be aware that if the agent or company in question is not located in any of the states listed on Sircon, you may not be able to find their NPN. This service covers insurance agents and firms in Colorado, Indiana, Virginia, South Dakota, Nevada and nine other states. If you can't find what you need, contact that state's Department of Insurance by phone or email. Check the State Information Center section on Sircon.com for contact details.
Consider Alternative Options
Another way to look up an agent's NPN is to request this information directly from the individual or business in question. Let them know that transparency is paramount to your organization.
Alternatively, you can hire a private investigator, especially if you plan to purchase more expensive insurance products or sign a new long-term contract with an insurer. This way, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you're dealing with a professional firm that complies with the law and cares about its reputation.