Sec. 11a. License Of Insurance Brokers (P. 25)

In some states, persons acting as insurance brokers are required to be licensed.15 In New York, Sec. 91 of the Insurance Law provides that no life insurance company doing business in the state shall pay to any person any commission for services in obtaining new insurance unless such person has procured a certificate of authority to act as agent of such company as in the section provided, and that no person shall act as agent or receive any commission for services in obtaining new insurance for such life insurance company without procuring such a certificate. The section further provides that such certificate shall be issued by the Superintendent of Insurance of the State only upon the written application of persons desiring such authority, upon a form approved by the Superintendent, giving such information as he may require, and that he shall have the right to refuse to issue or renew any such certificate, in his discretion.16 The section was held unconstitutional by the lower court, on the ground that it vested in the Superintendent an unrestricted discretion to grant or withhold a license at his pleasure, unregulated by any common standards of qualifications or conditions, and thus vested arbitrary powers in him to prevent any person from pursuing a lawful calling.17 This determination was reversed,18 the court saying: "The right of every person to pursue any lawful business or calling is, of course, subject to the paramount right of the State to impose such restrictions and regulations as the protection of the public may require.19 This power must be exercised, however, in conformity with the constitutional requirement that the restriction imposed must operate equally upon all persons pursuing or seeking to pursue such calling or occupation, under the same circumstances.....It is well settled that if a statute is susceptible of two constructions, by one of which it would be unconstitutional and by the other valid, the latter construction should be adopted rather than the former."

"Ross v. New South Farm & Home Co., 191 111. App. 353 (1915). 1l Roeder v. Butler, 19 Pa. Super. Co., 604 (1902), in which the plaintiff was a lawyer. Cf. Sec. 195.

12 Thorpe v. Weber, 191 111. App. 2 (1914). See Chicago City Ordinances, supra.

13 Friedland v. Isenstein, supra.

14 Egeland v. Scheffer, 189 111. App. 426 (1914).

15 See Sec. 78.

I6N. Y. Consol. Laws, Ch. 28, Sec. 91, as amended by L. 1909, Ch. 301.

In another New York case20 it was held that the Legislature has the right to regulate the business of soliciting fire insurance and to require that those seeking to engage therein shall first secure a license from the state authorities, although it was held in that case that the statute then under consideration was void in that it undertook to limit the right to engage in the business of fire insurance agent or broker to such persons as intended to carry on such business as their principal occupation or in connection with a real estate business.21

17Stern v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 90 Misc. 129; 154 N. Y. Suppl. 283 (1915)

18 169 App. Div. 217; 154 N. Y. Suppl. 472 (1915).

19 Citing People ex rel. Armstrong v. Warden, etc., 183 N. Y., 223; 76 N. E. 11; 2 L. R. A. (N. S.) 859; 5 Ann. Cas. 325.

20 Hauser v. North British & M. Ins. Co., 152 App. Div. 91; 136 N. Y. Suppl. 1015 (1912); affd., 206 N. Y. 455; 100 N. E. 52; L. R. A. (N. S.) 1139; Ann. Cas. 1914 B, 263 (1912).

21.Cf. Welch v. Maryland Casualty Co., 147 Pac. 1046; L. R. A. 1915 E. 708.