Closing an Insurance Agency
This article provides general guidelines for insurance agents who are closing an agency location.
Contact the insurance companies
Notify each insurance company that you represent of your intention to close the agency. Make arrangements to return the marketing materials and insured files, unless the company allows you to find a new servicing agent. The department requires that existing customers continue to be serviced either by a properly licensed and appointed agent, or by the company's office personnel. Insurance agents who close an agency and do not make arrangements to properly service existing customers risk regulatory action by the department.
Notify your premium finance companies
It is important that you alert any premium finance companies used by your agency. Let them know how to contact you if they have any questions about your existing book of business. If the insurance company has approved a new servicing agent, then you should give the premium finance companies that information.
The premium finance companies are not required to accept new business from the servicing agent, but may do so at their discretion. Finance companies hold you responsible for bank drafts considered to be in your possession.
Surrender your agency license
You need to complete form DFS-H2-1997 to cancel the agency's license. It must be signed and dated by an officer of the business. Send the form to us once it is completed.
Registration of Bail Bond Business and
Agent in Charge Designation -
Going Online Soon!!
Exciting news for bail bond agencies! In early 2020, the Filing of Bail Bond Agency Business, Designation/Deletion of Primary Bail Agent in Charge (as well as demographic information) form will be moving from the paper form to an online application. This is an opportunity to be sure that your information is up to date with the Department and compliant.
Because the application is new, existing bail bond agencies will need to create a user profile, enter the agency's information including designating the primary bail bond agent in charge. Once the profile is established, the agency will be able to make all changes for the bail bond agency online in real-time.
Bail bond agencies should continue to use the form until roll-out of the new application is announced. Once the online registration is made available, the paper forms will no longer be accepted.
The Department plans to send an email to every licensed bail bond agent's email address on file with the anticipated "live" date and instructions. We recommend you verify your individual contact information through your Mi Perfil account now to ensure you receive the email and other important information from the Department.
Notice of change of address or telephone number - Each licensee under Chapter 648, Florida Statutes, shall notify in writing the department, insurer, managing general agent, and the clerk of each court in which the licensee is registered within 10 working days after a change in the licensee's principal business address or telephone number. The licensee shall also notify the department within 10 working days after a change of the name, address, or telephone number of each agency or firm for which he or she writes bonds and any change in the licensee's name, home address, e-mail address, or telephone number. [See s. 648.421, Estatuto de la Florida]
Title Agencies: Update Your Info for the 2020
Subsection 624.501(27)(e)2, F.S., requires any title insurance agency licensed in Florida on January 1 of each year to remit an administrative surcharge of $200 to the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Title insurance agencies licensed in Florida were emailed a reminder this month to the agency's email address on file with the Department.
All title insurance agencies licensed in Florida on or around January 1 will be sent a courtesy email reminder in early January. To ensure you receive follow-up emails, please log in to the Mi Perfil account for your title agency and make sure the correct email address is on file. We also recommend you do the same for your individual Mi Perfil account. Demographic changes made to an agency's profile do not populate the profiles of licensees associated with the agency.
Please verify/update your information to ensure you receive all correspondence from the Department. Failure to open the email sent by the Department containing the administrative surcharge reminder does not release an agency from the January 30 deadline. If you need assistance updating your information, please contact us at AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com. Be proactive; do not procrastinate.
Failure to pay the surcharge on or before January 30, 2020 may result in administrative action which could include a fine in addition to the original surcharge and/or suspension or revocation of their license. Payment of the surcharge must be made securely online via the title agency's Mi Perfil account. Paper checks are not accepted.
More info can be found at: www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Agents/Industry/Laws-Rules/TitleSurcharge.htm
Fraud Reporting Requirement Reminder
While anyone can and is encouraged to report insurance fraud, industry professionals are often the most likely to recognize a fraudulent insurance activity when they see it. When licensees observe actions as they occur or learn of the activity after the fact, they have a duty to report it to the Department.
Any Insurer, agent, or any other person licensed under the Florida Insurance Code, or any employee of a licensee who becomes aware or has knowledge of a fraudulent insurance act, is requerido to report it and provide pertinent information to the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services.
Fraudulent insurance acts include:
- Knowingly presenting, causing to be presented, or preparing any written statement as part of an application for insurance or insurance claim, which the person knows to contain materially false information.
- Knowingly concealing information concerning any fact related to a claim or application for insurance.
- Knowingly submitting a false, misleading or fraudulent application or other document seeking an exemption from licensure as a health care clinic or demonstrating compliance with part X acerca de Capítulo 400 with the intent to use the license, or exemption from licensure, or demonstration of compliance, to provide services or seek reimbursement under the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law.
- Knowingly submitting a claim for payment or other benefit under a personal injury protection policy under the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law when the submitter knows the payee knowingly submitted a false or misleading, or fraudulent application or other document when applying as a healthcare clinic, seeking an exemption from licensure or demonstrating compliance with part X acerca de Capítulo 400.
[See ss. 626.989(6), ss. 627.730-627.7405, y Capítulo 400, Estatutos de la Florida]
Reporting of Actions Requirement Reminder
Being aware of your statutory responsibilities is a key component of compliance. Failing to comply with laws which regulate your license can adversely affect your license, your business, and your bank account.
If the Department becomes aware a criminal or administrative action has not been reported, the Department could take enforcement action, which may include a monetary penalty.
Examples of actions licensees are required to report include felony criminal charges/dispositions, enforcement actions issued by FINRA, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Florida Bar, and many other state and federal regulatory entities. Enforcement actions must be reported even if the action was the result of a consent to the action by the licensee.
Responsibility for reporting actions could extend beyond the individual named in the action.
Licensees are requerido to report any administrative action within 30 days of the final disposition of an administrative action. This includes action taken by a governmental agency in this or any other state or jurisdiction.
Licensees are requerido to report within 30 days of being found guilty, pleading guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to any felony or other crime punishable by one or more years in prison, regardless of adjudication by the court. Reporting is required even if civil rights have been restored or an appeal is pending.
Appointing entities are also requerido by law to advise the Department within 15 days after they or their general agent, officer, or other official becomes aware that an appointee has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to or has been found guilty of a felony, or other crime punishable by one or more years in prison. If the appointee is a bail bond agent, the appointing entity is required to report it within 5 days after becoming aware of the disposition.
A copy of the court documents, order, consent to order or other relevant legal documents should be directed to:
Florida Department of Financial Services
Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services
Bureau of Licensing
200 E. Gaines Street, Room 419
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0319
emailed to AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com
Administrative/Enforcement actions may also be reported via the NAIC's National Insurance Producers' Registry (NIPR) Attachment Warehouse.
[See SS. 626.536, 626.451(6), 626.451(4), y 648.382(4) Florida Statutes]
Información sobre Cumplimiento
Department licensees and consumers can access compliance information at the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services' web page Información sobre Cumplimiento. Additional information is available by license type on our Preguntas Frecuentes web page.
Make Sure You Don't Miss Important Information From Us
We highly recommend licensees routinely check their Mi Perfil accounts for messages from the Department. We send licensees important emails to keep you informed on issues regarding application, license, continuing education, or when appointment(s) occur. We suggest adding our domains dfs.state.fl.us and MyFloridaCFO.com to your email software's Trusted or Safe Senders List to ensure you receive email notifications from us.
Update your contact information TODAY through your Mi Perfil account to ensure you remain informed. You are required to abide by the Florida Insurance Code regardless of whether you read the information we provide.