Continuing Education Deadline Extended to
Assist with Hurricane Michael Recovery
To help accelerate Hurricane Michael recovery efforts across Florida, CFO Patronis announced an extension of continuing education deadlines for licensed insurance professionals in Florida.
Continuing education deadlines are set by the licensee's birthday month, and any licensee with a deadline in October, November or December will now have an extended deadline to complete their continuing education requirements. The deadline has been extended three months from the due date; for example, CE requirements due October 1, 2018 are now extended to January 1, 2019.
The extension applies to all insurance professional licensees that require continuing education, including insurance adjusters, agents and customer representatives. No form or application process is required to be approved for this extension. The Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Agent & Agency Services is updating its online database to automatically reflect the updated deadline.
Para saber más, visite www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Agents.
Discontinuation of the Florida Hurricane
Catastrophe Fund Assessment
Pursuant to a Supplementary Order issued on December 3, 2018 by Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, effective April 1, 2019, surplus lines policies issued or renewed prior to January 1, 2015 and all related transactions reported to FSLSO will not have the FHCF emergency assessment charged or credited.
As a result of this subsequent resolution and Order, the last day to report surplus lines policy data through the FSLSO system (SLIP or XML Batch) where the FHCF assessment will be charged or credited is March 31, 2019.
Read the full bulletin for more information and accounting instructions.
Adjuster Compliance - Fee Caps for Emergency Claims
We have received information alleging some public adjusters may be overcharging Hurricane Michael victims for handling their emergency claims.
Public adjusters are prohibited from charging more than 10 percent of the insurance claim payment on claims based on a declared emergency and 10 percent of the original insurance claim payment OR supplemental AND reopened claims made during the first year after the declaration of the emergency. [See s. 626.854(10)(b), Estatuto de la Florida]
The fee caps apply only to residential property insurance policies and condominium unit owner policies as defined in s. 718.111(11), Estatutos de la Florida
Violations of the law will result in enforcement action against the licensee, up to and including license revocation.
Emergency Adjusters - Licensing Compliance
The landfall of Hurricane Michael in Florida set off a flurry of licensing activity related to insurance adjusters. The special license class "Emergency Adjuster" was established to allow insurers and adjusting firms to respond to the immediate, increased need for adjusters in the state after a major disaster. Emergency Adjuster licenses are valid for 180 days from the date of the declared emergency, unless a shorter time period is specified.
The Department may grant an extension of Emergency Adjuster licenses IF it determines the need for Emergency Adjusters still exists as described under 69B-220.001(4)(a)1., FAC
Appointing entities are required to recognize the standard expiration date of the Emergency Adjuster licenses, and take measures to ensure all adjusters hold the appropriate license and appointment(s), e.g. all-lines, personal lines, etc. Because Emergency Adjuster license applications are made by insurers or adjusting firms, licensees may look to the insurer or firm to ensure their license remains in compliance, however, licensees will also be held responsible if they continue to participate in adjusting activities after expiration of their emergency license and appointment.
Information about Emergency Adjuster licensing can be found at this link. Questions about the process must be sent to AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com o llamando al 850-413-3137.
Charging a Fee for Certificates of Coverage
The Department has noticed an increase in inquiries and seeing more violations related to agents and agencies charging customers for issuing certificates of coverage. There are few costs aside from premium which can be lawfully charged. In some instances, a maximum per-policy fee can be charged by certain licensees for property and casualty policies. Agents and agencies can charge the actual cost as reimbursement for insurer-required motor vehicle report and inspection fees; however, fees for issuing certificates of coverage is not one of them.
Licensees charging for this service will face enforcement action for violating s. 626.9541(1)(o), F.S., illegal dealings in premium. We will hold the licensee responsible even if they delegated issue of the certificates to a third party who in turn charges the customer.
The time and expense involved issuing numerous certificates for some customers could become significant; however, under current laws the commissions earned from sale of insurance products is intended to compensate licensees for servicing policy holders after the sale.