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Inicio del Departamento | Inicio de Agentes y Agencias | Inicio de Insurance Insights

  Vol. 9, No. 1 - February 2020

Esquina de Cumplimiento


Customer Representatives and Unlicensed
Agency Personnel - Lawful and Unlawful Activities

The Department frequently receives inquiries for information about the lawful duties of Customer Representatives (4-40) and unlicensed agency personnel.

General lines agents may occasionally blur the lines when transacting insurance under their licenses and find themselves the subject of Department discipline. We've put together a primer to clarify some of the duties customer representatives and unlicensed agency employees may lawfully perform under the supervision of the agency's agent in charge and their supervising general lines agent. Keep mind this article is a general guideline of duties, and it is not intended to be an all-inclusive review of the laws which regulate either type of agency employee.

Representantes de Clientes

Chapter 626, Part II General Lines Agents - please pay particular attention to section 626.7315, F.S. - Prohibition against the unlicensed transaction of general lines insurance. This section discusses activities that can be lawfully conducted only by a licensed and appointed general lines agent. Florida Statute sections 626.7352, 626.7353, y 626.7354 apply specifically to customer representatives.

Rule Chapter 69B-213, F.A.C. provides additional guidance regarding customer representatives - 69B-213.100, F.A.C., “Duty to Supervise" details the responsibilities of the designated supervising Agent when supervising a customer representative.

A customer representative may only solicit business within the office or by phone from the office [see subsection 626.7315(1), F.S.], and cannot "run the office" during the extended absence of a general lines agent. In the case of more than a brief absence of the supervising general lines agent, a new general lines agent must be appointed to supervise the customer representative during an extended absence of the original supervising agent. If that general lines agent is also the agent in charge of the agency, the agency must designate a replacement.

A customer representative may conduct activities under their license during an absence of the general lines agent, but the general lines agent must have daily, in-person contact with the customer representative. Should a complaint be filed with the Department regarding business conducted during the absence of the supervising general lines agent, the Department will review all facts prior to considering enforcement action.

Unlicensed Agency Personnel

Estatutos de la Florida la Sección 626.112 provides basic information about when a Department license is required to conduct insurance related activities, often referred to as "transacting" insurance. (see s. 624.10(5), F.S.)

Rule Chapter 69B-222, F.A,C provides a great deal of information related to the activities unlicensed agency personnel can participate in on a general and "incidental basis".

Agency owners, agents in charge, and the designated supervising agents for customer representatives should all review and understand the guidance provided in this chapter related to unlicensed agency employees.

A licensee of the Department may be investigated for aiding and abetting an unlicensed person if such activity becomes known or reported to the Department. Unlicensed activity is a third-degree felony in Florida, and assisting an unlicensed person is a serious violation of the Florida Insurance Code.

Our purpose for providing this information is to encourage our licensees to educate themselves regarding this topic and any other topic which pertains to their insurance activities.

Information by topic and license type can also be found on our website under the Preguntas Frecuentes y Información sobre Cumplimiento sections.


Title Agencies: Data Call 2020

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) is conducting its annual Title Agencies Data Call pursuant to Sections 624.307 y 627.782, E.F. y Sec. 69O-186.013, F.A.C.

Title Insurance Agencies licensed at any time during Calendar Year 2019 are required filers. There are no exceptions - even if your agency closed during 2019.

Your submission is due to the Office no later than 11:59PM ET on Domingo, 31 de Mayo de 2020.

The Office's reporting system called the Insurance Regulation Filing System. Here is the link: https://irfs.fldfs.com/

A How To guide is also available at: https://floir.com/siteDocuments/TitleFilingInstructions.pdf

  • Using your IRFS account username and password, log into the new system. If you have not used IRFS before, create a new account.
  • New users must subscribe its agency(ies) using the Entity Management on the User Menu. Select the Licensee/Agencies tab.
  • Select Add Licensee/ Agency.
  • Type in the Agency Name and click Search.
  • Select your agency next to its name and click the Add Selected button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select Create Filing on the top right corner.
  • In the Data Collection tile, click Begin.
  • STEP 1: Select the agency for which you are creating the filing from the Licensees/Agencies tab. Click Next.
  • STEP 2: Select the Title Insurance Data Calls for Agencies. Click Next.
  • STEP 3: Skip step Three, which is for group filings (not permitted with this data call).
  • STEP 4: Review the information. Click Create. You will be redirected to the Workbench.
  • View and edit the filing on the Workbench by clicking the Filing ID in the first column.
  • Expand components by clicking on the plus sign.
  • The data template, which has been available within IRFS since January 1, 2020, must be downloaded from within IRFS, completed locally on your computer, and then uploaded back in the same Web page in Excel format. Either Excel 2003 (.xls) or Excel 2007 (.xlsx) will be accepted.

The full template contains seven tabs:

  1. Version - includes the Office's contact information and reporting date reminder
  2. Instructions - data template must be downloaded from IRFS for the purpose of reporting information
  3. Report_Lines - Two columns extend down a series of questions and required responses (enter either text or numeric in the two columns, as shown)
  4. Schedule A - Additional agency information
  5. Schedule B - Agent activities
  6. Schedule C (Residential) - Title agent statistical information submission for 1-4 residential units
  7. Schedule C (Commercial) - Title agent statistical information submission for commercial units.
  8. Agency_Comments - Check the questions on this tab. If any appear with "Comments Required" it means your responses on previous tabs suggest that clarification is required for the item(s) noted. Clarifications must be understandable and justifiable when reviewed by the Office. You may contact the Office if you have questions.
  • In the Company Contacts Component, other email accounts subscribed to your agency will be listed under Add Company Contact. Include additional email addresses that are not subscribers of the agency in the text box. Any email listed in this component will receive email notifications about the filing. Click Save.
  • Select the Title Insurance Agency Filing Certification. The certification must be completed by an agency officer (electronic signature accepted). Type the year 2017 at the top, the officer's name in the middle and the officer's title at the bottom. Press the down arrow to save the certification.
  • You can include a cover letter. This an optional component for the filing.
  • Include any additional and optional information that is deemed important to the overall submission. These optional items may be uploaded as PDF documents under the "Other Documents" component.
  • There is an optional Response to Request for Clarification component that may be ignored during the initial filing. This is for use only if the Office has questions after reviewing your filing.
  • When all mandatory components are Complete, your filing may be submitted by clicking on the Submit button.
  • You and any accounts listed in Company Contacts will receive an email receipt with your Filing ID. If you do not receive an email and the submission status does not change to Received, contact the Office's Market Research and Technology Unit at: TitleAgencyReporting@floir.com.

Further instructions are available on our website at: https://www.floir.com/Office/Reporting.aspx#Title

If you have questions regarding this filing process, please email the Office at: TitleAgencyDataCall@floir.com or contact the Market Data Collections Unit at 850-413-3147. If phone lines are busy you are encouraged to send your questions by email. Your email may request that a representative from Market Data Collections call you (remember to provide your number). Calls will be returned in the order your email messages are received.

Send email to: TitleAgencyReporting@floir.com.


Public Adjusting Firms, Adjuster in Charge and Apprentice Appointments

Public Adjusting firms must currently submit the form DFS-H2-6364, (Designation/Deletion of Primary Adjuster for Adjusting Firm, and Filing of Firm, Corporation, or Business Name Change, which is one of the requirements to lawfully operate an adjusting firm in Florida. An online application is being developed and we'll provide more information when its release is imminent.

The form is used to establish an adjusting firm, and update demographic changes to business location(s) and the designated primary adjuster. The form cannot be used to simultaneously delete and add a new primary adjuster.

A designated primary adjuster may act as the primary adjuster for both the parent and branch locations, however, no adjusting activities may occur at a branch location if the primary adjuster is not present, unless a properly licensed and appoint appointed public adjuster is present. (s. 626.8695(3). F.S.)

Recently, a few firms have sought clarification of the role of the primary adjuster, the primary adjuster designation for branches, and what the requirements and limitations are for appointing apprentice public adjusters ("apprentices").

After all requirements for the adjusting firm have been met, the adjusting firm can establish itself as an appointing entity (e-Appoint). As an appointing entity, the firm can appoint a limit of four apprentices. However, a supervising public adjuster may not be responsible for more than one public adjuster apprentice simultaneously and shall be accountable for the acts of the public adjuster apprentice which are related to transacting business as a public adjuster apprentice. Additional public adjuster apprentices working for the firm must be appointed and supervised by a different public adjuster. The public adjuster in charge of the firm may supervise one of the four apprentices appointed to the adjusting firm, or he/she may appoint and supervise a public adjuster apprentice.

There is no limit to the number of public adjusters the firm may appoint; however, once the firm has appointed four apprentices, each additional apprentice must be appointed by a public adjuster who also acts as the apprentice's supervising agent. Individual public adjusters can qualify for the authority to appoint an apprentice through the e-Appoint .

Branches of a public adjusting firm may employ an unlimited number of public adjusters, however each public adjuster apprentice must be appointed and supervised by a different public adjuster on a one-for-one basis.

If you have questions about the e-Appoint process or how to designate an apprentice's supervising public adjuster, please contact AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com.


Información sobre Cumplimientocompliance globe

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.

 

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