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Volume 1, No. 3 - August 2012

In The Know

- Keeping you informed is what it's all about

Much of the information below stems from the 2012 Legislative Session. To read more, please review our 2012 Legislative Session summary in the May 2012 issue of our newsletter.

*Please note that if you hold one of the licenses mentioned below, you will receive an email directly from the Department providing additional and more specific guidance on the changes occurring to your license.

Independent and Company Adjusters: Your License is Changing

Effective October 1, 2012, the all-lines license for company employee and independent adjusters will be renamed into one all-lines adjuster license, either resident or nonresident. Adjusters holding a license limited to only adjust motor vehicle physical damage and mechanical breakdown, workers' compensation, health, or property and casualty insurance claims as of October 1, 2012, can remain licensed as such, but no new licenses to adjust only these types of claims can be issued after October 1, 2012. This transition does not make any substantial changes to the qualifications for licensure as an all-lines adjuster as compared to those for all-lines company or all-lines independent adjuster under current law.

The temporary all-lines license for company employee and independent adjusters will be renamed into one license, a temporary all-lines adjuster license. Adjusters holding a temporary adjuster license limited to adjust motor vehicle physical damage and mechanical breakdown, workers' compensation, health, or property and casualty insurance claims as of October 1, 2012, can remain licensed and the license can be continued, but no new licenses to adjust only these types of claims can be issued after October 1, 2012.

After this transition, the appointment type will dictate whether someone is adjusting as a company employee or independent adjuster. Changes to the appointment will occur at the same time because of the creation of the all-lines adjuster license. For example, an all-lines adjuster who is adjusting claims as a company employee will be appointed by an insurer/carrier with a company adjuster appointment. On the contrary, an all-lines adjuster who is adjusting claims as an independent adjuster will obtain an independent adjuster appointment by either self-appointing or being appointed by an independent adjusting firm.

Surplus Lines Agents: Coverage for Florida Risk Purchasing Groups

This notice is to all surplus lines agents purchasing coverage on behalf of a Florida Risk Purchasing Group. All agents responsible for purchasing new or renewal coverage with an eligible surplus lines insurer on a subject of insurance, located or to be performed in this state, shall report premium and pay taxes, fees and assessments through the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (FSLSO). Information about the submission of the required data is available at: http://www.fslso.com/faq.

Surplus Lines Agents: Surety Bond Requirement

Effective October 1, 2012, the surety bond requirement for surplus lines agents is repealed. Applicants and licensees for a surplus lines agent license will no longer be required to provide the $50,000 surety bond as part of obtaining and maintaining that license. The current surety bonds on file with the department will remain active (until expiration) and in the Department's possession according to records retention laws.

Title Insurance Agencies: Surety Bond/Collateral Requirement

Effective October 1, 2012, title insurance agencies must have obtained a surety bond in an amount not less than $35,000 made payable to the title insurer or title insurers appointing the agency. The surety bond must be for the benefit of any appointing title insurer damaged by a violation by the title insurance agency of its contract with the appointing title insurer(s). If the surety bond is payable to multiple title insurers, the surety bond must provide that each title insurer is to be notified in the event a claim is made upon the surety bond or the bond is terminated.

Also effective October 1, 2012, title insurance agencies will no longer be required to deposit $35,000 with the Department of Financial Services as a security deposit, or submit a surety bond for that same amount in favor of the Department when applying for a title insurance agency license or to maintain the license. The current surety bonds on file with the department will remain active (until expiration) and in the Department's possession according to records retention laws.

Credit Licensees: Converting All to One License Type

Effective October 1, 2012, the limited licenses for credit life or disability, credit property, and mortgage guaranty insurance are being consolidated into one credit insurance limited license. The scope of the license is expanded to cover credit unemployment, involuntary unemployment, mortgage life, mortgage guaranty, mortgage disability, guaranteed automobile protection, and any other type of insurance covering the extension of credit to extinguish a credit obligation. All currently existing licenses covering the types of insurance being consolidated into the credit insurance limited license will be converted to a credit insurance limited license.