We continue to see a pattern of noncompliance in the areas noted below. This section has been created to assist you in keeping your insurance business in compliance. The items are intended as reminders only and are not necessarily the exact text of the Florida Statutes or Florida Administrative Code. The legal cites have been provided for your further reference.
In the December 2011 issue of our newsletter we outlined the changes to the public adjuster contract that were taking effect on January 1, 2012. These changes were:
We have noticed that contracts are not being issued in compliance with these changes. Many do not include the type of claim. You are required to include in your contract if the claim is an emergency claim, non-emergency claim or a supplemental claim.
We are still seeing contracts being submitted with only one insured's signature and no affidavit is attached. If you do not have all insureds sign you must submit an affidavit. The generally-accepted definition of an affidavit is a statement written and sworn to in the presence of someone authorized to administer an oath, such as a notary public. The statute requires an affidavit signed by the available named insured(s), attesting to their authority to enter into the contract with the public adjuster. Adding a section to the contract with a check box that the signing insured has the authority to sign for the other insureds would not be recognized as an affidavit.
Finally, we are seeing instances of letters of representation are being submitted to the insurance carrier instead of the full, unaltered copy of the contract.
Please familiarize yourself with the law and govern yourself accordingly.
[See 626.8796(2), Florida Statutes]
Section 626.7351(5), Florida Statutes, states that customer representatives must be employed by only one agent or agency and the agency will appoint one designated agent within the agency who will supervise their work and conduct in the insurance business.
Section 626.8651, Florida Statutes, states that no individual may be, act as, or hold himself or herself out to be a public adjuster apprentice unless the individual is licensed and holds a current appointment by a licensed public all-lines adjuster or a public adjusting firm that employs a licensed all-lines public adjuster.
Appointments must be completed online. Depending on the type of license and appointment, the steps to complete the appointment may be different. Please view the appropriate category below for instructions:
NOTE: Failure to obtain an appointment under your license and continuing to act as a licensee without an appointment could lead to administrative action against your license. Holding a license for 48 months without an appointment will lead to the expiration of that license.
The Florida Statutes require that all bail bond agents who are members of the same agency are to be appointed to represent the same insurance companies. In February of last year, Rule 69B-241.100(41), Florida Administrative Code, was adopted that provided the license of the primary bail bond agent would be suspended until such time as all the bail bond agents of the agency were appointed with the same companies. In other words, it is now a responsibility of the primary bail bond agent to make the insurers aware of the appointments of the agents working in the bail bond agency. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action against the primary bail bond agent.
A primary bail bond agent who is able to show the department that he/she did notify the insurers of the need to appoint or terminate the appointment of other bail bond agents will be in compliance with this law and not subject to disciplinary action.
Another way to bring the bail bond agents of an agency into compliance is to have an agent send a letter cancelling his/her appointment to represent a bail bond insurer to the Bureau of Licensing. Cancelling an appointment does not release the bail bond agent of the liability for the bail bonds written under that company. It also does not release the bail bond agent of any responsibility to the insurer. This letter will only prevent the bail bond agent from being able to represent that insurer from that point forward. The bail bond agent will still be liable to the insurer for any outstanding debt and for the bonds written while the appointment was effective.
The letter requesting cancellation of the appointment should be on the bail bond agent's letterhead and signed by him or her. It must also contain an affirmation statement by the bail bond agent that all the powers, supplies and other materials have been returned to the insurer.