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Volume 2, No. 8 - November 2013

Education Central

- Things to know about your continuing education

Surplus Lines Study Manual Now Available In eBook Format

The Florida Surplus Lines Insurance Study Manual is the official manual for the Florida surplus lines licensing exam. This manual covers such topics as the history of surplus lines, the regulatory process and includes more than 100 review questions to help readers prepare for the exam.

The Surplus Lines Study Manual is now available in eBook format on Amazon, Google Play and Apple iTunes. The price starts at $7.99.

Please visit http://www.fslso.com/publications/manuals/FSLI.Manual.aspx to obtain more information regarding the eBook versions of the Florida surplus lines study manual.

Are You Compliant with Your CE or Not?

If you have ever felt confused about what it means to be continuing education (CE) compliant, you are not alone. That's why we are continuously finding and implementing ways to help you with this. To be CE compliant requires more than just taking CE courses. Below are a few often overlooked suggestions for remaining CE compliant.

  • CE requirements change. You should regularly review your CE status through your MyProfile account. Your total hours have specific allocation requirements that must be met. Be sure to take all the right categories of CE courses.
  • Check for late hours. Hours taken after your due date will still post on your compliance evaluation screen (however they will show as "Late"). Though your hours requirement may have been met, you're still delinquent for being late in completing your CE hours. You will then have the option of paying a $250 fine, in addition to completing any required hours within a specified time, to keep from losing your appointments.
  • Check past evaluation periods. Always check previous compliance periods to make sure you are not delinquent for a prior period. Be sure to click on VIEW ENFORCEMENT NOTICE just below the Not Compliant text to check for any outstanding fines.
  • Check your transcript. The same course cannot be taken with the same provider within a three-year period and receive credit. This is noted on your transcript as a duplicate course. You will need to take a different course to meet your CE requirement.

We wish you success in completing your hours to remain knowledgeable in an ever-changing insurance market. And remember, your CE compliance date is your DUE date, not your DO date.

How to Search for Approved CE Courses

Looking for continuing education (CE) courses to be sure you get all your hours completed? Our online course search can easily help you by listing those courses approved by the Department.

  1. Go to our website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents.
  2. Click on MyProfile on the left panel and log in to your account.
  3. Once in your MyProfile inbox, click on Locate at the top left. Then click on Future Course Offerings.
  4. Select the Course Authority for the type of license held or course you need to take.
  5. You can also make other choices, like Study Method and Location, to narrow your search results.
  6. If you click on Perform an Advanced Search, you will have additional options to narrow your search results, such as Course Date and Course Level.

Because many factors may affect your continuing education requirement (e.g. licenses held, number of years licensed, etc.), we encourage you to periodically check your MyProfile account to determine your individual continuing education compliance requirements and status. You will also be able to find more approved CE courses after logging in to your MyProfile account versus the public search option, which limits the results to the first 100 course offerings.

Education Providers: Stay Out of the Penalty Box

If you are an approved provider, the Department issued you a "jersey number" also known as your approved provider ID number. However, do you know the rules that you should follow to stay in the game and out of the penalty box?

Since the department must maintain the standard of approving fit and trustworthy providers you may find yourself sidelined by not following the requirements of the Florida Insurance Code. Recently we've had to make some calls due to violations of our code. Below are some of the areas:

  • Late course offering submittal.
    • The deadline for course offering submittals is 30 days prior to the first day of the class or seminar and no more than one year in advance.
  • Advertising a course as approved or soliciting attendance for any course that has not yet been approved.
  • Instruction of a class by an unapproved instructor.
  • Failure to maintain course completion and attendance records for five years following the completion date of each course offering.
  • Falsification of any document, form, outline or information in connection with any course.
  • Late roster submittal.
    • The deadline for roster submittals is 20 days after the course completion date.

Are you playing by the rules?

These are only a few. For more details read the continuing education rule found in chapter 69B-228, F.A.C., and the pre-licensing rule found in chapter 69B-227, F.A.C.

You play a critical part in educating our licensees on the ethical and legal requirements of their licenses. Setting a good example of compliance will keep you in the game and out of the penalty box.

Any questions regarding this may be sent to Education@MyFloridaCFO.com.

Becoming an Approved Instructor

Qualified instructors are a critical component of the continuing education program for insurance representatives in the state of Florida. Classroom-based courses can only be taught by approved instructors. With nearly 20,000 total courses offered in a calendar year, that makes for a high demand of approved instructors.

To be an effective continuing education instructor you must possess a good balance of knowledge and experience in the subject matter, along with skills in instructing adult professionals. Additionally, you must prove to be fit and trustworthy to hold this position pursuant to the Florida Insurance Code.

For anyone who may have considered becoming an approved instructor, below are the nuts and bolts of the application process.

How to Apply:

Instructor applications must be submitted electronically on Form DFS-H2-398 via the Department's Education Database at https://dice.fldfs.com/public/pb_index.aspx. Instructors may apply independently or under an approved provider.

How to Qualify:

In order to qualify, an applicant must meet any two of the following six criteria:

  1. A minimum of five years of full-time working experience in the last ten years in the subject matter being taught.
  2. Completion of a 40-hour training course on instructing adults.
  3. A minimum of 40 hours of teaching experience in the last two years.
  4. A professional designation from a recognized insurance industry association in the line of business of the subject being taught.
  5. A degree from an accredited school in the subject matter being taught.
  6. Membership in the Florida Bar Association with a minimum of two years of insurance litigation.

The applicant must state which qualifications he/she meets on the application and provide a resume with details supporting their qualifications.

Tips on writing an effective resume for an instructor application:

  • Write your resume to speak to the requirements of the authority for which you are applying.
  • Include relevant employment history showing the start and end date, employer name and specific job duties demonstrating experience in the subject matter.
  • Include the name and issuing entity for any professional insurance designations you hold.
  • Include any college-level degrees you've earned and are relevant to the subject matter. In addition, include the name of the issuing school.
  • Provide a journal of your most recent 40 hours of teaching experience that includes: dates, location, subject, and total teaching time. Only group setting instruction qualifies.
  • Provide a proof of completion of a 40-hour training course on instructing adults.
  • Provide documentation of Florida Bar Association membership and two years of insurance litigation in the employment history.

A Few Reminders:

  • The instructor is not approved until a confirmation email is received from the Department.
  • Resumes for instructor applications should be submitted to Education@MyFloridaCFO.com.

Education Providers: Have you joined us for a conference call?

The Education Unit regularly holds a conference call available to all approved education providers every other month. This 30-minute call is usually conducted on the second Tuesday of odd numbered months and includes 10 minutes of Q&A from the providers.

We have received numerous positive comments regarding the call. Some of the benefits of participating in a conference call are:

  • Clarification of the Florida Administrative Code pertaining to education requirements.
  • First-hand information on upcoming changes.
  • Opportunity to ask live questions to the Department's Education staff.
  • Hear what other providers are asking relating to education requirements.
  • Tips for quicker processing of applications for education providers.

Our next conference call, scheduled for Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 2:00pm EST, marks the beginning of our third year of holding them. Our topics of discussion will include: updates on crediting completed 5-hour Law and Ethics update courses to CE records; approval and crediting of specific courses including Senior Suitability, Premium Discount and Wind Mitigation, Ethics, and Adjuster Law and Policy; exam content outline changes; revised study manuals; and other topics of interest.

Recorded copies or prior conference calls along with Q&A may be found on our website under the Providers of CE & Pre-licensing section.

We hope to have you join us in the future. Education providers may find more information about the conference call by logging in to your MyProfile account and viewing the notifications in your In-box.