Insurance Insights header
Volume 2, No. 8 - November 2013

In The Know

- Keeping you informed is what it's all about

US Rep. Ross Files Bill To Help Property Owners Finance Mitigation Efforts

Florida's U.S. House of Representatives member Dennis Ross introduced a bill (H.R. 3298) establishing Disaster Savings Accounts (DSA) which can be used by eligible individuals to finance structural mitigation efforts. If passed by Congress and enacted in to law the legislation will be known as the Disaster Savings Accounts Act of 2013.

The bill creates a new section within the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 detailing DSAs and the permitted use of tax-deferred dollars to permit eligible individuals to deduct from gross income, annual amounts up to $5,000 that have been set aside in a tax-deferred account for use toward disaster mitigation expenses. An eligible individual is one who owns property, upon which a structure sits, that is also insured by a policy traditionally required by a mortgage-holding lender.

The bill also allows a DSA to be established under the management of a "Trustee," which can be a bank, insurance company or other entity that can demonstrate proper management and distribution of funds as detailed by the act. It further lists qualified mitigation expenses allowed for distribution of funds from a DSA, including an activity further specified by federal regulation as appropriate in mitigating risks of future hazards (including earthquake, flood, hail, hurricane, lightening, power outage, tornado and wildfire) and any other natural disaster. The legislation further establishes that any amount contributed over $5,000 shall be included in the gross income of the account holder for tax-filing purposes; exempts remaining DSA funds that rollover into the following year and includes a 20% penalty tax on funds withdrawn from a DSA and used for purposes other than disaster mitigation expenses.

Finally, the bill allows a Cost-Of-Living adjustment to the $5,000 annual cap on pre-tax DSA contributions. The bill has already been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Click here to read the bill text >>

Agent/Broker Federally-facilitated Marketplace Training Available

Agent/broker training for the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) is available with the federal government. All training occurs online.

To start taking the training now, please visit http://Marketplace.MedicareLearningNetworkLMS.com

Agents/brokers who wish to serve in the individual market can complete Part II of agent/broker registration process for the FFM and complete their identity proofing on the CMS Enterprise Portal: https://portal.cms.gov/.

Please note:

The 2014 Annual Title Administrative Surcharge is Coming Up

Subsection 624.501(27)(e)2, Florida Statutes, requires any title insurance agency licensed in Florida on January 1 of each year to remit an administrative surcharge of $200 to the Florida Department of Financial Services. Therefore, we are reminding all title agencies that the 2014 administrative surcharge due date will soon be approaching. Any title insurance agency licensed in Florida on January 1, 2014, will be emailed a reminder a few days afterward to the agency's email address on file with the Department. To ensure you receive the invoice and avoid failing to pay by the January 30 due date, please log in to the MyProfile account for your title agency and make sure the correct email address is on file. While doing so, we also recommend you do the same for your individual MyProfile account. Failure to pay the surcharge on or before January 30 will result in administrative action and/or a fine, in addition to the original surcharge. Payment can be made securely online via the title agency's MyProfile account and paper checks are not accepted.

Still Haven't Created Your MyProfile Account? It's Quick and Easy!

The Department communicates with its licensees, appointing entities, and education providers via email and their secure MyProfile account on our website. We continue to receive inquiries from some of our customers that they cannot access their MyProfile account. Typically, they received an email from the Department to go check their MyProfile account for details about their license, appointment, or continuing education requirement and can't log in when they try. They try different usernames and passwords but nothing works. It seems like the system is broken and not letting them in. The real problem: they never created an account.

You must create your MyProfile account(s) with a username and password before you can access your account. At the same time, you will also set up some security questions and answers so you can easily retrieve your username or password in the event you forget either in the future. You will also verify your contact information on file. We strongly encourage you to use your actual email address as that is how we will notify you of any important information to go check in your MyProfile account. After the new MyProfile account information has been entered, the system automatically transfers your information on file into your new account.

An interactive tutorial to assist you with creating an account and retrieving a forgotten username or password is located at http://www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents/Licensure/myProfileHelp/MyProfile.htm.