Volume 4, No. 7 - July 2015

Compliance Corner

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.

Reminder When Selling or Leaving Ownership of an Insurance Agency

If an insurance agency that holds a license is sold, the license should be cancelled by the current owner and the new owner must apply for a new insurance agency license. Additionally, any insurance agency that is licensed under a social security number should request termination of the agency license if the owner of the social security number sells or leaves the insurance agency. The party assuming ownership of the agency should then apply for a new agency license. Cancellation or termination of the agency license can be requested on the Cancellation Notice for Insurance Agency Licensure (DFS-H2-1997) form.

Adjusting Firms: Designate a Primary Adjuster

The primary adjuster law states that each person operating an adjusting firm and each location of a multiple location adjusting firm must designate a primary adjuster for each such firm or location. The statute also defines a primary adjuster as the licensed adjuster who is responsible for the hiring and supervision of all individuals within an adjusting firm location who deal with the public and who acts in the capacity of a public adjuster as defined in sec. 626.854, F.S. or an independent adjuster as defined in sec. 626.855, F.S. An adjuster may be designated as a primary adjuster for only one adjusting firm location.

Primary adjusters must be designated by submitting a properly completed form DFS-H2-6364 to the Department. There is no cost to designate a primary adjuster but it could cost you disciplinary action including a fine for failing to do so.

[See Section 626.8695, Florida Statutes]

Reporting and Accounting for Funds

All premiums, return premiums, or other funds belonging to insurers or others received by an agent, insurance agency, customer representative, or adjuster in transactions under the license are trust funds received by the licensee in a fiduciary capacity.

Every licensee shall preserve books, accounts, and records pertaining to a premium payment for at least five (5) years after payment; provided, however, the preservation of records by electronic complies with this requirement. All other records shall be maintained in accordance with sec. 626.748, F.S.. The five year requirement shall not apply to insurance binders when no policy is ultimately issued and no premium is collected.

Any agent, insurance agency, customer representative, or adjuster who, not being lawfully entitled thereto, either temporarily or permanently diverts or misappropriates such funds or any portion thereof or deprives the other person of a benefit therefrom commits a criminal offense and may additionally be subject to administrative action. Bail bond agents are required to maintain records for at least three years.

Licensees are required to maintain records, or have records made readily accessible by electronic or photographic means for inspection by the department. Failure to provide access to the department can result in disciplinary action, up to a six month suspension.

[see Sections 626.561, 648.295, and 648.36, Florida Statutes]

Compliance Information

Department licensees and consumers can access compliance information at the Division's web page Compliance Information. Additional information is available by type of license at our Frequently Asked Questions web page.