Volume 6, No. 6 - June 2017

Compliance Corner

This section has been created to assist you in keeping your insurance business in compliance. The items are intended as reminders only. Note: Division publications may include references to the Florida Statutes and/or the Florida Administrative Code. The laws noted in our publications are/were in effect at the time of publication but may have been repealed, amended or replaced and new laws may have been enacted subsequently.

Compliance Topic of the Month:
Agent in Charge - Requirements, Changes and Responsibilities

Each person operating an insurance agency and each location of a multiple location agency must designate a licensed and appointed agent in charge for each location.

An agent in charge (AIC) is defined as the licensed and appointed agent responsible for the supervision of all individuals within an insurance agency.

Requirements

Each business location established by an agent or insurance agency must be in the active full-time charge of a licensed and appointed agent holding the required licenses for the lines of insurance transacted at the location. The AIC of an insurance agency may be the AIC of additional branch locations if: (1) insurance activities requiring licensure as an insurance agent do not occur at the location(s) when either the AIC or an appropriately licensed and appointed agent is not physically present and (2) unlicensed employees at the location(s) do not engage in insurance activities that require licensure as an insurance agent or customer representative.

Each insurance agency and branch office is required to designate an AIC and to file the agent’s name, license number, and physical address of the insurance agency location at the DFS website. Adding and removing an AIC can be done by going to www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents and logging in to the agency's account in MyProfile.

Changes

A change of the designated AIC must be reported to DFS within 30 days, and becomes effective upon notification to DFS. An insurance agency location is precluded from conducting the business of insurance unless an AIC is designated by, and providing services to, the agency at all times. When the agent in charge ends her/his affiliation with the agency, the agency must designate another AIC within 30 days. If the agency fails to make such designation within 90 days after the designated agent has ended their affiliation with the agency, the agency license will automatically expire.

Responsibilities

The AIC of an insurance agency is accountable for misconduct or violations committed by the licensee or agent or by any person under her or his supervision acting on behalf of the agency. However, the AIC is not criminally liable for the misconduct unless she or he personally committed the act or knew or should have known of the acts and of the facts that constitute the violation.

For complete information on the duties and responsibilities of the AIC, see s.626.0428, F.S.

Title Agency Data Call 2017

2017 marks the third year title insurance agencies are required under s.626.8437(11), F.S. to submit information to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) under the data call required by s.627.782(8), Florida Statutes. Title agencies had until June 1, 2017, to make their submission to the OIR. The OIR sent emails to each licensed title agency in Florida to remind them of the law with instructions to complete the process accurately.

Agencies that failed to comply with the 2016 data call in a timely fashion received a settlement stipulation imposing an administrative penalty of $2,500 for the first incident of non-compliance. Agencies that were repeat offenders had harsher penalties imposed, including suspension of the agency’s license.

Based on the preliminary information received from the OIR, 521 licensed agencies have failed to submit their information for 2017. Agencies that did not comply with this requirement by the June 1, 2017 deadline are being reviewed for possible disciplinary action against their license.

Each year, many agencies can avoid unintentional non-compliance by making sure the data was submitted to the OIR. An agency's submission is not considered to be complete until the agency receives an email receipt showing the agency's file log number. If you submitted your information, but did not received a confirmation email, you should contact the OIR immediately.

If you have any questions regarding this filing process, please contact the OIR's Market Data Collections Unit at 850-413-3147 or via email: TitleAgencyReporting@floir.com.

Compliance Information

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

Note: Some information in archived articles may now be out-of-date or superseded by changes in Florida law. Please be sure you refer to the most current law.