Volume 5, No 1. - January 2016

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 The laws noted in our publications are/were in effect at the time of publication but may have been repealed, amended or replaced and new laws may have been enacted subsequently.

Top10Compliance Topic of the Month:
Top 10 Violations Investigated in 2015

The 10 most frequently investigated allegations include "active" violations and exclude a few "technical" or minor violations to illustrate the frequency of violations with significant regulatory implications:

  • Licensing Violation
    • Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud in obtaining a license or appointment.
    • Soliciting or transacting insurance business without the proper license or appointment.
    • Operating an insurance agency without a license.
    • Failure to appoint an agency Agent in Charge.
    • Any cause for which issuance of the license could have been refused had it then existed and been known to the Department.
    • If a life agent, violation of the code of ethics.
    • Cheating on an examination required for licensure or violating testing procedure
    • Failure to comply with any civil, criminal, or administrative action taken by the child support enforcement program under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 651.
  • Fraudulent and Deceptive Practices
  • Agency License Cancelled - no designated Agent in Charge (AIC)
  • Criminal Proceedings
  • Unlicensed Activity
  • Misappropriation/Diversion of Fiduciary Funds
  • Failure to Report Administrative Action
  • Aiding & Abetting an Unlicensed Individual/Entity
  • Inadequate Knowledge and Technical Competence
  • Misrepresentation

Unlawful Inducements Related to Title Insurance Transactions
Rule 69B-186.010, F.A.C. - Effective February 9, 2016

The Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Agent & Agency Services, hereby provides Notice of Final Adoption of Rule 69B-186.010, Florida Administrative Code, titled Unlawful Inducements Related to Title Insurance Transactions. The final rule version will become effective on February 9, 2016.

You may access the full text of the rule via the following link:
https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleNo.asp?id=69B-186.010

The Department will email licensed title insurance agents and agencies guidance and answers to frequently asked questions on the rule prior to February 9, 2016, in addition to posting the guidance and FAQs on our website, to provide additional information before the rule becomes effective.

Change of address and notification to appointing insurers when changing agencies

Licensees who change agency employers should not only change their address information, but should also notify any insurers or others they are appointed by. We also recommend licensees change their MyProfile password when changing employers, especially if the former agency-employer had access to the account.

Title Agencies: 2016 Administrative Surcharge is Due Now

Subsection 624.501(27)(e)2, F.S., 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 January 30th deadline for payment of the 2016 administrative surcharge is fast approaching.

NOTE: This surcharge is not related to the one imposed on each new policy written due to the receiverships of National Title Insurance Company and K.E.L. Title Insurance Group, Inc.

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.

Surcharge Sample.jpg

Occasionally we discover agencies that were not aware of the reminder because of the retirement or termination of the employee assigned to monitor the email address provided to the Department. Failure to open the email sent by the Department containing the administrative surcharge reminder does not release an agency from the January 30 deadline. Please verify your information soon so this does not happen to you. If you need our assistance, you may contact us at Title@MyFloridaCFO.com. We can assist you through the steps to update your information. Be proactive; do not procrastinate.

Failure to pay the surcharge on or before January 30, 2016 could result in administrative action which could include a fine or a suspension of the agency’s license, in addition to the original surcharge. Payment must be made securely online via the title agency's MyProfile account. Paper checks are not accepted.

Note: To make sure you receive email notices from us, add email addresses Title@dfs.state.fl.us and Title@MyFloridaCFO.com to your email account's "Safe Senders" or other list.

Title Agency Data Call 2016

2016 marks the second year title insurance agencies are required to submit information to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) under the data call required by section 627.782(8), Florida Statutes. Title agencies have until June 1, 2016 to make their submission to the OIR. The OIR will send an email to each licensed title agency in Florida to remind them of the new law with instructions on how to complete the process accurately.

The Title Agency Data Call is performed by the title agency by first downloading the template from the OIR website to complete offline. To do this, the agency will need to create an account and subscribe to your agency in the Data Collection and Analysis Modules (DCAM) used by the OIR, which is located at https://apps.fldfs.com/DCAM/Logon.aspx.
(The user's guide for DCAM is located at: https://apps.fldfs.com/DCAM/Help/DCAMUserGuide.pdf)

Once the agency's data template form is completed and the agency is ready to certify it is accurate, the agency must upload the form to the OIR before the deadline, June 1, 2016.

The data template has seven tabs or worksheets:

  1. Version: includes the OIR contact information and reporting date reminder
  2. Instructions: data template must be downloaded from DCAM for the purpose of reporting information
  3. Report_Lines: Two columns extend down a series of questions and required responses (enter either text or numeric in the two columns, as shown)
  4. Schedule A: Additional agency information
  5. Schedule B: Agent activities
  6. Schedule C (Residential): Title agent statistical information submission for 1-4 residential units
  7. Schedule C (Commercial): Title agent statistical information submission for commercial units

Each agency's submission must contain a Filing Certification signed by an agency officer (electronic signature accepted), stating the information provided is accurate to the best of their knowledge and belief. A sample copy is available on the OIR's website at: www.floir.com/siteDocuments/CertificationOfTitleDataSubmissionExample.pdf

The agency may include a cover letter, but this is an optional component for the filing.

Each agency is encouraged to include any additional or optional information that is deemed important to the overall submission. These optional items may be uploaded as PDF documents under the "Other Information/Documents" component.

It is important to know that the 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 make a submission but do not receive the confirmation email, please let OIR know.

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's web page Compliance Information. Additional information is available by type of license at our Frequently Asked Questions web page.