Volume 4, No. 4 - April 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.

Unaffiliated Agents

Licensees that don't want or need to maintain an active appointment but want to keep their license active so they can legally provide insurance consultation should they wish to do so, can appoint themselves as an unaffiliated agent under section 626.015(18), F.S. The eligible resident and non-resident license types are life, health, variable contracts, general lines and personal lines. Unaffiliated licensees cannot be designated as agent in charge of an agency.

An unaffiliated insurance agent may not be affiliated with an insurer, insurer-appointed insurance agent, or insurance agency contracted with or employing insurer-appointed insurance agents. An agent cannot hold an unaffiliated license of one type and be appointed by an insurer for a different license type.

Eligible licensees can self-appoint at MyProfile.

Temporary Bail Bond Agent Employment Verification Reports - Temporary and Supervising Bail Bond Agents' Responsibility

The reports must be filed on DFS-H2-1543 and are the responsibility of the Temporary Bail Bond Agent, and as such, they are responsible for mailing the completed form to the Department on a monthly basis, as time is accrued. Mailing them in late or all at once is not acceptable. Temporary bail bond agents should keep a copy for their records. The Bureau of Licensing is not responsible for totaling the hours submitted to provide updates. If the temporary bail bond agent loses their records, they should be able to retrieve their monthly hours based upon their employer’s records, e.g., time sheets, pay stubs, etc.

The supervising bail bond agent shall certify monthly to the Department under oath, on a form prescribed by the Department, the names and hours worked each week for all temporary bail bond agents. Filing a false certification is grounds for the immediate suspension of the license and imposition of a $5,000 administrative fine. The Department may adopt rules that establish standards for the employment requirements. See section 648.355(1)(e), F.S.

New Agency Location Certificates

If your agency has added additional locations with the Department under an agency license, those locations are required to display a new certificate. This is required even if the "location" was previously licensed as a branch under the same licensed agency. New certificates can be printed through the agency's MyProfile account.

Title Administrative Surcharge - 2015 results

The 2015 Title Administrative Surcharge payment period has come and gone. As required by Florida Statutes, in January of each year all title insurance agencies licensed to do business in Florida must pay a $200 administrative surcharge. Failure to pay the surcharge on time results in a late fee that is a minimum of $500 and may lead to revocation of the agency's license.

In an effort to help our licensees avoid this late fee, the team went above and beyond to make contact with each and every one of the 1,947 title insurance agencies licensed by the Department. At times, this required exhaustive searches in order to find correct contact information for the agency.

This year our team, comprised of staff in the Tallahassee and Pensacola offices, set a new record for the number of title agencies brought into compliance during the payment period. More than 1,800 title agencies paid the surcharge on time. We also accepted the surrender of an additional 131 licenses from agencies that ceased doing business during 2014. Only three agencies failed to pay the surcharge. Those investigations are currently in our legal Department pending final administrative action.

The investigators would like to thank all of the title agencies for signing in to their agency's MyProfile account and paying the surcharge. As a reminder please mark your calendar - the title administrative surcharge is due by January 30th every year. All title insurance agencies are notified by email that the invoice is in their MyProfile account. In order to ensure you receive this notification, be sure your agency's email address is always kept up to date.