Volume 4, No. 8 - August 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. 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 The laws noted in our publications are/were in effect at the time of publication but may have been repealed, amended or replaced and new laws may have been enacted subsequently.

Reimbursement for Credit Card Fees - Agents Only

If a credit card company charges a fee for payments of policies/premiums, then in accordance with s.626.9541(1)(o)2., F.S., a licensed agent or agency may charge the exact amount of the fee charged by a credit card facility in connection with the use of a credit card in addition to the premium required by the insurer.

A licensed agent can collect or transmit premiums through the arrangement or facilities of a credit card facility or organization, for the purpose of insuring credit card holders or prospective credit card holders IF:

  • The insurance or policy which is the subject of the transaction is noncancelable by any person other than the named insured, the policyholder, or the insurer;
  • Any refund of unearned premium is made to the credit card holder by mail or electronic transfer; and
  • The credit card transaction is authorized by the signature of the credit card holder or other person authorized to sign on the credit card account .[ s.626.9541(1)(q), F.S.]

Reimbursement for Credit Card Fees - Bail Bond Agents

It remains unlawful for a bail bond agent or agency to seek reimbursement for credit card fees charged for the use of a credit card to pay bail bond premiums [s.648.33(2), F.S., 69B-221.105 and 69B-221.145(4)(a), F.A.C.] Reimbursement for credit card fees is allowed up to the exact amount charged to the cardholder for sums charged to a credit card for securing a bail bond using a credit card. [s.648.571(3)(b), F.S.]

Title Insurance Agency Supervision

Changes that became effective January 1, 2015 under s.626.0428, F.S. regarding agency supervision also apply to title insurance agencies. The law requires that each place of business established by an agency must be in the active full-time charge of a licensed agent.

The licensed agent in charge of one agency may also be the agent in charge of additional branch office locations provided no title insurance activities are transacted at the branch location unless a licensed title insurance agent is physically present and unlicensed employees do not engage in activities that require a title agent's license.

If one agent is designated agent in charge of multiple locations, that agent will be accountable for misconduct or violations committed by the licensee (agency), title agents, or any person under his supervision while acting on behalf of the agency.

Insurance Agency Names

Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the Department has seen an increase in applications for agencies with names that are potentially misleading to the public. Florida law prevents you from naming your agency anything that would be misleading or deceptive in any way. Names chosen should not imply that the agency is an insurance company, governmental agency, or any other national or state organization. We will not allow any agency to use a name that does not meet this criteria. [s.626.602, F.S.]

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.