Volume 3, No. 6 - June 2014

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.

License and Appointment Requirement

You must be licensed and appointed in Florida to work as an insurance agent, customer representative, adjuster, viatical broker, or bail bond agent. Soliciting or transacting insurance business or adjusting claims of any type without a current license and appointment for that line of insurance business is a violation of the Florida Insurance Code.

Any person acting as an insurance agent, customer representative, or adjuster without being appointed for that line of business may be found to have violated the Florida Statutes, which could result in a suspension of their license for three (3) months. In addition, anyone providing supplies or assisting a person who is not appointed to transact insurance or adjust claims could also have their license suspended for three (3) months.

Adjusters who solicit business or negotiate claims without an appointment are also subject to a suspension of their adjuster's license for three (3) months.

Persons acting in the capacity of a bail bond agent without an appointment is considered to be a felony of the third degree. Anyone working with a bail bond agent who is not appointed may also be found to have violated the Florida Statutes and it could also be a felony crime, too.

We continue to see a large number of customer representatives and public adjuster apprentices who are not appointed.

[See subsections 626.112(2)(3), 626.342(2), and 648.30(1), Florida Statutes]

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 s. 626.854, or an independent adjuster as defined in s. 626.855. 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]

Bail Bonds Agents at the Jail

As the weather gets nicer and the vacation season gets into full swing, we thought this would be a good time to remind everyone that a bail bond agent is prohibited from soliciting business on the grounds of the jail or any area where prisoners are confined. This includes temporary holding areas established by the local authorities to house people arrested at festivals, concerts or other events. Solicitation includes but is not limited to:

  • Distributing business cards of the licensee.
  • Handing out flyers advertising a bail bond agent, or a bail bond agency's services.
  • Posting flyers, handbills, posters, or other signs on the grounds of the jail, courthouse or temporary holding area.
  • Approaching people to use the services of a bail bond agent or bail bond agency.
  • Posting a bail bond at the jail without being asked to do so by the defendant, the defendant's family or friends.
  • Using inmates to ask others to use a particular bail bond agent or agency.

The Florida Statutes also prohibit a bail bond agent from doing business with anyone other than the defendant on the grounds of the jail or courthouse. This would include meeting with friends or family members of a defendant to complete the paperwork required to execute a bail bond at the jail.

Bail bond agents found to be in violation of these sections of the Florida Statutes may be suspended for three months for the first violation and 12 to 24 months for subsequent violations.

[See paragraph 648.44(1)(b), Florida Statutes]

New Website with Compliance Information

We recently launched a new section on our website dedicated to compliance information. The new section also provides consumers and licensees with an overview of the investigative process and many functions performed by our Bureau of Investigation. We encourage you to visit this new section to our website and come back often as we update and add more information to it. You can visit the new compliance site at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents/Compliance.