Volume 5, No. 12 - December 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 The laws noted in our publications are/were in effect at the time of publication but may have been repealed, amended or replaced and new laws may have been enacted subsequently.

Compliance Topic of the Month ~ Surplus Lines Agent Procedures

If you are an agent conducting surplus lines business in Florida, the FSLSO (Florida Surplus Lines Service Office) has all of your compliance information in one convenient location: the Agent Procedures Manual.

The manual serves as your go-to reference guide. It is located on the FSLSO website, and is optimized for both your tablet and cell phone. You can also download it and keep a copy at your desk. Visit the FSLSO website and check it out now or click here to see a video for a quick preview.

Receivership Title Insurance Surcharge

The $3.28 surcharge imposed on each title insurance policy issued in Florida has been used to offset the claims or other losses of the title insurance companies currently in receivership. This surcharge was added to the title insurance premium of each policy and remitted to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Rehabilitation & Liquidation by each title insurer writing business in Florida.

The Office of Insurance Regulation and the Division of Rehabilitation & Liquidation have determined this surcharge is no longer needed. The surcharge is not to be collected as of January 1, 2017. Any monies collected for this surcharge after that date must be refunded directly to the party paying the premium and surcharge for the title insurance policy.

If the claims or other losses of the title insurance companies held in receivership should increase and exceed the funds available, then a new surcharge could be calculated and reinstituted at that time. We will keep you posted of any updates in the future.

Accepting Referral Fees from Property Inspectors or Inspection Companies is Prohibited

An insurance agent, insurance agency, customer representative, or insurance agency employee is prohibited from directly or indirectly accepting any compensation, inducement, or reward from an inspector for the referral of the owner of the inspected property to the inspector or inspection company. This prohibition applies to an inspection intended for submission to an insurer in order to obtain property insurance coverage or establish the applicable property insurance premium. [See s.626.621(15), F.S.]

Sale of a Licensed Agency

If you sell your insurance agency you can arrange for the business name, assets, liabilities, building and equipment to transfer to the new owner as part of the sale. However, the agency license and any appointments associated with it are not transferable. A license or appointment issued under the Florida Insurance Code is valid only to the person or entity named and is not transferable to another person. Please see s.626.441, F.S.

Title Agencies: Update Your Info for the 2017 Administrative Surcharge

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 2017 administrative surcharge due date will soon be approaching.

Any title insurance agency licensed in Florida on January 1, 2017, will be emailed a reminder a few days afterward to the agency's email address on file with the Department. To ensure you receive the invoice and avoid failing to pay by the January 30 due date, 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.

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 to assist you through the steps to update your information. Be proactive; do not procrastinate.

Failure to pay the surcharge on or before January 30, 2017 will result in administrative action which could include a fine, 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: 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., which is ending December 31, 2016.

Title Agency Data Call 2017

2017 marks the third 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, 2017 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://apps8.fldfs.com/DCAM/Logon.aspx.
(The user's guide for DCAM is located at: https://apps8.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, 2017.

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 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.