- Keeping you informed is what it's all about
A licensee may not transact insurance or adjust claims until he or she is appointed by an insurer, adjusting firm, general lines agent or the licensee (in the case of a self-appointed licensee), in accordance with the class(es) of licensure held. For instance, if an individual is licensed in the classes of life, including variable annuity and health, and wishes to market all three types of products, he or she must be appointed by either an insurance company authorized under its Certificate of Authority to transact all three of these lines of business or by separate companies for each line. For example, if Company ABC appoints an agent to sell only life insurance, then the agent will still be required to obtain an additional appointment(s) with an appropriate company for each of the variable annuity and health portions of his or her license, if the agent intends to market these products.
The time to be sure your license is in compliance is now - not when a storm is heading our way! This is a short checklist to ensure your license is in good standing:
The Department's right to conduct investigations and attain access to the accounts, records, documents, and transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs of any licensee is addressed in s.624.317, F.S.
Every person being investigated, and its officers, attorneys, employees,
agents, and representatives, shall make freely available to the Department or
Office or its examiners or investigators the accounts, records, documents,
files, information, assets, and matters in their possession or control. If
records relating to the insurance transactions are maintained by an agent on
premises owned or operated by a third party, the agent and the third party must
provide the Department with access to the records. [s.624.318, F.S.]
Any individual who willfully obstructs or denies the Department or investigator access to business records is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished as provided in s.624.15, F.S.
The Department and its investigators make every attempt to secure access to licensee business records in an amicable manner, however, should a licensee refuse to provide access, the Department will obtain a subpoena which is enforceable in circuit court. Refusing to honor a court order can result in contempt of court and other charges being filed against the licensee.
Unlicensed personnel have limited discretion as to how they can support the operations of an insurance agency. Permitted and prohibited activities are described in Rule Chapter 69B-222, F.A.C. Incidental activities and compensation are two of the most important points to remember when employing unlicensed personnel. Incidental activities as described in the rules cannot exceed 10% of an employee's overall activities and compensation cannot be made based on the individual production of the unlicensed person. The following actions are never allowable by unlicensed personnel:
Transacting insurance without the appropriate license and appointment, regardless of the line of business, is a third-degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, F.S.
Department investigative records are considered privileged and confidential and are exempt from Florida's Public Records Law unless the Department or Office files a formal administrative complaint, emergency order, or consent order against the individual or entity. [s.626.601(6), F.S.]
The Florida Statutes can be viewed at Online Sunshine - Title XXXVII Insurance.