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Volume 6, No. 8 - August 2017

In The Know

- Keeping you informed is what it's all about

Sale of an Insurance 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, neither your agency's license or appointments are 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. [See s.626.441, F.S.]

The new owner(s) of the agency will need to apply for an agency license and designate a full-time agent in charge. Application, qualifications and instructions can be viewed on our agency information licensing page on our website. Florida Statutes s. 626.0428(4) provides detailed information about the designation, duties and responsibilities of the agent in charge.

Visit our website for more information about Closing an Insurance Agency.

FinCENFinCEN Targets Shell Companies in Recent Advisory

FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) recently published an Advisory to provide financial institutions and the real estate industry with information on the money laundering risks associated with real estate transactions, including those involving luxury property purchased through shell companies, particularly when conducted without traditional financing.

Click here to read the Advisory>>

FSLSO Adds Diligent Effort/Disclosure Matrix to Manual

The Florida Surplus Line Service Office (FSLSO) announced it has added a DiligentEffort/Disclosure Matrix to the revised Agent Procedures Manual. The new matrix is located in the Compliance Guidelines section of the manual and FSLSOcontains a detailed listing of all residential and non-residential coverages with the corresponding required form. FSLSO has also released a new Diligent Effort form which allows for electronic declinations.

billsAccepting 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(14), F.S.]

Public Adjusters: Hurricane Season Continues...Reminder

Hurricane Season is nearing its mid-point - make certain you are prepared if a storm approaches. This is a short checklist to ensure your license is in good standing sa hurricane

  • Is your license active?
  • Are you self-appointed or appointed by an adjusting firm?
  • Do you have the required $50,000 surety bond?
  • Are you compliant with your continuing education requirements?
  • Has a primary adjuster been designated for your firm?
  • Is all contact information up-to-date? You can update it at MyProfile.
  • Are any apprentices licensed and appointed?
  • Do you have your Department issued license with you?

Bail Bond Agents: Reminder about Referring Attorneys

The Florida Statutes prohibit a bail bond agent from suggesting or advising the employment of any particular attorney to represent his/her principal (defendant).

The Department strictly enforces this statute and does not allow any bail bond agent to refer any defendant to a particular attorney or attorneys. Bail bond agents found to be referring defendants to use the services of one or more attorneys may find they are the subject of an investigation into their business activities as a licensee.

To be clear, the bail bond agent's act of suggesting more than one attorney does not remove it from being "any particular attorney". All attorneys are "particular" attorneys if they are chosen by the agent to suggest to a client. This includes bail bond agents:

  • Making business cards available for one or more attorneys;
  • Providing a list of attorneys recommended by the bail bond agent; and/or
  • Distributing marketing materials for one or more attorneys.

It does not include a bail bond agent who provides the defendant with an unaltered copy of the local telephone directory, or a listing by the Florida Bar of the attorneys in a particular area or field of expertise. It also does not prevent a bail bond agent from providing a defendant with the contact information for a lawyer referral service, as long as that service is not associated with the bail bond agent or bail bond agency.

[See 648.44(1)(a), Florida Statutes]

online sunshineThe 2017 Florida Statutes Are Available Online

The Florida Statutes can be viewed at Online Sunshine - Title XXXVII Insurance.