Insurance Insights header
Volume 4, No. 12 - December 2015

Education Central

- Things to know about your continuing education

Five-Hour Law & Ethics Update vs. Electives

Have you ever taken a course and thought you have now completed your CE hours to be compliant with the current cycle only to find out the CE hours you earned were credited towards your elective hours and now you still need a 5 Hour Law & Ethics Course?

Many of us have! The best way to make sure you are compliant is to check your MyProfile account to determine your individual continuing education compliance requirements and status.

Below is an example of what could happen when you take an elective course that you may have thought was a 5 hour Update course and you thought it would fulfill your CE requirements.

CE Dec 2015

What is an elective?

You are invited to a dinner party.  In front of you, the table is arrayed with a wide variety of food.  Your eyes are immediately drawn to the center of the table.  There, the main entrée, a golden brown turkey, is sitting.  It appears to be glistening.  To the left, there are two salad choices, collard greens, green beans, corn and fruit, all fresh and inviting.  To the right, the savory delights, sweet potato casserole with golden brown marshmallows oozing over the top, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, potato salad, fresh baked rolls and corn bread.  Every side dish you can imagine is in front of you!  Your mouth begins to water just thinking of the wide variety of choices available for you to make the perfect meal.

Similar to the dinner party, compliance cycles ending October 31, 2014 and later rolled out new continuing education requirements for Florida licensees.  The main entrée being served in the new compliance cycle is the 5 hour Law and Ethics course.  Florida licensees are required to complete a 5-hour Law and Ethics course applicable to their license type.  Please note title insurance agents are not included in the 5-hour course requirement and therefore must complete courses that are approved in the line of title insurance.

 What about all of those sides?  The sides that you choose to fill your plate are the elective credits in the new compliance cycle.  An elective course is any approved continuing education course.  Public adjusters are required to complete elective courses designed specifically with them in mind.  For all other licensee types, the elective courses can be chosen from any topic that interests you, the licensee. 

The Department’s new guidelines allow you to learn more about topics that interest you.  Some examples of subjects that you can learn more about include risk management, disaster preparedness, ethics, policy contracts, current case law and much more! 

Our online course search can easily help you search for continuing education courses approved by the Department.  To use the online search:

  1. Go to our website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents.
  2. Click on MyProfile on the left panel and log in to your account.
  3. Once in your MyProfile inbox, click on Locate at the top left. Then click on Future Course Offerings.
  4. Select the Course Authority for the type of license held or course you need to take.  (This will pull up all the approved courses, even for different course authorities that you can take as an elective under your Course Authority.)
  5. You can also make other choices, like Study Method and Location, to narrow your search results.
  6. If you click on Perform an Advanced Search, you will have additional options to narrow your search results, such as Course Date and Course Level.

We wish you well on your ever expanding pursuit of continuing education and look forward to continually providing you with your perfect plate.

Continuing Education Crossword Puzzle

           
Puzzle Education Image

Across

2. ________Lines License Type Number 20-44

7. Florida Insurance Code requires that a licensee maintain at least one

8. ________License Type Number 02-16 & 02-14

9. How many years to complete each CE requirement cycle

Down

1. The same CE course twice in a three-year period and not received credit

3. How many CE Exemption states are on the State of Florida All-lines  

   Adjuster reciprocity list

4. View your ________for status of previous compliance cycles

5. If you have not held an appointment for 48 consecutive months your license  

   will automatically_________

6. ________Lines License Type Number 02-20

(Answer key at bottom of the page)

“Raise Your Hand if You’re Sure”

Like the old deodorant commercials, many licensees are not able to raise their hands with confidence when it comes to CE compliance. Here are some things everyone should know about Continuing Education compliance:

In accordance with Florida Statutes: insurance agent and adjuster licenses are perpetual (no renewal required), provided that the licensee is properly appointed. Failure to complete Continuing Education requirements may result in termination of all appointments held, which could lead to termination of the license.

Licenses will expire if more than 48 months elapse without an appointment.  You must re-qualify as a first-time applicant. Do you really want to start over?

What about the Signed Settlement Stipulation for Consent Order? Do you really want to pay a $250.00 fine or lose your appointments if you don’t?

 Be advised that no person may act as, advertise or hold himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is currently licensed by the Department and appointed by an appropriate appointing entity or person. Yes, this means no work until you have completed all deficient CE requirements to date and obtain an appropriate appointment.

You see, there are many factors to consider when Continuing Education is not completed on time. You can always set a reminder on your calendar so that you won’t end up in one of these situations. Take the right steps necessary so that you can raise your hand in confidence when it comes to CE compliance.

Please be advised that you can also check your compliance and CE status by logging in your “MyProfile” account at https://dice.fldfs.com/public/pb_index.aspx and clicking on the blue “Click to check CE Status” button. This will open a new window that shows your current compliance period and hours needed.

Click the ‘expand all’ link and the plus (+) symbol next to each category to get detailed information on each topic of authority and courses taken. If you click on of the “What is this” link, you will be directed to http://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/agents/Licensure/Education/CEReq.htm. Here, you will be able to search for “Approved” CE courses.

                                       We want you to be successful!  Not out of compliance!

Are You Compliant with Your CE or Not?

To be CE compliant requires more than just taking CE courses. Below are a few suggestions for remaining CE compliant:

  • CE requirements change. You should regularly review your CE status through your MyProfile account. Your total hours have specific allocation requirements that must be met. Be sure to take all the right categories of CE courses.
  • Check for late hours. Hours taken after your due date will still post on your compliance evaluation screen, but they will be noted as "Late". Though your hours requirement may have been met, late completion of your continuing education requirement will result in penalties.
  • Check prior evaluation periods. Always check previous compliance periods to make sure you are not delinquent for a prior period. Be sure to click on VIEW ENFORCEMENT NOTICE just below the Not Compliant text to check for any outstanding fines.
  • Check your transcript. The same course cannot be taken with the same provider within a three-year period and receive credit. This is noted on your transcript as a duplicate course. You will need to take a different course to meet your CE requirement.

We wish you success in completing your hours to remain knowledgeable in an ever-changing insurance market. And remember, your CE compliance date is your DUE date, not your DO date.

Because many factors may affect your continuing education requirement (e.g. licenses held, number of years licensed, etc.), we encourage you to periodically check your MyProfile account to determine your individual continuing education compliance requirements and status. You will also be able to find more approved CE courses after logging in to your MyProfile account versus the public search option, which limits the results to the first 100 course offerings.

Crossword Puzzle Answer Key: Across: 2-personal, 7-appointment, 8-life, 9-two; Down: 1-duplicate, 3-17, 4-transcript, 5-expire, 6-general.