Insurance Insights header
Volume 1, No. 3 - August 2012

Compliance Corner

We continue to see a pattern of noncompliance in the areas noted below. 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.

Criminal History Reporting Requirements to the Department

Applicants are required to report on their application for a license all prior criminal history. In addition, once licensed they are required to report to the Department within 30 days of being found guilty or pleading guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to any felony, or other crime punishable by one or more years in prison (even if a misdemeanor), or any violation of the state insurance laws, regardless of adjudication by the court. It is still required even if civil rights have been restored or an appeal is pending.

Appointing entities are also required by law to advise the Department within 15 days after they or their general agent, officer, or other official becomes aware that an appointee has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to or has been found guilty of a felony after being appointed. If the appointee is a bail bond agent, the appointing entity is required to report it within 5 days.

[See 626.451 and 648.382, Florida Statutes]

Public Adjusters: Tropical Storm Isaac Claims

On Saturday, August 25, 2012, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 12-199, declaring a state of emergency throughout Florida. A copy of the executive order can be found here: Emergency Order - Tropical Storm Isaac.

The Division of Agent and Agency Services' Bureau of Investigation reminds public adjuster licensees of the following important laws related to adjusting claims during a state of emergency declared by the Governor:

  • Section 626.854, Florida Statutes, provides specific direction regarding fees and the insured's right of cancelation of a public adjusting contract.
    • Subsection (7) provides that during any state of emergency as declared by the Governor and for 1 year after the date of loss, the insured or claimant has 5 business days after the date on which the contract is executed to cancel a contract for public adjusting services.

    • Subsection (11)(b)1 states that a public adjuster may not charge, agree to, or accept any compensation, payment, commission, fee, or other thing of value in excess of ten percent of the amount of insurance claim payments made by the insurer for claims based on events that are the subject of a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor. This provision applies to claims made during the year after the declaration of emergency.

  • Section 626.8796, Florida Statutes, provides additional information regarding public adjusting contracts:
    • Subsection (2) states in part: "An unaltered copy of the executed contract must be remitted to the insurer within 30 days after execution."
      Note: The requirement to provide the insurer with an unaltered copy of the contract is also a requirement for non-emergency claims.

Please govern yourself accordingly.