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Department Home | Agent and Agency Home | Insurance Insights Home

  Vol. 8, No. 4 - June 2019

Compliance Corner


Customer Representative's Authority and Limitations

Occasionally, general lines agents and the customer representatives they supervise blur the lines when transacting insurance under their licenses and find themselves the subject of Department discipline. We've put together a primer to clarify the duties a customer representative can lawfully perform followed by those activities that can only be performed by a licensed general lines agent:

Chapter 626, Part II General Lines Agents - please pay particular attention to section 626.7315, F.S. - Prohibition against the unlicensed transaction of general lines insurance. This section discusses activities that can be lawfully conducted only by a licensed and appointed general lines agent. Florida Statute sections 626.7352, 626.7353, and 626.7354 apply specifically to customer representatives.

Chapter 69B-213, Florida Administrative Code, provides additional guidance regarding customer representatives. Please review 69B-213.100, F.A.C. regarding"“Duty to Supervise" which clarifies what the Department requires of a general lines agent who is supervising customer representatives.

A customer representative can only solicit business within the office or by phone from the office [see subsection 626.7315(1), F.S.], and cannot "run the office" during the extended absence of a general lines agent. In the case of more than a brief absence of the supervising general lines agent, a new general lines agent must be appointed as the agent in charge to supervise the customer representative during an extended absence of the original supervising agent.

A customer representative can conduct activities under his/her license during an absence of the general lines agent, but the general lines agent must have daily, in-person contact with the customer representative. Should a complaint be filed with the Department regarding business conducted during the absence of the supervising general lines agent, the Department will review all facts prior to considering the appropriate enforcement action. You can review 69B-213.120, F.A.C., for more information.


Title Agency Data Call 2019

Notice from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

2019 Filing Deadline was May 31, 2019

Data call related specifically to Annual Reporting by Agencies of Title Insurance

Please Read All Instructions Below Carefully

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) is conducting its annual Title Agencies Data Call pursuant to Sections 624.307 and 627.782, F.S. and Sec. 69O-186.013, F.A.C.

Title Insurance Agencies licensed at some time during Calendar Year 2018 are required filers. There are no exceptions - even if your agency closed during 2018.

Your submission was due to the Office no later than 11:59PM ET on Friday, May 31, 2019.

The Office has developed a new system called the Insurance Regulation Filing System (IRFS) to replace the Data Collection and Analysis Modules (DCAM) for reporting data submissions.
Here is the link: https://irfs.fldfs.com/

A How To guide is also available at: https://www.floir.com/siteDocuments/SubmittingTitleFilingsIRFS.pdf

Further instructions are available on our website at: https://www.floir.com/Office/Reporting.aspx#Title

If you have questions regarding this filing process, please email the Office at: TitleAgencyDataCall@floir.com or contact the Market Data Collections Unit at 850-413-3147. If phone lines are busy you are encouraged to send your questions by email. Your email may request that a representative from Market Data Collections call you (remember to provide your number). Calls will be returned in the order your email messages are received.

Send email to: TitleAgencyReporting@floir.com.


State of Emergency Claims - Special Requirements Upon Governor's Declaration

For claims that are based on events that are the subject of a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor, and during the year after the declaration of emergency:

•A public adjuster may not charge, agree to, or accept from any source compensation, payment, commission, fee, or any other thing of value in excess of ten percent (10%) of the amount of insurance claim payments made by the insurer for claims for one year after the declaration of emergency is issued.

•The insured or claimant has 5 business days after the date on which the contract is executed to cancel a public adjuster’s contract. The work of adjusting insurance claims engages the public trust. An adjuster shall put the duty for fair and honest treatment of the claimant above the adjuster’s own interests in every instance.

The following are excerpts of the standards of conduct that define ethical behavior, and are included in the code of ethics:

•An adjuster shall not attempt to negotiate with or obtain any statement from a claimant or witness at a time that the claimant or witness is, or would reasonably be expected to be, in shock or serious mental or emotional distress as a result of physical, mental, or emotional trauma associated with a loss.

•An adjuster shall not directly or indirectly refer or steer any claimant needing repairs or other services in connection with a loss to any person with whom the adjuster has an undisclosed financial interest.

•A public adjuster shall not prevent, or attempt to dissuade or prevent, an insured or claimant from speaking privately with the insurer, company employee adjuster, independent adjuster, attorney, or any other person, regarding the settlement of the claim.

•A public adjuster shall not enter into a contract or accept a power of attorney which vests in the public adjuster the effective authority to choose the persons who shall perform repair work.

Please refer to Section 69B-220.201, Florida Administrative Code for the full Adjuster Code of Ethics.


Unlicensed Agency Personnel

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:

•Comparing insurance products; advising as to insurance needs or insurance matters; or interpreting policies or coverage.

•Binding new, additional or replacement coverage for new or existing customers; or binding coverage on or recording additional property under existing policies.

•Soliciting the sale of insurance by telephone, in person, or by other communication. However, the unlicensed person may telephone persons to set appointments for licensed and appointed agents, customer representatives, or to obtain basic policy information as to existing insurance coverage. The unlicensed person may not engage in a substantive discussion of insurance products.

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.


Compliance Informationcompliance globe

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.

 


Make Sure You Don't Miss Important Information From Us

We highly recommend licensees routinely check their MyProfile accounts for messages from the Department. We send an email notification when a message has been sent to remind you to check your MyProfile account, but on rare occasions you may not receive that email. For this reason, we suggest you add our domains dfs.state.fl.us and MyFloridaCFO.com to your email software's Trusted or Safe Senders List to ensure you are able to receive email notifications from us.

Licensees who have a valid email address on file with the Department, as required by law, are sent important email notifications when something affecting their application, license, continuing education, or appointment(s) occurs. Additionally, we will keep you informed with warnings regarding new schemes and scams being marketed to licensees.

You can update your contact information through your MyProfile account. We want to keep you informed in a timely manner of pertinent information. You are still required to abide by the Florida Insurance Code regardless of whether you read the information we provide or attempt to provide.

Legal Notices © 2018 Florida Department of Financial Services