CS/CS/SB 2012 Passes Legislature; Next Goes to Governor

May 2, 2008

The Senate passed CS/CS/SB 2012 An Act Relating to Insurance Policies this morning, May 2, 2008 after concurring with House amendments passed to the bill on April 30. The bill now proceeds to the Governor for his signature.

CS/CS/SB 2012 includes the provisions imposing important restrictions on the activities of public adjusters.

Following is a short summary of the bill as passed today:

CS/CS/SB 2012 revises section 627.94073, Florida Statutes, to require insurers to notify policyholders of the right to designate a secondary addressee to receive a notice of termination of long-term care insurance. The bill also requires that a canceled long-term care policy be reinstated if the policyholder failed to pay the premium under certain circumstances. The bill also amends section 626.9543, Florida Statutes, to extend the time that certain insurers must permit claims from a Holocaust victim or from their beneficiaries, descendents, or heirs.

Several late-filed amendments to this bill expanded its breadth significantly. These amendments include authorizing the Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) to waive the place of business requirement for multiple-employer welfare arrangements in certain circumstances. Another amendment revises section 627.736, Florida Statutes, identifying the participating physicians’ schedule of Medicare Part B for 2007 as the schedule of maximum charges an insurer may utilize for a limited reimbursement of certain medical services for injured persons covered by personal injury protection.

The bill, as amended, also revises section 626.221, Florida Statutes, regarding applicants for license as a customer representative; section 626.2815, Florida Statutes, regarding continuing education requirements for persons licensed to engage in the sale of insurance; and Section 626.381, Florida Statutes, regarding the renewal, continuation, reinstatement, or termination of appointment.

Other amendments to the bill make numerous changes to the law governing public adjusters, such as fees, solicitation and business practices, licensure, continuing education requirements and contract requirements. The bill also revises section 215.555, Florida Statutes, concerning the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. Specifically, the bill, as amended, allows limited apportionment companies and other specified insurance companies to purchase an additional $10 million in coverage from the FHCF below the statutory retention for another year.

The bill also includes a statement of legislative intent regarding the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) insurance product and authorization for title insurers to seek approval for rate deviations from the UCC insurance product. Additionally, the bill revises section 624.4266, Florida Statutes, regarding the authority of public housing authorities to form self-insurance funds.

Section 395.106, Florida Statutes, concerning risk pooling by certain hospitals and hospital systems, is also addressed in the bill. Finally, the bill revises section 627.351, Florida Statutes, concerning the confidentiality of Citizens underwriting files and clarifying the right of certain parties to discovery.

Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact this office.