Florida Cabinet Approves First-Ever Citizens Property Insurance Inspector General; Electronic Proof Of Insurance Rulemaking Advances
Dec 10, 2013
The Florida Cabinet met in Tallahassee today, December 10, 2013, during which it confirmed Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s (“Citizens”) first-ever Inspector General. Among other actions, it also advanced rulemaking to allow motorists to display proof of insurance electronically.
To view today’s complete agenda, click here.
Before the Executive Branch agencies began their presentations, Citizens’ President and CEO Barry Gilway was first on a slate of speakers that included Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who recognized December as “National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.”
In his discussion, Mr. Gilway updated the Cabinet on Citizens’ risk reduction efforts, advising that the State-run insurer currently has just over 1 million policies, but is expected to decrease that number to 925,000 policies by the beginning of the 2014 Hurricane Season. That number could further dwindle to 725,000 by the end of 2015, Mr. Gilway added.
Citizens’ depopulation efforts, which have included private insurer takeouts, will continue with the launch of its statutory “clearinghouse,” which will “shop” for comparable coverage offers from participating private market carriers before placing or renewing personal lines coverage with Citizens. New policies will not be placed with Citizens if a private offer is found through the Clearinghouse that is 15 percent or less than the Citizens rate. Renewal policies cannot stay in Citizens if the Clearinghouse finds an offer from a private insurer at the same rate or less than Citizens’ renewal rate.
Notably, the Cabinet, acting in its capacity as the Financial Services Commission, appointed Bruce Meeks as Citizens’ first Inspector General-a position created by law in 2013.
This afternoon, Citizens’ Board of Governors Chairman Chris Gardner said of the confirmation, “Any time we increase transparency and oversight capabilities at Citizens, we improve the public confidence and everybody benefits. I look forward to working with Mr. Meeks and know I speak for the board by wishing him good luck in his new endeavors. He has our full support.”
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Among today’s Cabinet agenda items was a request by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“DHSMV”) to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to electronic proof of insurance. Florida law was amended in 2013 to permit drivers to provide proof of insurance in an electronic format in lieu of a paper card.
Proposed amendments to Rule 15A-3.006, entitled “Identification Cards,” would allow Florida drivers to provide proof of insurance either by paper or electronically. Once finalized and adopted, the revised Rule would be applicable to new and renewal policies issued after June 1, 2014.
The proposed Rule also lists specifications for electronic proof of insurance, which comply with American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators’ standards.
The Cabinet approved the DHSMV’s request to file the proposed Rule for final adoption if no requests for hearings are received as a result of the Notice.
Further, the Cabinet authorized the appointment of chiropractor Gregory Lambe to the DHSMV’s Medical Advisory Board, which advises on medical criteria affecting a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle and exercise the privilege of holding a Florida driver license.
Also approved were the DHSMV’s First Quarter Performance Report for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 and its Legislative Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the latter which includes a three-year plan to modernize Florida’s Driver Licensing Information System. This would include merging and re-engineering Florida’s driver license and vehicle registration renewal processes to allow local tax collectors the option to assume the administration role for licensing as they currently do with motor vehicle registration renewals.
To view the DHSMV’s complete meeting packet, which includes further details on the aforementioned reports and plans, click here.
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
Two proposed Rules pertaining to title insurance were approved for final adoption as part of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) agenda presented by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.
Pursuant to Section 627.782, F.S., title insurance agencies and insurers licensed to do business in Florida must maintain and submit certain information to the OIR, including revenue, loss and expense data. The current version of Rule 69O-186.013, “Title Insurance Statistical Gathering,” implements provisions of s. 627.782 by listing the types of information that title insurance agencies and insurers must submit to the OIR.
The amendments approved today strike current language and replace it with new language adopting a form entitled “OIR-EO-2087 Title Insurance Experience Reporting-Agents and Retail Office of Direct-Writing Title Insurance Underwriters.”
The new form must be submitted to the OIR electronically by title insurance agencies in order to ensure compliance. The data collected will be used to analyze premium and retention rates, as well as the condition of Florida’s title insurance industry.
Also approved for final adoption was a new Rule 69O-186.014, entitled “Title Insurance Statistical Gathering–Title Insurance Underwriters,” which sets forth the types of information that must be submitted by title insurers on another new form, entitled “OIR-DO-2115 Title Insurance Experience Reporting-Underwriters.”
To view today’s complete OIR agenda packet, click here.
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