Florida Governor Rick Scott Signs Various Insurance-Related Bills on June 14, 2013
Jun 17, 2013
Various insurance-related bills were among 60 that Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law on Friday, June 14, 2013.
A summary of each bill is below, inclusive of hyperlinks to respective legislative information.
CS/HB 157 relating to Delivery of Insurance Policies by State Representative Doug Holder, authorizes insurers to deliver insurance policies to policyholders by electronic transmission. Previously, every policy had to be mailed or delivered to the insured or any other person entitled to delivery of the policy within 60 days after the policy took effect.
In regard to commercial risks, under the provisions of HB 157, electronic transmission of an insurance policy constitutes delivery of the policy, unless the policyholder advises the insurance company in writing, or in an electronic format, that he or she does not agree to have the policy delivered by electronic transmission. If a policy covering commercial risks is transmitted to the policyholder electronically, then the transmission must include a notice indicating the policyholder has a right to receive the policy by mail instead of electronic transmission.
In addition, a paper copy of the policy must be provided to the policyholder upon request.
HB 157 will become effective July 1, 2013.
CS/CS/SB 166 relating to Annuities by Senator Garrett Richter incorporates the 2010 National Association of Insurance Commissioners model regulation on annuity protections, thus expanding the scope of its consumer protections to generally include all purchasers of annuity products. Previously, the protections applied to consumers aged 65 and older.
CS/CS/SB 166, which is effective October 1, 2013, also retains previous law limiting surrender charges and deferred sales charges that may be imposed upon senior consumers.
CS/HB 223 relating to Insurance by State Representatives Larry Lee Jr. and Daphne Campbell allows property and casualty insurance policies and endorsements to be posted on an insurer’s Web site in lieu of mailing or delivery to an insured if the insurer complies with specific conditions.
If an insurer opts to post a policy online instead of mailing it, the policy must be easily accessible on the insurer’s Web site and posted in a format that allows it to be printed by the policyholder free of charge. Insurers posting policies or revised policies online must notify each policyholder of his or her right to request and obtain a paper or electronic copy of the policy without charge. Insurers posting policies online must archive expired policies for five years on their Web site in a printer-friendly manner.
HB 223 will become effective July 1, 2013.
CS/HB 341 relating to Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage by State Representatives Clay Ingram and Debbie Mayfield returns Florida’s uninsured motorist coverage laws to their former status prior to a recent judicial decision by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. CS/HB 341, which became effective upon Governor Scott’s June 14 signature, clarifies for both insurers and insureds the true extent of coverage offered by uninsured motorist policies.
Uninsured motorist policies are “stacked” by default. “Non-stacked” coverage must be affirmatively selected by in an insured by signing a waiver of any rights to combine policy limits from multiple vehicles. The Court’s decision created uncertainty whether a “non-stacking” policy waiver signed by a named insured can waive “stacking” benefits on behalf of all insureds. The Court held that, due to a discrepancy in the wording between two subsections of the statute, a resident relative who occupies an insured’s vehicle during an accident may still claim “stacked” benefits despite any waiver signed by the named insured.
CS/HB 341 provides that if a person buying uninsured motorist coverage as a named insured signs a “non-stacked” waiver, that waiver is binding as to every family member or passenger insured under the policy.
CS/SB 648 relating to Health Insurance Marketing Materials by Senator Dorothy Hukill deletes the requirement that health insurers and health maintenance organizations submit marketing communications for small employer health plans to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) for review. The bill also deletes the requirement that each marketing communication contain specific disclosures, but retains the requirement that such disclosures be provided to a small employer upon an offer of coverage.
In addition, CS/SB 648 continues the requirement that insurers file with the OIR any long-term care insurance advertising materials, but deletes the requirement to file such materials 30 days prior to use. The bill allows the insurer to immediately begin using such materials upon filing, subject to subsequent disapproval by the OIR. The bill does not delete the authority of Florida’s Financial Services Commission to adopt rules establishing standards for the advertising, marketing and sale of long-term care insurance policies.
CS/SB 648 will become effective July 1, 2013.
CS/CS/SB 810 relating to Wrap-Up Insurance Policies by Senator David Simmons authorizes a wrap-up insurance policy for a nonpublic construction project to have a workers’ compensation deductible of $100,000 or more if:
- The workers’ compensation minimum standard premium calculated on the combined payrolls for all entities covered by the wrap-up policy exceeds $500,000;
- The estimated cost of construction at each specified worksite is $25 million or more;
- The insurer pays the first dollar of a workers’ compensation claim without a deductible;
- The reimbursement of the deductible by the insured does not affect the insurer’s obligation to pay claims;
- The insurer complies with specified workers’ compensation filing requirements; and
- The insurer has a program to have the first-named insured reimburse the insurer for losses paid within the deductible.
The bill, which is effective July 1, 2013, creates s. 627.4138, F.S.
CS/HB 1191 relating to Captive Insurance by State Representative Bryan Nelson allows a captive insurance company to write workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurance.
The bill also makes several changes to Florida’s captive insurance law to remedy unintended consequences stemming from legislative reforms adopted in 2012 that were intended to make Florida more attractive to companies seeking to domicile captive insurance companies in the state. CS/HB 1191 restores language from before the 2012 law that permits an industrial insured captive insurance company with unencumbered capital and surplus of at least $20 million to continue to write workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurance in excess of $25 million in the annual aggregate.
Further, the bill makes pure captive insurance companies responsible for adopting risk management standards for controlled unaffiliated business. Such insurers are required to submit these standards to the OIR for approval. This approach is expected to provide pure captive insurers with more flexibility than current law, which requires the Financial Services Commission to adopt such risk management standards by rule.
CS/HB 1191, which is effective July 1, 2013, also corrects another inconsistency in current insurance law by exempting captive insurance companies from deposit requirements that now exceed the surplus requirements to form a captive.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass& Webb.
To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to Brooke Ellis at email@example.com.