Florida House of Representatives Insurance Bill Action: February 23, 2012

Feb 23, 2012


The Florida House of Representatives met in Session today, February 23, 2012, during which the following insurance-related bills were considered:


CS/CS/HB 1065 Relating to Annuities by State Representative Doug Broxson (R-Gulf Breeze)

The provisions of CS/CS/HB 1065 include:

  • Recommendations relating to annuities made by an insurer or its agents apply to all consumers, not just senior consumers;
  • Definitions and revisions thereof;
  • Revisions to duties of insurers and agents;
  • Recommendations relating to annuities must be based on consumer suitability information;
  • Revisions to information relating to annuities that must be provided by an insurer or its agent to a consumer;
  • Revisions to requirements for monitoring contractors that provide certain functions for an insurer relating to the insurer’s system for supervising recommendations;
  • Revisions to provisions relating to the relationship between the law and the federal Financial Industry Regulatory Authority;
  • Deletion of a provision providing a cap on surrendered or deferred sales charges;
  • Prohibition of specified charges for annuities issued to persons 65 years of age or older;
  • An increase in the period of time during which an unconditional refund must remain available with respect to certain annuity contracts;
  • The making of such unconditional refunds available to all prospective annuity contract buyers without regard to a buyer’s age; and
  • Revisions to requirements for cover pages of annuity contracts.

There were no amendments or debate on the bill and it was passed unanimously on Third Reading.


CS/HB 409 Relating to Alien Insurers by State Representative Ed Hooper (R-Clearwater)

CS/HB 409 would:

  • Revise the definition of “adjuster” and “home state;”
  • Revise provisions of law relating to who may bind insurance coverage;
  • Provide that an applicant is responsible for information in an application even if completed by a third party;
  • Require an application to include a statement about the method used to meet certain requirements;
  • Revise provisions relating to when an applicant may apply for a license after the initial application is denied by the Florida Department of Financial Services (“DFS”);
  • Revise provisions relating to license examinations;
  • Delete exemption from examination for certain adjusters;
  • Provide for submitting an application for examination on a designee’s Website;
  • Revise the scope of examination for all-lines adjusters;
  • Provide for the e-mailing of notices of examinations;
  • Specify how many times an applicant may take examination during the year;
  • Revise provisions relating to continuing education requirements;
  • Provide that persons on active military duty may seek a waiver;
  • Provide for an update course and the contents of such course;
  • Eliminate the continuing education advisory board;
  • Revise provisions relating to all-lines adjuster licenses; and
  • Require persons transacting mortgage guaranty insurance to be licensed and appointed as a credit insurance agent.

There were no amendments or debate on the bill, which was passed unanimously on Third Reading.


CS/CS/HB 379 Relating to Captive Insurance by State Representatives Jeanette Nunez (R-Miami) and Mike Horner (R-Kissimmee)

CS/CS/HB 379 would:

  • Expand the kinds of insurance for which a captive insurer may seek licensure;
  • Limit the risks certain captive insurers may insure;
  • Specify the requirements and conditions relating to a captive insurer’s authority to conduct business;
  • Require that, before licensure, captive insurers must file or submit specified information, documents and statements to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”);
  • Require a captive insurance company to file specific evidence with the OIR relating to the financial condition and quality of management and operations of the company;
  • Specify fees to be paid by captive insurance or reinsurance companies;
  • Authorize the Florida Insurance Commissioner to grant a captive insurance company license to conduct insurance business until a specified date;
  • Authorize a foreign or alien captive insurance company to become a domestic captive insurance company by complying with requirements;
  • Authorize the OIR to waive requirements for public hearings relating to the redomestication of an alien captive insurance company;
  • Specify that industrial insured captive insurance companies are not required to be incorporated in this state;
  • Require biographical affidavits, background investigations and fingerprint cards for all officers and directors; and
  • Provide restrictions on officers and directors involved with insolvent insurers.

There were no amendments or debate on the bill, which was passed unanimously on Third Reading.


CS/CS/HB 313 Relating to Premises Liability by State Representatives Leonard Bembry (D-Madison) and Greg Steube (R-Sarasota)

CS/CS/HB 313 provides that:

  • An owner or lessee who makes an area available to another person for hunting, fishing or wildlife viewing is entitled to certain limitations on liability if certain notice is provided;
  • An owner of an area who enters into a written agreement with the State for the area to be used for outdoor recreational purposes is entitled to certain limitations on liability; and
  • The requirement that the area be leased to the State in order for limitations on liability to apply is deleted.

There were no amendments or debate on the bill, which was passed unanimously on Third Reading.


CS/CS/HB 1011 Relating to Warranty Associations by State Representative Joe Abruzzo (D-Wellington)

CS/CS/HB 1011 would:  

  • Provide criteria for motor vehicle service agreement companies, home warranty associations and service warranty associations to effectuate refunds through an issuing salesperson or agent;
  • Provide recordkeeping requirements;
  • Require a salesperson or agent to provide a copy of the document to a service agreement company if requested by the DFS or OIR;
  • Provide requirements of the OIR;
  • Authorize, rather than require the OIR to examine service agreement companies, home warranty associations and service warranty associations;
  • Limit the examination period and costs; and
  • Authorize certain entities to provide money to DFS to pursue unauthorized entities operating as a motor vehicle service agreement company, home warranty association or service warranty association; and
  • Provide that funds shall be available for carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the DFS or OIR.

There were no amendments or debate on the bill, which was passed unanimously on Third Reading.


HB 1127 Relating to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation by State Representative Ben Albritton (R-Bartow)

HB 1127 would:

  • Reduce to 2 percent from 6 percent the amount of the projected deficit in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s (“Citizens'”) Coastal Account for the prior calendar year that is recovered through regular assessments;
  • Require that the remaining projected deficits in Citizens’ Personal and Commercial Lines accounts be recovered through emergency assessments after accounting for Citizens’ policyholder surcharge;
  • Require the OIR to notify assessable insurers and the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office of dates assessable insurers shall collect and pay Citizens’ emergency assessments;
  • Remove reference to the recoupment of residual market deficit assessments;
  • Require Citizens’ Board of Governors to make a determination that an account has a projected deficit before it levies Citizens’ policyholder surcharge;
  • Require a limited apportionment company to begin collecting regular assessments within 90 days and pay in full within 15 months after an assessment is levied;
  • Authorize the OIR to assist Citizens in the collection of assessments; and
  • Replaces the term “market equalization surcharge” with “policyholder surcharge.”

There were no amendments and limited debate on the bill, which passed on Third Reading by a vote of 89 to 25.


HB 243 Relating to Expert Testimony by State Representative Larry Metz (R-Eustis)

HB 243 would:

  • Provide that witnesses qualified as “expert” by knowledge, skill, experience, training or education may testify in the form of an opinion as to the facts at issue in a case;
  • Require courts to interpret and apply principles of expert testimony in conformity with specified U.S. Supreme Court decisions;
  • Subjects pure opinion testimony to such requirements; and
  • Provides that facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible may not be disclosed to a jury by inference or the proponent of an opinion or unless the court determines that probative value of facts or data in assisting a jury to evaluate an expert’s opinion substantially outweighs prejudicial effect.

There were no amendments on this bill, which was rolled over for Third Reading.



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