Florida Legislative Insurance Daily Wrap-Up: Tuesday, January 24

Jan 24, 2012

The following is a summary of the insurance-related activity conducted by the Florida Legislature today, January 24, 2012:

The Florida House of Representatives (“House”) Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee approved PCS GOAS 12-03 relating to the Florida Department of Financial Services (“DFS”).  The bill amends 440.05, F.S. to allow for electronic submission of a notice to the DFS to revoke a workers’ compensation election of exemption and revises the identification and information required for the notice.

The House convened in Session for an hour to hear noncontroversial bills and repealer bills.  Members heard the following bills for the second time on the House floor:

HB 307 by State Representative Mack Bernard, which redefines the term “employee” for purposes of workers compensation and revises requirements relating to the election of exemption coverage to include applicability to members of a limited liability company

HB 4085 by State Representative Matt Caldwell, which repeals the obsolete position of Workers’ Compensation Administrator

The House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee approved the following bills:

HB 789 by State Representative Marlene O’Toole, which revises the way the penalties are calculated applicable to employers who fail to secure workers’ compensation coverage as required

HB 1127 by State Representative Ben Albritton, which revises how Citizens Property Insurance Corporation collects its regular assessment by reducing the amount of the regular assessment

HB 1101 by State Representative Mike Horner has been characterized as an “omnibus” insurance bill addressing a variety of insurance issues.  The Subcommittee approved a proposed committee substitute to HB 1101, which contained the following provisions:

  • Exempts salvage motor vehicle dealers from carrying Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) insurance and garage liability insurance on vehicles that have been issued a certificate of destruction
  • Establishes a fee formula for business entities that are applying for or renewing insurer appointments under the limited travel insurance business entity license
  • Clarifies the diminutive exemption for facultative reinsurance
  • Permits the DFS to offer agent licensing exams in Spanish
  • Allows a business entity that offers travel planning services to sell travel insurance under a single license
  • Clarifies that a patronage dividend or other payment given to a member of a production credit association or federal land bank association that is provided based upon a premium charged for crop insurance is a unlawful rebate
  • Clarifies that clerical activities associated with insurance claims on portable electronic devices do not require an adjuster’s license
  • Removes the terms “superior” and “at a lesser cost” from the surplus lines disclosure
  • Includes any patronage dividend or other payment/discount/credit given to a member of a production credit association or federal land bank association that is provided based upon an indirect or direct basis of premium charged for crop hail or multiple-peril crop insurance, as an unfair and deceptive trade practice
  • Clarifies the legislative intent of the sinkhole provision passed SB 408 by ensuring that a change in policy terms includes those changes related to sinkhole coverage
  • Clarifies that alternative dispute resolution for property insurance claims may only be requested by the policyholder as a first-party claimant
  • Permits cancellation of a motor vehicle insurance contract for any type of nonpayment, as opposed to only a bounced check.  This corrects a glitch from legislation passed during 2011
  • Corrects an error regarding the interest rate used in the calculation of amounts owed on PIP claims established under section 55.03, F.S., which was previously calculated yearly and was amended to be calculated quarterly by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer

The Subcommittee also approved two other bills:  HB 613 relating to Financial Institutions by Representative Bernard and CS/HB 823 relating to the Florida Uniform Principal and Income Act by the Civil Justice Subcommittee and State Representative Charles McBurney.


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