2014 Florida Statutes
Favored agent or insurer; coercion of debtors.
Favored agent or insurer; coercion of debtors.
626.9551 Favored agent or insurer; coercion of debtors.—
(1) No person may:
(a) Require, as a condition precedent or condition subsequent to the lending of money or extension of credit or any renewal thereof, that the person to whom such money or credit is extended, or whose obligation the creditor is to acquire or finance, negotiate any policy or contract of insurance through a particular insurer or group of insurers or agent or broker or group of agents or brokers.
(b) Reject an insurance policy solely because the policy has been issued or underwritten by any person who is not associated with a financial institution, or with any subsidiary or affiliate thereof, when such insurance is required in connection with a loan or extension of credit; or unreasonably disapprove the insurance policy provided by a borrower for the protection of the property securing the credit or lien. For purposes of this paragraph, such disapproval shall be deemed unreasonable if it is not based solely on reasonable standards, uniformly applied, relating to the extent of coverage required by such lender or person extending credit and the financial soundness and the services of an insurer. Such standards shall not discriminate against any particular type of insurer, nor shall such standards call for the disapproval of an insurance policy because such policy contains coverage in addition to that required.
(c) Require, directly or indirectly, that any borrower, mortgagor, purchaser, insurer, broker, or agent pay a separate charge in connection with the handling of any insurance policy that is required in connection with a loan or other extension of credit or the provision of another traditional banking product, or pay a separate charge to substitute the insurance policy of one insurer for that of another, unless such charge would be required if the person were providing the insurance. This paragraph does not include the interest which may be charged on premium loans or premium advances in accordance with the security instrument.
(d) Use or provide to others insurance information required to be disclosed by a customer to a financial institution, or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof, in connection with the extension of credit for the purpose of soliciting the sale of insurance, unless the customer has given express written consent or has been given the opportunity to object to such use of the information. Insurance information means information concerning premiums, terms, and conditions of insurance coverage, insurance claims, and insurance history provided by the customer. The opportunity to object to the use of insurance information must be in writing and must be clearly and conspicuously made.
(2)(a) Any person offering the sale of insurance at the time of and in connection with an extension of credit or the sale or lease of goods or services shall disclose in writing that the choice of an insurance provider will not affect the decision regarding the extension of credit or sale or lease of goods or services, except that reasonable requirements may be imposed pursuant to subsection (1).
(b) Federally insured or state-insured depository institutions and credit unions shall make clear and conspicuous disclosure in writing prior to the sale of any insurance policy that such policy is not a deposit, is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other entity, is not guaranteed by the insured depository institution or any person soliciting the purchase of or selling the policy; that the financial institution is not obligated to provide benefits under the insurance contract; and, where appropriate, that the policy involves investment risk, including potential loss of principal.
(c) All documents constituting policies of insurance shall be separate and shall not be combined with or be a part of other documents. A person may not include the expense of insurance premiums in a primary credit transaction without the express written consent of the customer.
(d) A loan officer of a financial institution who is involved in the application, solicitation, or closing of a loan transaction may not solicit or sell insurance in connection with the same loan, but such loan officer may refer the loan customer to another insurance agent who is not involved in the application, solicitation, or closing of the same loan transaction. This paragraph does not apply to an agent located on premises having only a single person with lending authority, or to a broker or dealer registered under the Federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with a margin loan secured by securities.
(3) Paragraphs (2)(a), (b), (c), and (d) do not apply to sales of insurance regulated under ss. 627.676-627.6845, s. 655.946, parts XV-XVI of chapter 627, or 12 U.S.C. ss. 4901-4910.
(4) No person may make an extension of credit or the sale of any product or service that is the equivalent to an extension of credit or lease or sale of property of any kind, or furnish any services or fix or vary the consideration for any of the foregoing, on the condition or requirement that the customer obtain insurance from that person, or a subsidiary or affiliate of that person, or a particular insurer, agent, or broker; however, this subsection does not prohibit any person from engaging in any activity that if done by a financial institution would not violate s. 106 of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970, 12 U.S.C. s. 1972, as interpreted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
(5) The department or office may investigate the affairs of any person to whom this section applies to determine whether such person has violated this section. If a violation of this section is found to have been committed knowingly, the person in violation shall be subject to the same procedures and penalties as provided in ss. 626.9571, 626.9581, 626.9591, and 626.9601.
History.—s. 9, ch. 76-260; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 79-289; s. 236, ch. 79-400; s. 807, ch. 82-243; ss. 206, 207, ch. 90-363; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 99-388; s. 1030, ch. 2003-261.