Florida Senate - 2011                                    SB 1462
       By Senator Hays
       20-00890-11                                           20111462__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the powers of the consumer
    3         advocate; amending s. 627.0613, F.S.; deleting a power
    4         of the consumer advocate relating to the preparation
    5         of an annual report card grading personal residential
    6         property insurers; providing an effective date.
    8  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   10         Section 1. Section 627.0613, Florida Statutes, is amended
   11  to read:
   12         627.0613 Consumer advocate.—The Chief Financial Officer
   13  must appoint a consumer advocate who must represent the general
   14  public of the state before the department and the office. The
   15  consumer advocate must report directly to the Chief Financial
   16  Officer, but is not otherwise under the authority of the
   17  department or of any employee of the department. The consumer
   18  advocate has such powers as are necessary to carry out the
   19  duties of the office of consumer advocate, including, but not
   20  limited to, the powers to:
   21         (1) Recommend to the department or office, by petition, the
   22  commencement of any proceeding or action; appear in any
   23  proceeding or action before the department or office; or appear
   24  in any proceeding before the Division of Administrative Hearings
   25  relating to subject matter under the jurisdiction of the
   26  department or office.
   27         (2) Have access to and use of all files, records, and data
   28  of the department or office.
   29         (3) Examine rate and form filings submitted to the office,
   30  hire consultants as necessary to aid in the review process, and
   31  recommend to the department or office any position deemed by the
   32  consumer advocate to be in the public interest.
   33         (4) Prepare an annual report card for each authorized
   34  personal residential property insurer, on a form and using a
   35  letter-grade scale developed by the commission by rule, which
   36  grades each insurer based on the following factors:
   37         (a) The number and nature of consumer complaints, as a
   38  market share ratio, received by the department against the
   39  insurer.
   40         (b) The disposition of all complaints received by the
   41  department.
   42         (c) The average length of time for payment of claims by the
   43  insurer.
   44         (d) Any other factors the commission identifies as
   45  assisting policyholders in making informed choices about
   46  homeowner’s insurance.
   47         (4)(5) Prepare an annual budget for presentation to the
   48  Legislature by the department, which budget must be adequate to
   49  carry out the duties of the office of consumer advocate.
   50         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.