Florida Senate - 2017 SB 94
By Senator Artiles
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to property insurance appraisers and
3 property insurance appraisal umpires; amending s.
4 624.04, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
5 “person”; amending s. 624.303, F.S.; exempting
6 certificates issued to property insurance appraisal
7 umpires from the requirement to bear a seal of the
8 Department of Financial Services; amending s. 624.311,
9 F.S.; providing a schedule for destruction of property
10 insurance appraisal umpire licensing files and
11 records; amending s. 624.317, F.S.; authorizing the
12 department to investigate property insurance appraisal
13 umpires for violations of the insurance code; amending
14 s. 624.501, F.S.; authorizing specified fees for
15 property insurance appraisal umpires; amending s.
16 624.523, F.S.; requiring fees associated with property
17 insurance appraisal umpires’ appointments to be
18 deposited into the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund;
19 amending s. 626.015, F.S.; providing a definition;
20 amending s. 626.016, F.S.; revising the scope of the
21 Chief Financial Officer’s powers and duties and the
22 department’s enforcement jurisdiction to include
23 umpires; amending s. 626.022, F.S.; including property
24 insurance appraisal umpire licensing in the scope of
25 part I of ch. 626, F.S., relating to licensing
26 procedures; amending s. 626.112, F.S.; requiring
27 umpires to be licensed and appointed; requiring
28 licensure as an adjuster when serving as an appraiser
29 under certain conditions; prohibiting certain
30 disqualified persons from acting or serving as an
31 umpire or appraiser; amending s. 626.171, F.S.;
32 requiring a specified application and payment of fees
33 for an umpire license; requiring applicants for
34 licensure as an umpire to submit fingerprints to the
35 department; amending s. 626.207, F.S.; providing that
36 s. 112.011, F.S., relating to disqualification from
37 licensure or public employment does not apply to
38 applicants for licensure as umpires; amending s.
39 626.2815, F.S.; requiring specified continuing
40 education for licensure as an umpire; revising
41 applicability; amending s. 626.451, F.S.; providing
42 requirements relating to the appointment of an umpire;
43 amending s. 626.461, F.S.; providing that an umpire
44 appointment continues in effect, subject to certain
45 conditions, until the person’s license is revoked or
46 otherwise terminated; amending s. 626.521, F.S.;
47 authorizing the department to obtain a credit and
48 character report for certain umpire applicants;
49 amending s. 626.541, F.S.; requiring an umpire to
50 provide certain information to the department when
51 doing business under a different business name or when
52 information in the licensure application changes;
53 amending s. 626.601, F.S.; authorizing the department
54 to investigate improper conduct of any licensed
55 umpire; amending s. 626.611, F.S.; requiring the
56 department to refuse, suspend, or revoke an umpire’s
57 license under certain circumstances; amending s.
58 626.621, F.S.; authorizing the department to refuse,
59 suspend, or revoke an umpire’s license under certain
60 circumstances; amending s. 626.641, F.S.; prohibiting
61 an umpire from certain transactions, business,
62 ownership, control, or employment during the period
63 the umpire’s license is suspended or revoked; amending
64 ss. 626.7845, 626.8305, and 626.8411, F.S.; conforming
65 cross-references; amending s. 626.8443, F.S.;
66 prohibiting a title insurance agent from certain
67 transactions, business, ownership, control, or
68 employment during the period the agent’s license is
69 suspended or revoked; amending s. 626.854, F.S.;
70 providing limitations on fees charged by a public
71 adjuster during an appraisal; creating s. 626.8791,
72 F.S.; establishing required notice in a contract for
73 appraisal services; amending s. 626.9957, F.S.;
74 conforming a cross-reference; creating part XIV of ch.
75 626, F.S., relating to property insurance appraisal
76 umpires; creating s. 626.9961, F.S.; providing a short
77 title; creating s. 626.9962, F.S.; providing
78 legislative findings; creating s. 626.9963, F.S.;
79 providing that part XIV supplements part I of ch. 626,
80 F.S., the “Licensing Procedures Law”; creating s.
81 626.9964, F.S.; providing definitions; creating s.
82 626.9965, F.S.; providing qualifications for license
83 as an umpire; prohibiting the department from
84 rejecting an application solely on specified grounds;
85 creating s. 626.9966, F.S.; authorizing the department
86 to refuse, suspend, or revoke an umpire’s license
87 under certain circumstances; creating s. 626.9967,
88 F.S.; providing ethical standards for property
89 insurance appraisal umpires; creating s. 626.9968,
90 F.S.; providing for disqualification of an umpire
91 under certain circumstances; repealing s. 627.70151,
92 F.S., relating to appraisal conflicts of interest;
93 providing an appropriation and authorizing positions;
94 providing applicability; providing an effective date.
96 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
98 Section 1. Section 624.04, Florida Statutes, is amended to
100 624.04 “Person” defined.—“Person” includes an individual,
101 insurer, company, association, organization, Lloyds, society,
102 reciprocal insurer or interinsurance exchange, partnership,
103 syndicate, business trust, corporation, agent, general agent,
104 broker, service representative, adjuster, property insurance
105 appraisal umpire, and every legal entity.
106 Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 624.303, Florida
107 Statutes, is amended to read:
108 624.303 Seal; certified copies as evidence.—
109 (2) All certificates executed by the department or office,
110 other than licenses of agents, property insurance appraisal
or adjusters, or similar licenses or permits, shall
112 bear its respective seal.
113 Section 3. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (4) of
114 section 624.311, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
115 624.311 Records; reproductions; destruction.—
116 (4) To facilitate the efficient use of floor space and
117 filing equipment in its offices, the department, commission, and
118 office may each destroy the following records and documents
119 pursuant to chapter 257:
120 (b) Agent, adjuster, property insurance appraisal umpire,
121 and similar license files, including license files of the
122 Division of State Fire Marshal, over 2 years old; except that
123 the department or office shall preserve by reproduction or
124 otherwise a copy of the original records upon the basis of which
125 each such licensee qualified for her or his initial license,
126 except a competency examination, and of any disciplinary
127 proceeding affecting the licensee;
128 (c) All agent, adjuster, property insurance appraisal
129 umpire, and similar license files and records, including
130 original license qualification records and records of
131 disciplinary proceedings 5 years after a licensee has ceased to
132 be qualified for a license;
133 Section 4. Subsection (1) of section 624.317, Florida
134 Statutes, is amended to read:
135 624.317 Investigation of agents, adjusters, property
136 insurance appraisal umpires, administrators, service companies,
137 and others.—If it has reason to believe that any person has
138 violated or is violating any provision of this code, or upon the
139 written complaint signed by any interested person indicating
140 that any such violation may exist:
141 (1) The department shall conduct such investigation as it
142 deems necessary of the accounts, records, documents, and
143 transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs of
144 any general agent, surplus lines agent, adjuster, property
145 insurance appraisal umpire, managing general agent, insurance
146 agent, insurance agency, customer representative, service
147 representative, or other person subject to its jurisdiction,
148 subject to the requirements of s. 626.601.
149 Section 5. Paragraph (c) of subsection (19) and subsection
150 (28) of section 624.501, Florida Statutes, are amended, and a
151 new subsection (29) is added to that section, to read:
152 624.501 Filing, license, appointment, and miscellaneous
153 fees.—The department, commission, or office, as appropriate,
154 shall collect in advance, and persons so served shall pay to it
155 in advance, fees, licenses, and miscellaneous charges as
157 (19) Miscellaneous services:
158 (c) For preparing lists of agents, adjusters, property
159 insurance appraisal umpires, and other insurance
160 representatives, and for other miscellaneous services, such
161 reasonable charge as may be fixed by the office or department.
162 (28) Late filing of appointment renewals for agents,
163 adjusters, property insurance appraisal umpires, and other
164 insurance representatives, each appointment $20.00
165 (29) Property insurance appraisal umpires:
166 (a) Property insurance appraisal umpire’s appointment and
167 biennial renewal or continuation thereof, each appointment
169 (b) Fee to cover actual cost of a credit report when such
170 report must be secured by the department.
171 Section 6. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
172 624.523, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
173 624.523 Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund.—
174 (1) There is created in the State Treasury a trust fund
175 designated “Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund” to which shall be
176 credited all payments received on account of the following
178 (e) All payments received on account of items provided for
179 under respective provisions of s. 624.501, as follows:
180 1. Subsection (1) (certificate of authority of insurer).
181 2. Subsection (2) (charter documents of insurer).
182 3. Subsection (3) (annual license tax of insurer).
183 4. Subsection (4) (annual statement of insurer).
184 5. Subsection (5) (application fee for insurance
186 6. The “appointment fee” portion of any appointment
187 provided for under paragraphs (6)(a) and (b) (insurance
188 representatives, property, marine, casualty and surety
189 insurance, and agents).
190 7. Paragraph (6)(c) (nonresident agents).
191 8. Paragraph (6)(d) (service representatives).
192 9. The “appointment fee” portion of any appointment
193 provided for under paragraph (7)(a) (life insurance agents,
194 original appointment, and renewal or continuation of
196 10. Paragraph (7)(b) (nonresident agent license).
197 11. The “appointment fee” portion of any appointment
198 provided for under paragraph (8)(a) (health insurance agents,
199 agent’s appointment, and renewal or continuation fee).
200 12. Paragraph (8)(b) (nonresident agent appointment).
201 13. The “appointment fee” portion of any appointment
202 provided for under subsections (9) and (10) (limited licenses
203 and fraternal benefit society agents).
204 14. Subsection (11) (surplus lines agent).
205 15. Subsection (12) (adjusters’ appointment).
206 16. Subsection (13) (examination fee).
207 17. Subsection (14) (temporary license and appointment as
208 agent or adjuster).
209 18. Subsection (15) (reissuance, reinstatement, etc.).
210 19. Subsection (16) (additional license continuation fees).
211 20. Subsection (17) (filing application for permit to form
213 21. Subsection (18) (license fee of rating organization).
214 22. Subsection (19) (miscellaneous services).
215 23. Subsection (20) (insurance agencies).
216 24. Subsection (29) (property insurance appraisal umpire’s
218 Section 7. Subsections (16) through (19) of section
219 626.015, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (17)
220 through (20), respectively, and a new subsection (16) is added
221 to that section, to read:
222 626.015 Definitions.—As used in this part:
223 (16) “Property insurance appraisal umpire” or “umpire”
224 means a property insurance appraisal umpire as defined in s.
226 Section 8. Subsection (1) of section 626.016, Florida
227 Statutes, is amended to read:
228 626.016 Powers and duties of department, commission, and
230 (1) The powers and duties of the Chief Financial Officer
231 and the department specified in this part apply only with
232 respect to insurance agents, insurance agencies, managing
233 general agents, insurance adjusters, umpires, reinsurance
234 intermediaries, viatical settlement brokers, customer
235 representatives, service representatives, and agencies.
236 Section 9. Subsection (1) of section 626.022, Florida
237 Statutes, is amended to read:
238 626.022 Scope of part.—
239 (1) This part applies as to insurance agents, service
240 representatives, adjusters, umpires, and insurance agencies; as
241 to any and all kinds of insurance; and as to stock insurers,
242 mutual insurers, reciprocal insurers, and all other types of
243 insurers, except that:
244 (a) It does not apply as to reinsurance, except that ss.
245 626.011-626.022, ss. 626.112-626.181, ss. 626.191-626.211, ss.
246 626.291-626.301, s. 626.331, ss. 626.342-626.521, ss. 626.541
247 626.591, and ss. 626.601-626.711 shall apply as to reinsurance
248 intermediaries as defined in s. 626.7492.
249 (b) The applicability of this chapter as to fraternal
250 benefit societies shall be as provided in chapter 632.
251 (c) It does not apply to a bail bond agent, as defined in
252 s. 648.25, except as provided in chapter 648 or chapter 903.
253 (d) This part does not apply to a certified public
254 accountant licensed under chapter 473 who is acting within the
255 scope of the practice of public accounting, as defined in s.
256 473.302, provided that the activities of the certified public
257 accountant are limited to advising a client of the necessity of
258 obtaining insurance, the amount of insurance needed, or the line
259 of coverage needed, and provided that the certified public
260 accountant does not directly or indirectly receive or share in
261 any commission or referral fee.
262 Section 10. Subsections (6) through (9) of section 626.112,
263 Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (9) through
264 (12), respectively, subsection (1) is amended, and new
265 subsections (6), (7), and (8) are added to that section, to
267 626.112 License and appointment required; agents, customer
268 representatives, adjusters, umpires, insurance agencies, service
269 representatives, managing general agents.—
270 (1)(a) No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold
271 himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance
272 adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is
273 currently licensed by the department and appointed by an
274 appropriate appointing entity or person.
275 (b) Except as provided in subsection (9) (6) or in
276 applicable department rules, and in addition to other conduct
277 described in this chapter with respect to particular types of
278 agents, a license as an insurance agent, service representative,
279 customer representative, or limited customer representative is
280 required in order to engage in the solicitation of insurance.
281 For purposes of this requirement, as applicable to any of the
282 license types described in this section, the solicitation of
283 insurance is the attempt to persuade any person to purchase an
284 insurance product by:
285 1. Describing the benefits or terms of insurance coverage,
286 including premiums or rates of return;
287 2. Distributing an invitation to contract to prospective
289 3. Making general or specific recommendations as to
290 insurance products;
291 4. Completing orders or applications for insurance
293 5. Comparing insurance products, advising as to insurance
294 matters, or interpreting policies or coverages; or
295 6. Offering or attempting to negotiate on behalf of another
296 person a viatical settlement contract as defined in s. 626.9911.
298 However, an employee leasing company licensed pursuant to
299 chapter 468 which is seeking to enter into a contract with an
300 employer that identifies products and services offered to
301 employees may deliver proposals for the purchase of employee
302 leasing services to prospective clients of the employee leasing
303 company setting forth the terms and conditions of doing
304 business; classify employees as permitted by s. 468.529; collect
305 information from prospective clients and other sources as
306 necessary to perform due diligence on the prospective client and
307 to prepare a proposal for services; provide and receive
308 enrollment forms, plans, and other documents; and discuss or
309 explain in general terms the conditions, limitations, options,
310 or exclusions of insurance benefit plans available to the client
311 or employees of the employee leasing company were the client to
312 contract with the employee leasing company. Any advertising
313 materials or other documents describing specific insurance
314 coverages must identify and be from a licensed insurer or its
315 licensed agent or a licensed and appointed agent employed by the
316 employee leasing company. The employee leasing company may not
317 advise or inform the prospective business client or individual
318 employees of specific coverage provisions, exclusions, or
319 limitations of particular plans. As to clients for which the
320 employee leasing company is providing services pursuant to s.
321 468.525(4), the employee leasing company may engage in
322 activities permitted by ss. 626.7315, 626.7845, and 626.8305,
323 subject to the restrictions specified in those sections. If a
324 prospective client requests more specific information concerning
325 the insurance provided by the employee leasing company, the
326 employee leasing company must refer the prospective business
327 client to the insurer or its licensed agent or to a licensed and
328 appointed agent employed by the employee leasing company.
329 (6) No person shall be, act as, or represent or hold
330 himself or herself out to be a property insurance appraisal
331 umpire unless he or she holds a currently effective property
332 insurance appraisal umpire license and appointment.
333 (7) No person shall be, act as, or represent or hold
334 himself or herself out to be a property insurance appraiser who
335 is eligible to represent an insured on a personal residential or
336 commercial residential property insurance claim unless he or she
337 holds a currently effective adjuster license and appointment or
338 is exempt from licensure under s. 626.860. A licensed adjuster
339 who holds an active appointment with an insurance company may
340 not serve as an appraiser for an insured.
341 (8) No person who is a convicted felon or disqualified
342 under s. 626.207 may act or serve as a property insurance
343 appraisal umpire or property insurance appraiser.
344 Section 11. Subsections (1) and (4) of section 626.171,
345 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
346 626.171 Application for license as an agent, customer
347 representative, adjuster, umpire, service representative,
348 managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary.—
349 (1) The department may not issue a license as agent,
350 customer representative, adjuster, umpire, service
351 representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance
352 intermediary to any person except upon written application filed
353 with the department, meeting the qualifications for the license
354 applied for as determined by the department, and payment in
355 advance of all applicable fees. The application must be made
356 under the oath of the applicant and be signed by the applicant.
357 An applicant may permit a third party to complete, submit, and
358 sign an application on the applicant’s behalf, but is
359 responsible for ensuring that the information on the application
360 is true and correct and is accountable for any misstatements or
361 misrepresentations. The department shall accept the uniform
362 application for nonresident agent licensing. The department may
363 adopt revised versions of the uniform application by rule.
364 (4) An applicant for a license as an agent, customer
365 representative, adjuster, umpire, service representative,
366 managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary must submit
367 a set of the individual applicant’s fingerprints, or, if the
368 applicant is not an individual, a set of the fingerprints of the
369 sole proprietor, majority owner, partners, officers, and
370 directors, to the department and must pay the fingerprint
371 processing fee set forth in s. 624.501. Fingerprints shall be
372 used to investigate the applicant’s qualifications pursuant to
373 s. 626.201. The fingerprints shall be taken by a law enforcement
374 agency, designated examination center, or other department
375 approved entity. The department shall require all designated
376 examination centers to have fingerprinting equipment and to take
377 fingerprints from any applicant or prospective applicant who
378 pays the applicable fee. The department may not approve an
379 application for licensure as an agent, customer service
380 representative, adjuster, umpire, service representative,
381 managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary if
382 fingerprints have not been submitted.
383 Section 12. Subsection (9) of section 626.207, Florida
384 Statutes, is amended to read:
385 626.207 Disqualification of applicants and licensees;
386 penalties against licensees; rulemaking authority.—
387 (9) Section 112.011 does not apply to any applicants for
388 licensure under the Florida Insurance Code, including, but not
389 limited to, agents, agencies, adjusters, adjusting firms,
390 umpires, customer representatives, or managing general agents.
391 Section 13. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 626.2815,
392 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
393 626.2815 Continuing education requirements.—
394 (1) The purpose of this section is to establish
395 requirements and standards for continuing education courses for
396 individuals licensed to solicit, sell, or adjust insurance or to
397 serve as an umpire in the state.
398 (2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, this
399 section applies to individuals licensed to transact engage in
400 the sale of insurance or adjust adjustment of insurance claims
401 in this state for all lines of insurance for which an
402 examination is required for licensing and to individuals
403 licensed to serve as an umpire each insurer, employer, or
404 appointing entity, including, but not limited to, those created
405 or existing pursuant to s. 627.351. This section does not apply
406 to an individual who holds a license for the sale of any line of
407 insurance for which an examination is not required by the laws
408 of this state or who holds a limited license as a crop or hail
409 and multiple-peril crop insurance agent. Licensees who are
410 unable to comply with the continuing education requirements due
411 to active duty in the military may submit a written request for
412 a waiver to the department.
413 Section 14. Subsections (1), (3), (5), and (6) of section
414 626.451, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
415 626.451 Appointment of agent or other representative.—
416 (1) Each appointing entity or person designated by the
417 department to administer the appointment process appointing an
418 agent, adjuster, umpire, service representative, customer
419 representative, or managing general agent in this state shall
420 file the appointment with the department or office and, at the
421 same time, pay the applicable appointment fee and taxes. Every
422 appointment shall be subject to the prior issuance of the
423 appropriate agent’s, adjuster’s, umpire’s, service
424 representative’s, customer representative’s, or managing general
425 agent’s license.
426 (3) By authorizing the effectuation of the appointment of
427 an agent, adjuster, umpire, service representative, customer
428 representative, or managing general agent the appointing entity
429 is thereby certifying to the department that it is willing to be
430 bound by the acts of the agent, adjuster, umpire, service
431 representative, customer representative, or managing general
432 agent, within the scope of the licensee’s employment or
434 (5) Any law enforcement agency or state attorney’s office
435 that is aware that an agent, adjuster, umpire, service
436 representative, customer representative, or managing general
437 agent has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to or has been found
438 guilty of a felony shall notify the department or office of such
440 (6) Upon the filing of an information or indictment against
441 an agent, adjuster, umpire, service representative, customer
442 representative, or managing general agent, the state attorney
443 shall immediately furnish the department or office a certified
444 copy of the information or indictment.
445 Section 15. Section 626.461, Florida Statutes, is amended
446 to read:
447 626.461 Continuation of appointment of agent or other
448 representative.—Subject to renewal or continuation by the
449 appointing entity, the appointment of the agent, adjuster,
450 umpire, service representative, customer representative, or
451 managing general agent shall continue in effect until the
452 person’s license is revoked or otherwise terminated, unless
453 written notice of earlier termination of the appointment is
454 filed with the department or person designated by the department
455 to administer the appointment process by either the appointing
456 entity or the appointee.
457 Section 16. Subsection (3) of section 626.521, Florida
458 Statutes, is amended to read:
459 626.521 Character, credit reports.—
460 (3) As to an applicant for an adjuster’s, umpire’s, or
461 reinsurance intermediary’s license who is to be self-employed,
462 the department may secure, at the cost of the applicant, a full
463 detailed credit and character report made by an established and
464 reputable independent reporting service relative to the
466 Section 17. Subsection (1) of section 626.541, Florida
467 Statutes, is amended to read:
468 626.541 Firm, corporate, and business names; officers;
469 associates; notice of changes.—
470 (1) Any licensed agent, or adjuster, or umpire doing
471 business under a firm or corporate name or under any business
472 name other than his or her own individual name shall, within 30
473 days after initially transacting the initial transaction of
474 insurance or engaging in insurance activities under such
475 business name, file with the department, on forms adopted and
476 furnished by the department, a written statement of the firm,
477 corporate, or business name being so used, the address of any
478 office or offices or places of business making use of such name,
479 and the name and social security number of each officer and
480 director of the corporation and of each individual associated in
481 such firm or corporation as to the insurance transactions
482 thereof or in the use of such business name.
483 Section 18. Subsection (1) of section 626.601, Florida
484 Statutes, is amended to read:
485 626.601 Improper conduct; inquiry; fingerprinting.—
486 (1) The department or office may, upon its own motion or
487 upon a written complaint signed by any interested person and
488 filed with the department or office, inquire into any alleged
489 improper conduct of any licensed, approved, or certified
490 licensee, insurance agency, agent, adjuster, umpire, service
491 representative, managing general agent, customer representative,
492 title insurance agent, title insurance agency, mediator, neutral
493 evaluator, navigator, continuing education course provider,
494 instructor, school official, or monitor group under this code.
495 The department or office may thereafter initiate an
496 investigation of any such individual or entity if it has
497 reasonable cause to believe that the individual or entity has
498 violated any provision of the insurance code. During the course
499 of its investigation, the department or office shall contact the
500 individual or entity being investigated unless it determines
501 that contacting such individual or entity could jeopardize the
502 successful completion of the investigation or cause injury to
503 the public.
504 Section 19. Subsection (1) of section 626.611, Florida
505 Statutes, is amended to read:
506 626.611 Grounds for compulsory refusal, suspension, or
507 revocation of agent’s, title agency’s, adjuster’s, umpire’s,
508 customer representative’s, service representative’s, or managing
509 general agent’s license or appointment.—
510 (1) The department shall deny an application for, suspend,
511 revoke, or refuse to renew or continue the license or
512 appointment of any applicant, agent, title agency, adjuster,
513 umpire, customer representative, service representative, or
514 managing general agent, and it shall suspend or revoke the
515 eligibility to hold a license or appointment of any such person,
516 if it finds that as to the applicant, licensee, or appointee any
517 one or more of the following applicable grounds exist:
518 (a) Lack of one or more of the qualifications for the
519 license or appointment as specified in this code.
520 (b) Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud in
521 obtaining the license or appointment or in attempting to obtain
522 the license or appointment.
523 (c) Failure to pass to the satisfaction of the department
524 any examination required under this code.
525 (d) If the license or appointment is willfully used, or to
526 be used, to circumvent any of the requirements or prohibitions
527 of this code.
528 (e) Willful misrepresentation of any insurance policy or
529 annuity contract or willful deception with regard to any such
530 policy or contract, done either in person or by any form of
531 dissemination of information or advertising.
532 (f) If, as an adjuster, or agent licensed and appointed to
533 adjust claims under this code, he or she has materially
534 misrepresented to an insured or other interested party the terms
535 and coverage of an insurance contract with intent and for the
536 purpose of effecting settlement of claim for loss or damage or
537 benefit under such contract on less favorable terms than those
538 provided in and contemplated by the contract.
539 (g) Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to
540 engage in the business of insurance.
541 (h) Demonstrated lack of reasonably adequate knowledge and
542 technical competence to engage in the transactions authorized by
543 the license or appointment.
544 (i) Fraudulent or dishonest practices in the conduct of
545 business under the license or appointment.
546 (j) Misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding
547 of moneys belonging to insurers or insureds or beneficiaries or
548 to others and received in conduct of business under the license
549 or appointment.
550 (k) Unlawfully rebating, attempting to unlawfully rebate,
551 or unlawfully dividing or offering to divide his or her
552 commission with another.
553 (l) Having obtained or attempted to obtain, or having used
554 or using, a license or appointment as agent or customer
555 representative for the purpose of soliciting or handling
556 “controlled business” as defined in s. 626.730 with respect to
557 general lines agents, s. 626.784 with respect to life agents,
558 and s. 626.830 with respect to health agents.
559 (m) Willful failure to comply with, or willful violation
560 of, any proper order or rule of the department or willful
561 violation of any provision of this code.
562 (n) Having been found guilty of or having pleaded guilty or
563 nolo contendere to a felony or a crime punishable by
564 imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United
565 States of America or of any state thereof or under the law of
566 any other country which involves moral turpitude, without regard
567 to whether a judgment of conviction has been entered by the
568 court having jurisdiction of such cases.
569 (o) Fraudulent or dishonest practice in submitting or
570 aiding or abetting any person in the submission of an
571 application for workers’ compensation coverage under chapter 440
572 containing false or misleading information as to employee
573 payroll or classification for the purpose of avoiding or
574 reducing the amount of premium due for such coverage.
575 (p) Sale of an unregistered security that was required to
576 be registered, pursuant to chapter 517.
577 (q) In transactions related to viatical settlement
578 contracts as defined in s. 626.9911:
579 1. Commission of a fraudulent or dishonest act.
580 2. No longer meeting the requirements for initial
582 3. Having received a fee, commission, or other valuable
583 consideration for his or her services with respect to viatical
584 settlements that involved unlicensed viatical settlement
585 providers or persons who offered or attempted to negotiate on
586 behalf of another person a viatical settlement contract as
587 defined in s. 626.9911 and who were not licensed life agents.
588 4. Dealing in bad faith with viators.
589 Section 20. Section 626.621, Florida Statutes, is amended
590 to read:
591 626.621 Grounds for discretionary refusal, suspension, or
592 revocation of agent’s, adjuster’s, umpire’s, customer
593 representative’s, service representative’s, or managing general
594 agent’s license or appointment.—The department may, in its
595 discretion, deny an application for, suspend, revoke, or refuse
596 to renew or continue the license or appointment of any
597 applicant, agent, adjuster, umpire, customer representative,
598 service representative, or managing general agent, and it may
599 suspend or revoke the eligibility to hold a license or
600 appointment of any such person, if it finds that as to the
601 applicant, licensee, or appointee any one or more of the
602 following applicable grounds exist under circumstances for which
603 such denial, suspension, revocation, or refusal is not mandatory
604 under s. 626.611:
605 (1) Any cause for which issuance of the license or
606 appointment could have been refused had it then existed and been
607 known to the department.
608 (2) Violation of any provision of this code or of any other
609 law applicable to the business of insurance in the course of
610 dealing under the license or appointment.
611 (3) Violation of any lawful order or rule of the
612 department, commission, or office.
613 (4) Failure or refusal, upon demand, to pay over to any
614 insurer he or she represents or has represented any money coming
615 into his or her hands belonging to the insurer.
616 (5) Violation of the provision against twisting, as defined
617 in s. 626.9541(1)(l).
618 (6) In the conduct of business under the license or
619 appointment, engaging in unfair methods of competition or in
620 unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as prohibited under part
621 IX of this chapter, or having otherwise shown himself or herself
622 to be a source of injury or loss to the public.
623 (7) Willful overinsurance of any property or health
624 insurance risk.
625 (8) Having been found guilty of or having pleaded guilty or
626 nolo contendere to a felony or a crime punishable by
627 imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United
628 States of America or of any state thereof or under the law of
629 any other country, without regard to whether a judgment of
630 conviction has been entered by the court having jurisdiction of
631 such cases.
632 (9) If a life agent, violation of the code of ethics.
633 (10) Cheating on an examination required for licensure or
634 violating test center or examination procedures published
635 orally, in writing, or electronically at the test site by
636 authorized representatives of the examination program
637 administrator. Communication of test center and examination
638 procedures must be clearly established and documented.
639 (11) Failure to inform the department in writing within 30
640 days after pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, or being
641 convicted or found guilty of, any felony or a crime punishable
642 by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United
643 States or of any state thereof, or under the law of any other
644 country without regard to whether a judgment of conviction has
645 been entered by the court having jurisdiction of the case.
646 (12) Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, advising, or
647 abetting any person in the violation of or to violate a
648 provision of the insurance code or any order or rule of the
649 department, commission, or office.
650 (13) Has been the subject of or has had a license, permit,
651 appointment, registration, or other authority to conduct
652 business subject to any decision, finding, injunction,
653 suspension, prohibition, revocation, denial, judgment, final
654 agency action, or administrative order by any court of competent
655 jurisdiction, administrative law proceeding, state agency,
656 federal agency, national securities, commodities, or option
657 exchange, or national securities, commodities, or option
658 association involving a violation of any federal or state
659 securities or commodities law or any rule or regulation adopted
660 thereunder, or a violation of any rule or regulation of any
661 national securities, commodities, or options exchange or
662 national securities, commodities, or options association.
663 (14) Failure to comply with any civil, criminal, or
664 administrative action taken by the child support enforcement
665 program under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
666 ss. 651 et seq., to determine paternity or to establish, modify,
667 enforce, or collect support.
668 (15) Directly or indirectly accepting any compensation,
669 inducement, or reward from an inspector for the referral of the
670 owner of the inspected property to the inspector or inspection
671 company. This prohibition applies to an inspection intended for
672 submission to an insurer in order to obtain property insurance
673 coverage or establish the applicable property insurance premium.
674 Section 21. Subsection (4) of section 626.641, Florida
675 Statutes, is amended to read:
676 626.641 Duration of suspension or revocation.—
677 (4) During the period of suspension or revocation of a
678 license or appointment, and until the license is reinstated or,
679 if revoked, a new license issued, the former licensee or
680 appointee may not engage in or attempt or profess to engage in
681 any transaction or business for which a license or appointment
682 is required under this code or directly or indirectly own,
683 control, or be employed in any manner by an agent, agency,
684 adjuster, or adjusting firm, or umpire.
685 Section 22. Subsection (2) of section 626.7845, Florida
686 Statutes, is amended to read:
687 626.7845 Prohibition against unlicensed transaction of life
689 (2) Except as provided in s. 626.112(9) 626.112(6), with
690 respect to any line of authority specified in s. 626.015(10), no
691 individual shall, unless licensed as a life agent:
692 (a) Solicit insurance or annuities or procure applications;
693 (b) In this state, engage or hold himself or herself out as
694 engaging in the business of analyzing or abstracting insurance
695 policies or of counseling or advising or giving opinions to
696 persons relative to insurance or insurance contracts other than:
697 1. As a consulting actuary advising an insurer; or
698 2. As to the counseling and advising of labor unions,
699 associations, trustees, employers, or other business entities,
700 the subsidiaries and affiliates of each, relative to their
701 interests and those of their members or employees under
702 insurance benefit plans; or
703 (c) In this state, from this state, or with a resident of
704 this state, offer or attempt to negotiate on behalf of another
705 person a viatical settlement contract as defined in s. 626.9911.
706 Section 23. Section 626.8305, Florida Statutes, is amended
707 to read:
708 626.8305 Prohibition against the unlicensed transaction of
709 health insurance.—Except as provided in s. 626.112(9)
710 626.112(6), with respect to any line of authority specified in
711 s. 626.015(6), no individual shall, unless licensed as a health
713 (1) Solicit insurance or procure applications; or
714 (2) In this state, engage or hold himself or herself out as
715 engaging in the business of analyzing or abstracting insurance
716 policies or of counseling or advising or giving opinions to
717 persons relative to insurance contracts other than:
718 (a) As a consulting actuary advising insurers; or
719 (b) As to the counseling and advising of labor unions,
720 associations, trustees, employers, or other business entities,
721 the subsidiaries and affiliates of each, relative to their
722 interests and those of their members or employees under
723 insurance benefit plans.
724 Section 24. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
725 626.8411, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
726 626.8411 Application of Florida Insurance Code provisions
727 to title insurance agents or agencies.—
728 (2) The following provisions of part I do not apply to
729 title insurance agents or title insurance agencies:
730 (a) Section 626.112(10) 626.112(7), relating to licensing
731 of insurance agencies.
732 Section 25. Subsection (4) of section 626.8443, Florida
733 Statutes, is amended to read:
734 626.8443 Duration of suspension or revocation.—
735 (4) During the period of suspension or after revocation of
736 the license and appointment, the former licensee shall not
737 engage in or attempt to profess to engage in any transaction or
738 business for which a license or appointment is required under
739 this code or directly or indirectly own, control, or be employed
740 in any manner by any insurance agent or agency, or adjuster, or
741 adjusting firm, or umpire.
742 Section 26. Paragraph (d) is added to subsection (11) of
743 section 626.854, Florida Statutes, to read:
744 626.854 “Public adjuster” defined; prohibitions.—The
745 Legislature finds that it is necessary for the protection of the
746 public to regulate public insurance adjusters and to prevent the
747 unauthorized practice of law.
749 (d) If a public adjuster enters into a contract with an
750 insured or a claimant to perform an appraisal, as defined in s.
751 626.9964, the public adjuster may not charge, agree to, or
752 accept from any source compensation, payment, commission, fee,
753 or any other thing of value in excess of the limitations set
754 forth in paragraph (b) for the appraisal services or, if also
755 serving as adjuster on the claim, a combination of adjuster and
756 appraisal services.
757 Section 27. Section 626.8791, Florida Statutes, is created
758 to read:
759 626.8791 Contracts for appraisal services; required
760 notice.—A contract between an adjuster and an insured or
761 claimant to perform an appraisal must contain the following
762 language in at least 14-point boldfaced, uppercase type: “THERE
763 IS NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT THAT AN APPRAISER CHARGE A CLIENT A SET
764 FEE OR A PERCENTAGE OF MONEY RECOVERED IN A CASE. YOU, THE
765 CLIENT, HAVE THE RIGHT TO TALK WITH YOUR APPRAISER ABOUT THE
766 PROPOSED FEE AND TO BARGAIN ABOUT THE RATE OR PERCENTAGE AS IN
767 ANY OTHER CONTRACT. IF YOU DO NOT REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH ONE
768 APPRAISER YOU MAY TALK WITH OTHER APPRAISERS.”
769 Section 28. Subsection (1) of section 626.9957, Florida
770 Statutes, is amended to read:
771 626.9957 Conduct prohibited; denial, revocation, or
772 suspension of registration.—
773 (1) As provided in s. 626.112, only a person licensed as an
774 insurance agent or customer representative may engage in the
775 solicitation of insurance. A person who engages in the
776 solicitation of insurance as described in s. 626.112(1) without
777 such license is subject to the penalties provided under s.
778 626.112(12) 626.112(9).
779 Section 29. Part XIV of chapter 626, Florida Statutes,
780 consisting of sections 626.9961 through 626.9968, is created to
782 PART XIV
783 PROPERTY INSURANCE APPRAISAL UMPIRES
784 626.9961 Short title.—This part may be referred to as the
785 “Property Insurance Appraisal Umpire Law.”
786 626.9962 Legislative findings.—The Legislature finds it
787 necessary to regulate persons that hold themselves out to the
788 public as qualified to provide services as property insurance
789 appraisal umpires in order to protect the public safety and
790 welfare and to avoid economic injury to the residents of this
791 state. This part applies only to property insurance appraisal
792 umpires as defined in this part.
793 626.9963 Part supplements licensing law.—This part is
794 supplementary to part I, the “Licensing Procedures Law.”
795 626.9964 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
796 (1) “Appraisal” means, for purposes of licensure under this
797 part only, a process of alternative dispute resolution used in a
798 personal residential or commercial residential property
799 insurance claim.
800 (2) “Competent” means sufficiently qualified and capable of
801 performing an appraisal.
802 (3) “Department” means the Department of Financial
804 (4) “Property insurance appraisal umpire” or “umpire” means
805 a person selected by the appraisers representing the insurer and
806 the insured, or, if the appraisers cannot agree, by the court,
807 and who is charged with resolving issues that the appraisers are
808 unable to agree upon during the course of an appraisal.
809 (5) “Property insurance appraiser” or “appraiser” means the
810 person selected by an insurer or insured to perform an
812 626.9965 Qualification for license as a property insurance
813 appraisal umpire.—
814 (1) The department shall issue a license as an umpire to a
815 person who meets the requirements of subsection (2) and is one
816 of the following:
817 (a) A retired county, circuit, or appellate judge.
818 (b) Licensed as an engineer pursuant to chapter 471 or is a
819 retired professional engineer as defined in s. 471.005.
820 (c) Licensed as a general contractor, building contractor,
821 or residential contractor pursuant to part I of chapter 489.
822 (d) Licensed or registered as an architect to engage in the
823 practice of architecture pursuant to part I of chapter 481.
824 (e) A member of The Florida Bar.
825 (f) Licensed as an adjuster pursuant to part VI of chapter
826 626, which license includes the property and casualty lines of
827 insurance. An adjuster must have been licensed for at least 5
828 years as an adjuster before he or she may be licensed as an
830 (2) An applicant may be licensed to practice in this state
831 as an umpire if the applicant:
832 (a) Is a natural person at least 18 years of age;
833 (b) Is a United States citizen or legal alien who possesses
834 work authorization from the United States Bureau of Citizenship
835 and Immigration;
836 (c) Is of good moral character;
837 (d) Has paid the applicable fees specified in s. 624.501;
839 (e) Has, before the date of the application for licensure,
840 satisfactorily completed education courses approved by the
841 department covering:
842 1. At least 19 hours of insurance claims estimating; and
843 2. At least 5 hours of insurance law, ethics for insurance
844 professionals, disciplinary trends, and case studies.
846 A retired county, circuit, or appellate judge who is a member in
847 good standing of The Florida Bar is exempt from the continuing
848 education requirements of s. 626.2815 and the education courses
849 required by this subsection.
850 (3) The department may not reject an application solely
851 because the applicant is or is not a member of a given appraisal
853 626.9966 Grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of
854 an umpire license or appointment.—The department may deny an
855 application for license or appointment under this part; suspend,
856 revoke, or refuse to renew or continue a license or appointment
857 of an umpire; or suspend or revoke eligibility for licensure or
858 appointment as an umpire if the department finds that one or
859 more of the following applicable grounds exist:
860 (1) Violating a duty imposed upon him or her by law or by
861 the terms of the umpire agreement; aiding, assisting, or
862 conspiring with any other person engaged in any such misconduct
863 and in furtherance thereof; or forming the intent, design, or
864 scheme to engage in such misconduct and committing an overt act
865 in furtherance of such intent, design, or scheme. An umpire
866 commits a violation of this part regardless of whether the
867 victim or intended victim of the misconduct has sustained any
868 damage or loss; the damage or loss has been settled and paid
869 after the discovery of misconduct; or the victim or intended
870 victim is an insurer or customer or a person in a confidential
871 relationship with the umpire or is an identified member of the
872 general public.
873 (2) Having a registration, license, or certification to
874 practice or conduct any regulated profession, business, or
875 vocation revoked, suspended, or encumbered; or having an
876 application for such registration, licensure, or certification
877 to practice or conduct any regulated profession, business, or
878 vocation denied by this or any other state, any nation, or any
879 possession or district of the United States.
880 (3) Making or filing a report or record, written or oral,
881 which the umpire knows to be false; willfully failing to file a
882 report or record required by state or federal law; willfully
883 impeding or obstructing such filing; or inducing another person
884 to impede or obstruct such filing.
885 (4) Agreeing to serve as an umpire if service is contingent
886 upon the umpire reporting a predetermined amount, analysis, or
888 (5) Agreeing to serve as an umpire if the fee to be paid
889 for his or her services is contingent upon the opinion,
890 conclusion, or valuation he or she reaches.
891 (6) Failure of an umpire, without good cause, to
892 communicate within 10 business days after a request for
893 communication from an appraiser.
894 (7) Violation of any ethical standard for umpires specified
895 in s. 626.9967.
896 626.9967 Ethical standards for property insurance appraisal
898 (1) FEES AND EXPENSES.—
899 (a) The fees charged by an umpire must be reasonable and
900 consistent with the nature of the case.
901 (b) In determining fees, an umpire:
902 1. Must charge on an hourly basis and may bill only for
903 actual time spent on or allocated for the appraisal.
904 2. May not charge, agree to, or accept as compensation or
905 reimbursement any payment, commission, or fee that is based on a
906 percentage of the value of the claim or that is contingent upon
907 a specified outcome.
908 3. May charge for costs actually incurred, and no other
909 costs. An umpire may not charge for the cost of an expert unless
910 the umpire has disclosed the amount of the expert’s fee to the
911 appraiser for the insurer and the appraiser for the insured
912 before incurring the cost for the expert’s services.
913 4. May not charge a fee of more than $500 if the amount
914 reported by the appraiser for the insurer or by the appraiser
915 for the insured does not exceed $2,500.
916 (c) An appraiser may assign the duty of paying the umpire’s
917 fee to, and the umpire is entitled to receive payment directly
918 from, the insurer and the insured only if the insurer and the
919 insured acknowledge and accept that duty and agree in writing to
920 be responsible for payment.
921 (2) MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS.—An umpire shall maintain
922 records necessary to support charges for services and expenses,
923 and, upon request, shall provide an accounting of all applicable
924 charges to the insurer and insured. An umpire shall retain
925 original or true copies of any contracts engaging his or her
926 services, appraisal reports, and supporting data assembled and
927 formulated by the umpire in preparing appraisal reports for at
928 least 5 years. The umpire shall make the records available to
929 the department for inspection and copying within 7 business days
930 after a request. If an appraisal has been the subject of, or has
931 been admitted as evidence in, a lawsuit, reports and records
932 related to the appraisal must be retained for at least 2 years
933 after the date that the trial ends.
934 (3) ADVERTISING.—An umpire may not engage in marketing
935 practices that contain false or misleading information. An
936 umpire shall ensure that any advertisement of his or her
937 qualifications, services to be rendered, or the appraisal
938 process are accurate and honest. An umpire may not make claims
939 of achieving specific outcomes or promises implying favoritism
940 for the purpose of obtaining business.
941 (4) INTEGRITY AND IMPARTIALITY.—
942 (a)1. An umpire may not accept an appraisal unless he or
943 she can serve competently, promptly commence the appraisal, and,
944 thereafter, devote the time and attention to its completion in
945 the manner expected by all persons involved in the appraisal.
946 2. An umpire shall conduct the appraisal process in a
947 manner that advances the fair and efficient resolution of issues
948 that arise.
949 3. An umpire shall deliberate and decide all issues within
950 the scope of the appraisal, but may not render a decision on any
951 other issues. An umpire shall decide all matters justly,
952 exercising independent judgment. An umpire may not delegate his
953 or her duties to any other person. An umpire who considers the
954 opinion of an expert does not violate this paragraph.
955 (b) An umpire may not engage in any business, provide any
956 service, or perform any act that would compromise his or her
957 integrity or impartiality.
958 (5) SKILL AND EXPERIENCE.—An umpire must decline or
959 withdraw from an appraisal or request appropriate assistance
960 when the facts and circumstances of the appraisal prove to be
961 beyond his or her skill or experience.
962 (6) GIFTS AND SOLICITATION.—An umpire or any individual or
963 entity acting on behalf of an umpire may not solicit, accept,
964 give, or offer to give, directly or indirectly, any gift, favor,
965 loan, or other item of value in excess of $25 to any individual
966 who participates in the appraisal, for the purpose of
967 solicitation or otherwise attempting to procure future work from
968 any person who participates in the appraisal, or as an
969 inducement to enter into an appraisal with an umpire. This
970 subsection does not prevent an umpire from accepting other
971 appraisals where the appraisers agree upon the umpire or the
972 court appoints the umpire.
973 (7) EX PARTE COMMUNICATION.—In any property insurance
974 appraisal, ex parte communication between an umpire and an
975 appraiser is prohibited. However, an appraiser may communicate
976 with another appraiser if an umpire is not present or does not
977 receive the ex parte communication.
978 626.9968 Conflicts of interest.—An insurer or a
979 policyholder may challenge an umpire’s impartiality and
980 disqualify the proposed umpire only if:
981 (1) A familial relationship within the third degree exists
982 between the umpire and a party or a representative of a party;
983 (2) The umpire has previously represented a party in a
984 professional capacity in the same claim or matter involving the
985 same property;
986 (3) The umpire has represented another person in a
987 professional capacity in the same matter or a substantially
988 related matter that includes the claim, the same property or an
989 adjacent property, and the other person’s interests are
990 materially adverse to the interests of a party;
991 (4) The umpire has worked as an employer or employee of a
992 party within the preceding 5 years; or
993 (5) The umpire has violated s. 626.9966.
994 Section 30. Section 627.70151, Florida Statutes, is
996 Section 31. For the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the sums of
997 $24,000 in recurring funds from the Insurance Regulatory Trust
998 Fund and $73,107 in recurring funds and $39,230 in nonrecurring
999 funds from the Administrative Trust Fund are appropriated to the
1000 Department of Financial Services, and one full-time equivalent
1001 position with associated salary rate of 47,291 is authorized,
1002 for the purpose of implementing this act.
1003 Section 32. This act applies to all appraisals requested on
1004 or after October 1, 2017.
1005 Section 33. This act shall take effect October 1, 2017.