2012 Florida Statutes
Motor vehicle insurance fraud direct-support organization.
Motor vehicle insurance fraud direct-support organization.
626.9895 Motor vehicle insurance fraud direct-support organization.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Division” means the Division of Insurance Fraud of the Department of Financial Services.
(b) “Motor vehicle insurance fraud” means any act defined as a “fraudulent insurance act” under s. 626.989, which relates to the coverage of motor vehicle insurance as described in part XI of chapter 627.
(c) “Organization” means the direct-support organization established under this section.
(2) ORGANIZATION ESTABLISHED.—The division may establish a direct-support organization, to be known as the “Automobile Insurance Fraud Strike Force,” whose sole purpose is to support the prosecution, investigation, and prevention of motor vehicle insurance fraud. The organization shall:
(a) Be a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State.
(b) Be organized and operated to conduct programs and activities; raise funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer, in its own name, securities, funds, objects of value, or other property, real or personal; and make grants and expenditures to or for the direct or indirect benefit of the division, state attorneys’ offices, the statewide prosecutor, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Department of Health to the extent that such grants and expenditures are used exclusively to advance the prosecution, investigation, or prevention of motor vehicle insurance fraud. Grants and expenditures may include the cost of salaries or benefits of motor vehicle insurance fraud investigators, prosecutors, or support personnel if such grants and expenditures do not interfere with prosecutorial independence or otherwise create conflicts of interest which threaten the success of prosecutions.
(c) Be determined by the division to operate in a manner that promotes the goals of laws relating to motor vehicle insurance fraud, that is in the best interest of the state, and that is in accordance with the adopted goals and mission of the division.
(d) Use all of its grants and expenditures solely for the purpose of preventing and decreasing motor vehicle insurance fraud, and not for advertising using the likeness or name of any elected official nor for the purpose of lobbying as defined in s. 11.045.
(e) Be subject to an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981.
(3) CONTRACT.—The organization shall operate under written contract with the division. The contract must provide for:
(a) Approval of the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the organization by the division.
(b) Submission of an annual budget for approval of the division. The budget must require the organization to minimize costs to the division and its members at all times by using existing personnel and property and allowing for telephonic meetings if appropriate.
(c) Certification by the division that the organization is complying with the terms of the contract and in a manner consistent with the goals and purposes of the department and in the best interest of the state. Such certification must be made annually and reported in the official minutes of a meeting of the organization.
(d) Allocation of funds to address motor vehicle insurance fraud.
(e) Reversion of moneys and property held in trust by the organization for motor vehicle insurance fraud prosecution, investigation, and prevention to the division if the organization is no longer approved to operate for the department or if the organization ceases to exist, or to the state if the division ceases to exist.
(f) Specific criteria to be used by the organization’s board of directors to evaluate the effectiveness of funding used to combat motor vehicle insurance fraud.
(g) The fiscal year of the organization, which begins July 1 of each year and ends June 30 of the following year.
(h) Disclosure of the material provisions of the contract, and distinguishing between the department and the organization to donors of gifts, contributions, or bequests, including providing such disclosure on all promotional and fundraising publications.
(4) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—
(a) The board of directors of the organization shall consist of the following 11 members:
1. The Chief Financial Officer, or designee, who shall serve as chair.
2. Two state attorneys, one of whom shall be appointed by the Chief Financial Officer and one of whom shall be appointed by the Attorney General.
3. Two representatives of motor vehicle insurers appointed by the Chief Financial Officer.
4. Two representatives of local law enforcement agencies, one of whom shall be appointed by the Chief Financial Officer and one of whom shall be appointed by the Attorney General.
5. Two representatives of the types of health care providers who regularly make claims for benefits under ss. 627.730-627.7405, one of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Senate and one of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The appointees may not represent the same type of health care provider.
6. A private attorney 1who has experience in representing claimants in actions for benefits under ss. 627.730-627.7405, who shall be appointed by the President of the Senate.
(b) The officer who appointed a member of the board may remove that member for any reason. The term of office of an appointed member expires at the same time as the term of the officer who appointed him or her or at such earlier time as the person ceases to be qualified.
(5) USE OF PROPERTY.—The department may authorize, without charge, appropriate use of fixed property and facilities of the division by the organization, subject to this subsection.
(a) The department may prescribe any condition with which the organization must comply in order to use the division’s property or facilities.
(b) The department may not authorize the use of the division’s property or facilities if the organization does not provide equal membership and employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, religion, sex, age, or national origin.
(c) The department shall adopt rules prescribing the procedures by which the organization is governed and any conditions with which the organization must comply to use the division’s property or facilities.
(6) CONTRIBUTIONS FROM INSURERS.—Contributions from an insurer to the organization shall be allowed as an appropriate business expense of the insurer for all regulatory purposes.
(7) DEPOSITORY ACCOUNT.—Any moneys received by the organization may be held in a separate depository account in the name of the organization and subject to the contract with the division.
(8) DIVISION’S RECEIPT OF PROCEEDS.—Proceeds received by the division from the organization shall be deposited into the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund.
History.—s. 7, ch. 2012-197.
1Note.—The word “who” was substituted for the word “that” by the editors to conform to context.