Florida Senate - 2017                             CS for SB 1014
       By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senator Brandes
       597-03364-17                                          20171014c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s.
    3         626.9891, F.S.; providing an exemption from public
    4         records requirements for reports, documents, or other
    5         information relating to the investigation and tracking
    6         of insurance fraud submitted by insurers to the
    7         Department of Financial Services; providing for future
    8         legislative review and repeal of the exemption;
    9         providing retroactive applicability; providing a
   10         statement of public necessity; providing a contingent
   11         effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Subsection (10) is added to section 626.9891,
   16  Florida Statutes, to read:
   17         626.9891 Insurer anti-fraud investigative units; reporting
   18  requirements; penalties for noncompliance.—
   19         (10)(a)The information submitted to the department
   20  pursuant to paragraphs (3)(d), (e), and (f) and paragraphs
   21  (5)(d), (e), (f), (g), and (k) is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and
   22  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
   23         (b)This subsection is subject to the Open Government
   24  Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand
   25  repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from
   26  repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   27         (c)This exemption applies to records held before, on, or
   28  after the effective date of this exemption.
   29         Section 2. (1)The Legislature finds that it is a public
   30  necessity to make exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes,
   31  and s. 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution the
   32  description of an insurer’s anti-fraud education and training,
   33  the description of an insurer’s anti-fraud investigative unit,
   34  and an insurer’s rationale for the level of staffing and
   35  resources it provides to the anti-fraud investigative unit as
   36  required in s. 626.9891(3)(d), (e), and (f), Florida Statutes,
   37  and filed with the Division of Investigative and Forensic
   38  Services pursuant to s. 626.9891(2), Florida Statutes, and the
   39  data collected and reported to the Division of Investigative and
   40  Forensic Services pursuant to s. 626.9891(5)(d), (e), (f), (g),
   41  and (k), Florida Statutes.
   42         (2)The description of an insurer’s anti-fraud education
   43  and training that assists in identifying and evaluating
   44  instances of suspected fraudulent insurance acts, the
   45  description of an insurer’s anti-fraud investigative unit, and
   46  an insurer’s rationale for the level of staffing and resources
   47  it provides to the anti-fraud investigative unit will allow the
   48  Department of Financial Services to ensure that insurers have
   49  adequate procedures in place to properly detect, investigate,
   50  and report potential insurance fraud. The public disclosure of
   51  this information would allow criminal elements to use such
   52  information to identify fraud prevention or detection strategies
   53  employed by insurers and use this information to commit
   54  insurance fraud. The Legislature further finds that disclosure
   55  of this information would allow persons suspected of fraud to be
   56  alerted to a potential or ongoing investigation and alter
   57  behavior to impede an investigation. To ensure the integrity of
   58  such records already in the possession of the department, this
   59  exemption is made retroactive in its application.
   60         (3)The data submitted pursuant to s. 626.9891(5)(d), (e),
   61  (f), (g), and (k), Florida Statutes, allow the department to
   62  track and assess trends in insurance fraud in this state. Such
   63  information includes the number of claims referred to the anti
   64  fraud investigative unit, the number of matters referred to the
   65  anti-fraud investigative unit which were not claim-related, the
   66  number of claims investigated or accepted by the anti-fraud
   67  investigative unit, the number of other insurance fraud matters
   68  investigated or accepted by the anti-fraud investigative unit
   69  which were not claim-related, and the estimated dollar amount or
   70  range of damages on cases referred to the Division of
   71  Investigative and Forensic Services or other agencies. The
   72  public disclosure of this information could injure a business in
   73  the marketplace by providing its competitors with detailed
   74  insights into the claim investigation processes and statistics
   75  of the company, thereby diminishing the advantage that the
   76  business maintains over competitors that do not possess such
   77  information. Without this exemption, insurers might refrain from
   78  providing accurate and unbiased data, thus impairing the
   79  department’s ability to track and assess insurance fraud in this
   80  state. This data will allow insurance fraud investigators to
   81  better track, predict, and curb fraud trends in this state by
   82  providing access to data gathered by insurers’ anti-fraud
   83  investigative units. Information regarding the amount of
   84  insurance fraud experienced, referred, and addressed internally
   85  will be valuable material for the department and will better
   86  enable law enforcement agencies to assist state prosecutors in
   87  the successful prosecution of fraudulent behavior.
   88         Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that
   89  CS/SB 1012 or similar legislation takes effect, if such
   90  legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an
   91  extension thereof and becomes a law.