Florida Senate - 2018 SB 1634 By Senator Lee 20-01211A-18 20181634__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the regulation of workers’ 3 compensation insurance; amending s. 627.0613, F.S.; 4 authorizing the consumer advocate appointed by the 5 Chief Financial Officer to intervene as a party in 6 certain proceedings relating to the regulation of 7 workers’ compensation insurance or to seek review of 8 certain agency actions relating to workers’ 9 compensation insurance before the Division of 10 Administrative Hearings; specifying requirements and 11 procedures for the consumer advocate in the 12 examination of workers’ compensation rates or form 13 filings; requiring the consumer advocate to present 14 any recommendation regarding the filing to the Office 15 of Insurance Regulation within specified timeframes; 16 requiring a certain certification from the actuary who 17 examines the filing and prepares recommendations for 18 the consumer advocate; specifying requirements for the 19 office in responding to the consumer advocate’s 20 recommendations; prohibiting the office from approving 21 or disapproving a filing or issuing a certain notice 22 before the office responds to such recommendations; 23 amending s. 627.0621, F.S.; requiring the office to 24 publish on a publicly accessible website certain 25 recommendations of the consumer advocate with respect 26 to a workers’ compensation rate filing and the 27 office’s response to such recommendations; providing 28 an effective date. 29 30 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 31 32 Section 1. Present subsection (4) of section 627.0613, 33 Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (5), a new 34 subsection (4) is added to that section, and subsection (3) of 35 that section is republished, to read: 36 627.0613 Consumer advocate.—The Chief Financial Officer 37 must appoint a consumer advocate who must represent the general 38 public of the state before the department and the office. The 39 consumer advocate must report directly to the Chief Financial 40 Officer, but is not otherwise under the authority of the 41 department or of any employee of the department. The consumer 42 advocate has such powers as are necessary to carry out the 43 duties of the office of consumer advocate, including, but not 44 limited to, the powers to: 45 (3) Examine rate and form filings submitted to the office, 46 hire consultants as necessary to aid in the review process, and 47 recommend to the department or office any position deemed by the 48 consumer advocate to be in the public interest. 49 (4) Intervene as a party in any proceeding or action before 50 the department or office relating to the regulation of workers’ 51 compensation insurance; seek review before the Division of 52 Administrative Hearings of any agency action relating to 53 workers’ compensation insurance arising out of any proceeding or 54 action before the department or office in which the consumer 55 advocate appeared as a party; or intervene as a party in any 56 proceeding before the Division of Administrative Hearings 57 relating to the regulation of workers’ compensation insurance 58 under the jurisdiction of the department or office. 59 (a) If the consumer advocate intends to examine a workers’ 60 compensation rate or form filing, the consumer advocate must 61 notify the office within 14 days after the date the filing is 62 made. 63 (b) If the consumer advocate determines that additional 64 information relating to the filing is needed in order to 65 complete an examination, the consumer advocate may submit a 66 demand for the additional information to the insurer within 21 67 days after the date the filing was made. The consumer advocate 68 shall provide a copy of the demand to the office at the same 69 time that the demand is sent to the insurer. The insurer shall 70 provide the additional information relating to the filing to the 71 consumer advocate and the office within 15 days after receipt of 72 a demand from the consumer advocate. 73 (c) The consumer advocate shall present any recommendation 74 regarding the filing to the office: 75 1. Within 21 days after the date a filing was made, if no 76 additional information is requested from the insurer. 77 2. Within 15 days after the receipt of additional 78 information requested. 79 (d) The actuary who examines the filing and prepares the 80 recommendations for the consumer advocate must certify that, 81 based on the actuary’s knowledge, his or her recommendations are 82 consistent with accepted actuarial principles. 83 (e) The office shall respond in writing to the consumer 84 advocate by accepting or rejecting each recommendation. If the 85 consumer advocate submits recommendations on a filing that is 86 the subject of a public hearing by the office, the office must 87 specifically respond in writing to each recommendation and 88 specifically state its reasons for accepting or rejecting each 89 recommendation. If the office issues an order approving or 90 disapproving a filing, the response of the office to the 91 consumer advocate’s recommendations must be included in the 92 order. 93 (f) The office may not approve or disapprove a filing, or 94 issue a notice of intent to approve or notice of intent to 95 disapprove the filing, before the office responds to the 96 recommendations of the consumer advocate. 97 Section 2. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (2) of 98 section 627.0621, Florida Statutes, and subsection (1) of that 99 section is republished, to read: 100 627.0621 Transparency in rate regulation.— 101 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 102 (a) “Rate filing” means any original or amended rate 103 residential property insurance filing. 104 (b) “Recommendation” means any proposed, preliminary, or 105 final recommendation from an office actuary reviewing a rate 106 filing with respect to the issue of approval or disapproval of 107 the rate filing or with respect to rate indications that the 108 office would consider acceptable. 109 (2) WEBSITE FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO RATE FILING INFORMATION.— 110 (c) With respect to any workers’ compensation rate filing, 111 the office shall publish on a publicly accessible website the 112 recommendations of the consumer advocate with regard to changes 113 requested by the insurer in rates, rating schedules, rating 114 manuals, premium credits, discount schedules, or surcharge 115 schedules, and the response of the office to the 116 recommendations. 117 Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2018.