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.
   30  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
  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.