Florida Senate - 2022              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. CS for SB 1292
       Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations
       (Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and
       General Government)
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to fraud prevention; creating s.
    3         324.252, F.S.; requiring that the electronic
    4         credentialing system display certain vehicle
    5         information for specified purposes by a specified
    6         date; requiring the Department of Highway Safety and
    7         Motor Vehicles to provide the Legislature with
    8         recommendations for compliance verification with
    9         certain financial responsibility requirements by a
   10         specified date; amending s. 501.165, F.S.; requiring
   11         sellers to allow consumers to cancel in a specified
   12         manner and by specified means service contracts that
   13         have automatic renewal provisions; amending s.
   14         626.854, F.S.; revising maximum fines for public
   15         adjusters and public adjuster apprentices for certain
   16         violations under a specified circumstance; revising
   17         maximum fines for certain violations by certain
   18         persons under a specified circumstance; amending s.
   19         633.126, F.S.; authorizing the Department of Financial
   20         Services to impose an administrative fine on insurance
   21         companies under certain circumstances; deleting
   22         criminal penalties; authorizing the Division of
   23         Investigative and Forensic Services to adopt certain
   24         rules; amending s. 634.095, F.S.; revising
   25         requirements for advertisements issued or caused to be
   26         issued by service agreement companies or salespersons;
   27         specifying that certain materials are not included in
   28         the definition of the term “written advertisement”;
   29         amending s. 775.15, F.S.; revising felony violations
   30         for which prosecutions must be commenced within a
   31         specified timeframe; amending s. 817.234, F.S.;
   32         providing that certain insurers are entitled to
   33         recover specified expenses at the trial and appellate
   34         courts under certain circumstances; providing
   35         effective dates.
   37  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   39         Section 1. Section 324.252, Florida Statutes, is created to
   40  read:
   41         324.252 Electronic insurance verification.—
   42         (1)In order to empower drivers in this state and reduce
   43  the incidence of automobile insurance fraud within this state,
   44  by July 1, 2023, the electronic credentialing system, as defined
   45  in s. 322.032(1), must display driver vehicle registration and
   46  insurance information, provide a driver with notification of any
   47  lapse in his or her insurance coverage needed for compliance
   48  with the financial responsibility requirements of this chapter,
   49  and allow the driver to update his or her policy information via
   50  the system.
   51         (2)By October 1, 2023, the department shall provide the
   52  Legislature with recommendations on the means by which the
   53  department, law enforcement agencies, and other entities
   54  authorized by the department may electronically verify a
   55  driver’s compliance with the financial responsibility
   56  requirements of this chapter.
   57         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 501.165, Florida
   58  Statutes, is amended to read:
   59         501.165 Automatic renewal of service contracts.—
   61         (a) A Any seller that sells, leases, or offers to sell or
   62  lease any service to a consumer pursuant to a service contract
   63  that has an automatic renewal provision, unless the consumer
   64  cancels that contract, shall disclose the automatic renewal
   65  provision clearly and conspicuously in the contract or contract
   66  offer.
   67         (b) A Any seller that sells or offers to sell any service
   68  to a consumer pursuant to a service contract the term of which
   69  is a specified period of 12 months or more and that
   70  automatically renews for a specified period of more than 1
   71  month, unless the consumer cancels the contract, shall provide
   72  the consumer with written or electronic notification of the
   73  automatic renewal provision. Notification shall be provided to
   74  the consumer no less than 30 days or no more than 60 days before
   75  the cancellation deadline pursuant to the automatic renewal
   76  provision. Such notification shall disclose clearly and
   77  conspicuously:
   78         1. That unless the consumer cancels the contract the
   79  contract will automatically renew.
   80         2. Methods by which the consumer may obtain details of the
   81  automatic renewal provision and cancellation procedure, whether
   82  by contacting the seller at a specified telephone number or
   83  address, by referring to the contract, or by any other method.
   84         (c) A seller that fails to comply with the requirements of
   85  this subsection violates is in violation of this subsection
   86  unless the seller demonstrates that:
   87         1. As part of the seller’s routine business practice, the
   88  seller has established and implemented written procedures to
   89  comply with this section and enforces compliance with the
   90  procedures;
   91         2. Any failure to comply with this subsection is the result
   92  of error; and
   93         3. As part of the seller’s routine business practice, where
   94  an error has caused the failure to comply with this subsection,
   95  the unearned portion of the contract subject to the automatic
   96  renewal provision is refunded as of the date on which the seller
   97  is notified of the error.
   98         (d) A seller who enters into or renews any service contract
   99  with a consumer which includes an automatic renewal provision
  100  must allow the consumer to cancel the service contract in the
  101  same manner, and by the same means, as the consumer manifested
  102  his or her acceptance of the service contract.
  103         (e) This subsection does not apply to:
  104         1. A financial institution as defined in s. 655.005 or any
  105  depository institution as defined in 12 U.S.C. s. 1813(c)(2).
  106         2. A foreign bank maintaining a branch or agency licensed
  107  under the laws of any state of the United States.
  108         3. Any subsidiary or affiliate of an entity described in
  109  subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.
  110         4. A health studio as defined in s. 501.0125.
  111         5. Any entity licensed under chapter 624, chapter 627,
  112  chapter 634, chapter 636, or chapter 641.
  113         6. Any electric utility as defined in s. 366.02.
  114         7. Any private company as defined in s. 180.05 providing
  115  services described in chapter 180 which is competing against a
  116  governmental entity or has a governmental entity providing
  117  billing services on its behalf.
  118         (f)(e) A violation of this subsection renders the automatic
  119  renewal provision void and unenforceable.
  120         Section 3. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (22) of
  121  section 626.854, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
  122  (a) of that subsection is republished, to read:
  123         626.854 “Public adjuster” defined; prohibitions.—The
  124  Legislature finds that it is necessary for the protection of the
  125  public to regulate public insurance adjusters and to prevent the
  126  unauthorized practice of law.
  127         (22)(a) Any following act by a public adjuster, a public
  128  adjuster apprentice, or a person acting on behalf of a public
  129  adjuster or public adjuster apprentice is prohibited and shall
  130  result in discipline as applicable under this part:
  131         1. Offering to a residential property owner a rebate, gift,
  132  gift card, cash, coupon, waiver of any insurance deductible, or
  133  any other thing of value in exchange for:
  134         a. Allowing a contractor, a public adjuster, a public
  135  adjuster apprentice, or a person acting on behalf of a public
  136  adjuster or public adjuster apprentice to conduct an inspection
  137  of the residential property owner’s roof; or
  138         b. Making an insurance claim for damage to the residential
  139  property owner’s roof.
  140         2. Offering, delivering, receiving, or accepting any
  141  compensation, inducement, or reward for the referral of any
  142  services for which property insurance proceeds would be used for
  143  roofing repairs or replacement.
  144         (b) Notwithstanding the fine set forth in s. 626.8698, a
  145  public adjuster or public adjuster apprentice may be subject to
  146  a fine not to exceed $10,000 per act for a violation of this
  147  subsection and a fine not to exceed $20,000 per act for a
  148  violation of this subsection that occurs during a state of
  149  emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the
  150  Governor pursuant to s. 252.36.
  151         (c) A person who engages in an act prohibited by this
  152  subsection and who is not a public adjuster or a public adjuster
  153  apprentice, or is not otherwise exempt from licensure, is guilty
  154  of the unlicensed practice of public adjusting and may be:
  155         1. Subject to all applicable penalties set forth in this
  156  part.
  157         2. Notwithstanding subparagraph 1., subject to a fine not
  158  to exceed $10,000 per act for a violation of this subsection and
  159  a fine not to exceed $20,000 per act for a violation of this
  160  subsection that occurs during a state of emergency declared by
  161  executive order or proclamation of the Governor pursuant to s.
  162  252.36.
  163         Section 4. Subsection (9) of section 633.126, Florida
  164  Statutes, is amended, subsection (10) is added to that section,
  165  and subsection (2) of that section is republished, to read:
  166         633.126 Investigation of fraudulent insurance claims and
  167  crimes; immunity of insurance companies supplying information.—
  168         (2) If an insurance company has reason to suspect that a
  169  fire or explosion loss to its insured’s real or personal
  170  property was caused by intentional means, the company shall
  171  notify the State Fire Marshal and shall furnish her or him with
  172  all material acquired by the company during its investigation.
  173  The State Fire Marshal may adopt rules to implement this
  174  subsection.
  175         (9) If an insurance company fails or otherwise refuses to
  176  comply with this section, the department may impose an
  177  administrative fine of not more than $2,000 per day for such
  178  failure until the department deems the insurance company to be
  179  in compliance A person who willfully violates this section
  180  commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as
  181  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  182         (10)The Division of Investigative and Forensic Services
  183  may adopt reasonable rules as are necessary to administer this
  184  section. Such rules must meet all of the following requirements:
  185         (a)They may not enlarge upon or extend the provisions of
  186  this section.
  187         (b)They must identify specific factors that determine the
  188  grades of penalty.
  189         (c)They must specify mitigating and aggravating factors
  190  for a violation of this section.
  191         Section 5. Effective March 1, 2023, present paragraphs (b),
  192  (c), and (d) of subsection (3) of section 634.095, Florida
  193  Statutes, are redesignated as paragraphs (d), (e), and (f),
  194  respectively, new paragraphs (b) and (c) are added to that
  195  subsection, and paragraph (a) of that subsection is amended, to
  196  read:
  197         634.095 Prohibited acts.—Any service agreement company or
  198  salesperson that engages in one or more of the following acts
  199  is, in addition to any applicable denial, suspension,
  200  revocation, or refusal to renew or continue any appointment or
  201  license, guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree,
  202  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083:
  203         (3) Issuing or causing to be issued any advertisement
  204  which:
  205         (a) Does not fully disclose in a written advertisement, in
  206  at least 12-point, boldface boldfaced type, the name, address,
  207  and Florida Company Code license number of the service agreement
  208  company. As used in this paragraph, the term “written
  209  advertisement” does not include material prepared for a specific
  210  consumer and presented to that consumer at the point of sale of
  211  the product to be covered by a warranty or service agreement.
  212         (b)Does not fully disclose in a radio or television
  213  advertisement the full legal name of the licensed salesperson or
  214  the service agreement company.
  215         (c)Does not fully identify the soliciting licensed
  216  salesperson’s full legal name and license number when the
  217  salesperson begins, and the soliciting salesperson’s telephone
  218  number when the salesperson concludes, each outbound telephone
  219  solicitation. For the purposes of this paragraph, the actual
  220  telephone number of the salesperson may be the number on file
  221  with the department or the number at which the salesperson may
  222  be contacted.
  223         Section 6. Subsection (11) of section 775.15, Florida
  224  Statutes, is amended to read:
  225         775.15 Time limitations; general time limitations;
  226  exceptions.—
  227         (11) A prosecution for a felony violation of s. 440.105 or
  228  s. 817.234 ss. 440.105 and 817.234 must be commenced within 5
  229  years after the violation is committed.
  230         Section 7. Subsection (5) of section 817.234, Florida
  231  Statutes, is amended to read:
  232         817.234 False and fraudulent insurance claims.—
  233         (5)(a) Any insurer damaged as a result of a violation of
  234  any provision of this section when there has been a criminal
  235  adjudication of guilt shall have a cause of action to recover
  236  compensatory damages, plus all reasonable investigation and
  237  litigation expenses, including attorney attorneys’ fees, at the
  238  trial and appellate courts.
  239         (b)If an insurer damaged as a result of a violation of any
  240  provision of this section has reported the possible fraudulent
  241  insurance act to the Division of Investigative and Forensic
  242  Services pursuant to s. 626.9891 and if there has been a
  243  criminal adjudication of guilt, the insurer is entitled to
  244  recover reasonable investigation and litigation expenses,
  245  including attorney fees, at the trial and appellate courts.
  246         Section 8. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  247  act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.