2020 Florida Statutes
General powers; duties.
General powers; duties.
624.307 General powers; duties.—
(1) The department and office shall enforce the provisions of this code and shall execute the duties imposed upon them by this code, within the respective jurisdiction of each, as provided by law.
(2) The department shall have the powers and authority expressly conferred upon it by, or reasonably implied from, the provisions of this code. The office shall have the powers and authority expressly conferred upon it by, or reasonably implied from, the provisions of this code.
(3) The department or office may conduct such investigations of insurance matters, in addition to investigations expressly authorized, as it may deem proper to determine whether any person has violated any provision of this code within its respective regulatory jurisdiction or to secure information useful in the lawful administration of any such provision. The cost of such investigations shall be borne by the state.
(4) The department and office may each collect, propose, publish, and disseminate information relating to the subject matter of any duties imposed upon it by law. Aggregate information may include information asserted as trade secret information unless the trade secret information can be individually extrapolated, in which case the trade secret information remains protected as provided under s. 624.4213.
(5) The department and office shall each have such additional powers and duties as may be provided by other laws of this state.
(6) The department and office may each employ actuaries who shall be at-will employees and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Chief Financial Officer, in the case of department employees, or at the pleasure of the director of the office, in the case of office employees. Actuaries employed pursuant to this paragraph shall be members of the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society and shall be exempt from the Career Service System established under chapter 110. The salaries of the actuaries employed pursuant to this paragraph shall be set in accordance with 1s. 216.251(2)(a)5. and shall be set at levels which are commensurate with salary levels paid to actuaries by the insurance industry.
(7) The department and office, within existing resources, may expend funds for the professional development of their employees, including, but not limited to, professional dues for employees who are required to be members of professional organizations; examinations leading to professional designations required for employment with the office; training courses and examinations provided through, and to ensure compliance with, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; or other training courses related to the regulation of insurance.
(8) The office shall, within existing resources, develop and implement an outreach program for the purpose of encouraging the entry of additional insurers into the Florida market.
(9) Upon receiving service of legal process issued in any civil action or proceeding in this state against any regulated person or any unauthorized insurer under s. 626.906 or s. 626.937 which is required to appoint the Chief Financial Officer as its attorney to receive service of all legal process, the Chief Financial Officer, as attorney, may, in lieu of sending the process by registered or certified mail, send the process or make it available by any other verifiable means, including, but not limited to, making the documents available by electronic transmission from a secure website established by the department to the person last designated by the regulated person or the unauthorized insurer to receive the process. When process documents are made available electronically, the Chief Financial Officer shall send a notice of receipt of service of process to the person last designated by the regulated person or unauthorized insurer to receive legal process. The notice must state the date and manner in which the copy of the process was made available to the regulated person or unauthorized insurer being served and contain the uniform resource locator (URL) for a hyperlink to access files and information on the department’s website to obtain a copy of the process.
(10)(a) The Division of Consumer Services shall perform the following functions concerning products or services regulated by the department or office:
1. Receive inquiries and complaints from consumers.
2. Prepare and disseminate information that the department deems appropriate to inform or assist consumers.
3. Provide direct assistance to and advocacy for consumers who request such assistance or advocacy.
4. With respect to apparent or potential violations of law or applicable rules committed by a person or entity licensed by the department or office, report apparent or potential violations to the office or to the appropriate division of the department, which may take any additional action it deems appropriate.
5. Designate an employee of the division as the primary contact for consumers on issues relating to sinkholes.
(b) Any person licensed or issued a certificate of authority by the department or the office shall respond, in writing, to the division within 20 days after receipt of a written request for information from the division concerning a consumer complaint. The response must address the issues and allegations raised in the complaint. The division may impose an administrative penalty for failure to comply with this paragraph of up to $2,500 per violation upon any entity licensed by the department or the office and $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and up to $1,000 for the third or subsequent violation upon any individual licensed by the department or the office.
(c) The department may adopt rules to administer this subsection.
(d) The powers, duties, and responsibilities expressed or granted in this subsection do not limit the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the department, the Financial Services Commission, the Office of Insurance Regulation, or the Office of Financial Regulation as otherwise provided by law.
History.—s. 22, ch. 59-205; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 20, 37, 809(1st), ch. 82-243; s. 5, ch. 86-160; ss. 187, 188, ch. 91-108; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 93-410; s. 761, ch. 2003-261; s. 101, ch. 2004-5; s. 6, ch. 2004-273; s. 6, ch. 2012-213; s. 10, ch. 2016-132; s. 5, ch. 2016-165; s. 18, ch. 2017-175; s. 5, ch. 2020-63.
1Note.—Section 216.251(2)(a)5. was transferred to s. 216.251(2)(a)6. by s. 67, ch. 92-142, and subsequently repealed by s. 36, ch. 2005-152.