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Department Home | Agent and Agency Home | Insurance Insights Home

  Vol. 9, No. 2 - June 2020

Compliance Corner


General Lines Agents - Adjusting Claims

Hurricane Season began June 1, and we'd like to remind general lines agents they may be able to lawfully adjust claims.

Florida Statutes s. 626.862 states:

"A licensed and appointed insurance agent may, without being licensed as an adjuster, adjust losses for the insurer represented by him or her as agent if so authorized by the insurer. The license and appointment of the agent may be suspended or revoked for violation of or misconduct prohibited by s. 626.611(1)(f)."


Public Adjusters - Are You Ready For Hurricane Season?

Hurricane Season began June 1 - NOW is the time to be sure your license is in compliance - not when a storm is heading our way! This is a short checklist to ensure your license is in good standing:

-Is your license active?
-Are you self-appointed or appointed by an adjusting firm?
-Do you have the required $50,000 surety bond?
-Are you compliant with your continuing education requirements?
-Has a primary adjuster been designated for your firm?
-Is all contact information up-to-date? You can update it at MyProfile.
-Are any apprentices licensed and appointed?
-Do you have your Department issued license with you?

We urge all Public Adjusters and firms to review Florida Statutes Chapter 626, Part VI and Rule Chapter 69B-220, F.A.C to ensure you understand the laws and rules which regulate your license.


Emergency Adjusters - Your Responsibilities

In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael's landfall in October 2018, investigators checking licenses in the heavily impacted areas identified Emergency Adjusters with expired licenses from prior hurricane seasons or no license at all.

Emergency Adjusters must be licensed and appointed by an insurer or an adjusting firm to legally adjust insurance claims in Florida. Adjusters attempting to enter restricted areas after a storm without proper license credentials will be turned away. Anyone found adjusting claims without a license could be subject to administrative action and/or criminal penalties.

Emergency adjuster licenses and appointments made during previous hurricane seasons are not valid for the 2020 hurricane season. Emergency adjuster licenses are temporary in nature and do not renew. If you want to adjust claims during 2020 should a storm make landfall in Florida, you are responsible for making sure you are property licensed and appointed prior to adjusting claims. This means you should follow up with the appointing entity to ensure the appointment is active, or by verifying your appointment through the Department's Licensee Search.


Title Agencies: Data Call 2020

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) is conducting its annual Title Agencies Data Call pursuant to Sections 624.307 and 627.782, F.S. and Sec. 69O-186.013, F.A.C.

Title Insurance Agencies licensed at any time during Calendar Year 2019 are required filers. There are no exceptions - even if your agency closed during 2019.

The Office's reporting system called the Insurance Regulation Filing System. Here is the link: https://irfs.fldfs.com/

A How To guide is also available at: https://floir.com/siteDocuments/TitleFilingInstructions.pdf

  • Using your IRFS account username and password, log into the new system. If you have not used IRFS before, create a new account.
  • New users must subscribe its agency(ies) using the Entity Management on the User Menu. Select the Licensee/Agencies tab.
  • Select Add Licensee/ Agency.
  • Type in the Agency Name and click Search.
  • Select your agency next to its name and click the Add Selected button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select Create Filing on the top right corner.
  • In the Data Collection tile, click Begin.
  • STEP 1: Select the agency for which you are creating the filing from the Licensees/Agencies tab. Click Next.
  • STEP 2: Select the Title Insurance Data Calls for Agencies. Click Next.
  • STEP 3: Skip step Three, which is for group filings (not permitted with this data call).
  • STEP 4: Review the information. Click Create. You will be redirected to the Workbench.
  • View and edit the filing on the Workbench by clicking the Filing ID in the first column.
  • Expand components by clicking on the plus sign.
  • The data template, which has been available within IRFS since January 1, 2020, must be downloaded from within IRFS, completed locally on your computer, and then uploaded back in the same Web page in Excel format. Either Excel 2003 (.xls) or Excel 2007 (.xlsx) will be accepted.

The full template contains seven tabs:

  1. Version - includes the Office's contact information and reporting date reminder
  2. Instructions - data template must be downloaded from IRFS for the purpose of reporting information
  3. Report_Lines - Two columns extend down a series of questions and required responses (enter either text or numeric in the two columns, as shown)
  4. Schedule A - Additional agency information
  5. Schedule B - Agent activities
  6. Schedule C (Residential) - Title agent statistical information submission for 1-4 residential units
  7. Schedule C (Commercial) - Title agent statistical information submission for commercial units.
  8. Agency_Comments - Check the questions on this tab. If any appear with "Comments Required" it means your responses on previous tabs suggest that clarification is required for the item(s) noted. Clarifications must be understandable and justifiable when reviewed by the Office. You may contact the Office if you have questions.
  • In the Company Contacts Component, other email accounts subscribed to your agency will be listed under Add Company Contact. Include additional email addresses that are not subscribers of the agency in the text box. Any email listed in this component will receive email notifications about the filing. Click Save.
  • Select the Title Insurance Agency Filing Certification. The certification must be completed by an agency officer (electronic signature accepted). Type the year 2017 at the top, the officer's name in the middle and the officer's title at the bottom. Press the down arrow to save the certification.
  • You can include a cover letter. This an optional component for the filing.
  • Include any additional and optional information that is deemed important to the overall submission. These optional items may be uploaded as PDF documents under the "Other Documents" component.
  • There is an optional Response to Request for Clarification component that may be ignored during the initial filing. This is for use only if the Office has questions after reviewing your filing.
  • When all mandatory components are Complete, your filing may be submitted by clicking on the Submit button.
  • You and any accounts listed in Company Contacts will receive an email receipt with your Filing ID. If you do not receive an email and the submission status does not change to Received, contact the Office's Market Research and Technology Unit at: TitleAgencyReporting@floir.com.

Further instructions are available on our website at: https://www.floir.com/Office/Reporting.aspx#Title

If you have questions regarding this filing process, please email the Office at: TitleAgencyDataCall@floir.com or contact the Market Data Collections Unit at 850-413-3147. If phone lines are busy you are encouraged to send your questions by email. Your email may request that a representative from Market Data Collections call you (remember to provide your number). Calls will be returned in the order your email messages are received.

Send email to: TitleAgencyReporting@floir.com.

* CFO Patronis signed a directive delaying enforcement of the 2020 data call until September 1, 2020.*


Adjusting Firms - Registration and Designation of Adjuster in Charge is Required

Adjusting firms operating in Florida must have a current form DFS-H2-6364 (Designation/Deletion of Primary Adjuster for Adjusting Firm, and Filing of Firm, Corporation, or Business Name Change) on record with the Department. The filing is one of the requirements for all adjusting firm types, to lawfully operate an adjusting firm. An online application is being developed and we'll provide more information when its release is forthcoming.


Compliance Informationcompliance globe

Department licensees and consumers can access compliance information at the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services' web page Compliance Information. Additional information is available by license type on our Frequently Asked Questions web page.

 


Make Sure You Don't Miss Important Information From Us

We highly recommend licensees routinely check their MyProfile accounts for messages from the Department. We send licensees important emails to keep you informed on issues regarding application, license, continuing education, or when appointment(s) occur. We suggest adding our domains dfs.state.fl.us and MyFloridaCFO.com to your email software's Trusted or Safe Senders List to ensure you receive email notifications from us.

Update your contact information TODAY through your MyProfile account to ensure you remain informed. You are required to abide by the Florida Insurance Code regardless of whether you read the information we provide.

 

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