Law & Ethics Update

Scope of Licenses

The license of a life agent covers all classes of life insurance business.

The license of a health agent covers all types of health insurance and is not limited to a particular class of health insurance.

At any time while a license is in force, an insurer may apply to the department on behalf of a licensee for an appointment. On receipt of the appointment application, taxes and fees, the department may issue the additional appointment without further investigation of the applicant.  [Source: §626.311, §626.311(2), §626.311(3)]

All appointment renewal fees and taxes must be submitted via the department’s online appointment system at https://iportal.fldfs.com/eappoint/ and paid by electronic payment prior to any appointments being renewed.

Appointment – Certain Military Installations

An individual not a resident of Florida, may be licensed and appointed to represent an authorized life insurer domiciled in Florida or an authorized foreign life insurer which maintains a regional home office in Florida, provided the individual represents the insurer exclusively at a U.S. military installation located in a foreign country. [Source: §626.322]

Number of Appointments Permitted or Required

Except as otherwise advised, the same individual can, at any one time, hold all categories of appointments as to which he or she has qualified and been licensed. However, a title agent or title agency is limited to selling title insurance only for the appointing title insurer.

An agent is required to have a separate appointment for each insurer by whom he or she is appointed as an agent. An agent must appoint himself or herself before performing the functions of a viatical settlement broker.

The department may issue a single appointment covering life and health insurances to an individual licensed in both insurances and appointed as agent of both by the same insurer. [Source: §626.331]

 

Additional Appointments; General Lines, Life, and Health Agents

While a licensee’s license is in force, an insurer may apply for an additional appointment for the licensee as a general lines, life, or health agent for additional insurers. The application for appointment must contain all the required information and fees. The department can then issue the additional appointment without, in its discretion, further investigation.  [Source: §626.341]

Furnishing supplies to unlicensed agent prohibited

An insurer, a managing general agent, an insurance agency, or an agent, directly or through a representative, may not furnish any blank forms, applications, stationery, or other supplies, to be used in soliciting, negotiating, or effecting contracts of insurance on its behalf unless such supplies relate to a class of business for which the agent is licensed and appointed, whether for that insurer or another insurer. [Source: §626.342]

Payment of Fees, Taxes for Appointment Period Without Appointment


All initial appointments must be submitted to the department on a monthly basis no later than 45 days after the date of appointment and become effective on the date requested on the appointment form.

 

If, upon application and qualification for an initial or renewal appointment and after any investigation the department conducts, it appears an individual who was formerly licensed or is currently licensed but not properly appointed and has been or is currently actively engaged as an appointee, the department may, if it finds the failure to be appointed was an inadvertent error on the part of the insurer or employer represented, issue or authorize the issuance of the appointment as applied for. 

· Failure to notify the department within the required time period, results in the appointing entity being assessed a delinquent fee of $250 per appointee.

· Failure to timely renew an appointment prior to the expiration date, results in the appointing entity being assessed late filing, continuation, and reinstatement fees. Fees must be paid by the appointing entity and cannot be charged back to the appointee. [Source: §626.371]

 

Appointment Renewal Procedure

 

The purpose of this rule §626.381 and is to establish procedures for those seeking the biennial renewal of appointments to transact insurance according to the Florida Insurance Code.


This information is applicable to all individuals or entities submitting a request for renewal of appointments as an agent, customer representative, adjuster, service representative, managing general agent, title insurance agent, sales representative, or reinsurance intermediary, and governs the renewal of appointments.

 

 

Appointment renewal, continuation, reinstatement, or termination

An appointment continues in force until suspended, revoked, or otherwise terminated, but is subject to a renewal request filed by the appointing entity every 24 months, accompanied by payment of the renewal appointment fee and taxes.

Each appointing entity may appoint only those persons who have met the continuing education requirements of the license for such appointment. [Source: §626.381]


Effect of expiration of license and appointment

Upon the expiration of any person’s appointment, the person shall be without any authority conferred by the appointment and shall not engage or attempt to engage in any activity requiring an appointment. When a licensee’s last appointment has been terminated or not renewed, the department must notify the licensee that his/her eligibility for appointment  will expire unless he/she is appointed prior to expiration of the 48-month period. [Source: §626.431]

Term of Appointments 

 

· In the case of individuals, new or continued appointments effectuated in a licensee’s birth month, expire 24 months later on the last day of the licensee’s birth month and are subject to renewal at that time by the entity for which they are appointed, and every 24 months thereafter.

· In the case of entities, new or continued appointments effectuated in the same month a licensee was first licensed as an insurance representative, will expire 24 months later on the last day of the licensee’s license issue month and are subject to renewal at that time by the entity for which they are appointed and every 24 months thereafter.

Appointments effectuated during any month other than the licensee’s birth month in the case of individuals, or during the license issue month in the case of entities, are valid for not less than 24 months and no longer than 36 months, which are the minimum and maximum number of months necessary to convert the original issue month to the licensee’s birth month or license issue month, and expiring the last day of the licensee’s birth month or license issue month, whichever is applicable, and is subject to renewal at that time by the entity for which the licensee is appointed, and every 24 months thereafter. [Chapter 69B-211.004]


Effective Date of Termination of Appointment

When an appointing entity terminates the appointment of an appointee, and files written notice of the termination with the department, the department will terminate the appointment in accordance with Florida Statutes. The date of termination on department records will be the effective date of the termination as indicated by the appointing entity’s filing or, if no date is indicated, the date on which the department received the filing.

When an appointee terminates the appointment with an appointing entity, and files written notice of the termination with the department, the department will terminate the appointment in accordance with Florida Statutes. The date of termination on department records will be the effective date of the termination as indicated by the appointee’s filing with the department or, if no date is indicated, the date on which the department received the filing. [Chapter 69B-211.007]

License or appointment; transferability

A license or appointment is valid only as to the person named and is not transferable to another person. No licensee or appointee shall allow any other person to transact insurance by utilizing the license or appointment issued to such licensee or appointee. [Source: §626.441]

 

Appointment of Agent or Other Representative

Each entity or person designated to administer the appointment process appointing an agent, adjuster, service rep, customer rep, or managing general agent in Florida, must file the appointment and pay the applicable appointment fee and taxes. Every appointment is subject to the prior issuance of the appropriate agent, adjuster, service rep, customer rep, or managing general agent’s license.

By authorizing an appointment for a licensee, the appointing entity is certifying to the department that an investigation of the licensee has been conducted and in the appointing entity’s opinion, the licensee is of good moral character and reputation, and fit to engage in the insurance business. The appointing entity provides the department any other information reasonably required relative to the proposed appointee.

Each appointing entity must advise the department, in writing, within 15 days after it or its general agent, officer, or other official becomes aware that an appointee is the defendant of a felony after being appointed.

Any law enforcement agency or state attorney’s office that is aware an agent, adjuster, service rep, customer rep, or managing general agent is a defendant of a felony is required to notify the department.
Each licensee must advise the department, in writing, within 30 days after having become the defendant of a felony or crime punishable by imprisonment of one year or more under the laws of the U.S. or any other country, without regard to whether a judgment of conviction has been entered by the court having jurisdiction of such cases.
[Source: §626.451]


Continuation of Appointment of Agent or Other Representative

Subject to renewal or continuation, the appointment of the agent, adjuster, service representative, customer representative, or managing general agent will continue in effect until the person’s license is revoked or otherwise terminated, unless written notice of earlier termination of the appointment is filed. [Source: §626.461]

 

 

Termination of Appointment


Subject to an appointee’s contract rights, an appointing entity can terminate its appointment of any appointee at any time. Except when termination is on grounds that subject the appointee to suspension or revocation of his or her license and appointment, and except as provided by a contract between the appointing entity and the appointee, the appointing entity must give at least 60 days’ written notice of its intention to terminate the appointment to the appointee, either by delivery to the appointee in person or by mailing it to the appointee’s last known address. Mailed notices are deemed served when deposited in the U.S. mail.

 

As soon as possible, and in any event within 30 days after terminating the appointment of an appointee, other than appointment termination by the appointing entity’s failure to continue or renew, the appointing entity must file written notice, together with a statement that it has given the appointee written notice as required and must file an addendum stating the reasons and facts resulting in termination.

 

Upon termination of an appointment of an appointee, whether by failure to renew or continue the appointment, the appointing entity must: 

 

· File the information required under Reasons for Termination; Confidential Information.

· Subject to any exceptions, continue the outstanding contracts transacted by an agent until the expiration date or anniversary date when the policy is a continuous policy with no expiration date. This is not to be construed to prohibit the cancellation of contracts when not otherwise prohibited by law.

 

An appointee may terminate the appointment at any time by giving written or electronic notice to the appointing entity. The department immediately terminates the appointment and notifies the appointing entity of the termination. Termination is subject to the appointee’s contract rights, if any. Upon receiving notice of termination, the department will terminate the appointment. [Source: §626.471]

 

 

Reasons for Termination; Confidential Information

An insurer terminating the appointment of an agent; a general lines agent terminating the appointment of a customer rep or a crop hail or multiple-peril crop insurance agent; and any employer terminating the appointment of an adjuster, service rep, or managing general agent, whether termination is by direct action of the appointing insurer, agent, or employer or by failure to renew or continue the appointment, is required to file a statement of the reasons, if any, for and the facts relative to the termination. In the case of termination of the appointment of an agent, the information may be filed by the insurer or by the general agent of the insurer.

In the case of termination by failure to renew or continue the appointment, a written statement must be filed as soon as possible, and in any event within 30 days after the date notice of intention not to renew or continue was filed. In all other cases, the information is required to be filed at the time, or in any event, within 10 days after notice of the termination was filed. Any information, document, record, or statement furnished to the department or office is confidential. [Source: §626.511]
 

Procedure for Refusal, Suspension, or Revocation of License

If a licensee is convicted by a court for violating Florida code or committing a felony, the licenses and appointments of the person are immediately revoked. The licensee may subsequently request a hearing, and the department will expedite such requests. The sole issue at a hearing is whether the revocation should be rescinded because the person was not in fact convicted of violating the code or committing a felony.

The papers, documents, reports, or evidence of the department relative to a hearing for revocation, suspension of a license, or appointment are confidential and exempt from the provisions of Public Records until after they have been published at the hearing. However, documents, etc. are subject to discovery in a hearing for revocation or suspension of a license or appointment.
[Source: §626.631]

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