Transfer, Surrender, and Termination of Licensing
Transfer of License from Another State
An individual licensed in good standing in another state may apply to the department to have the license transferred to Florida to obtain a resident agent or all-lines adjuster license for the same lines of authority covered by the license in the other state. To qualify for a license transfer, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
· The individual must become a resident of Florida.
· The individual must have been licensed in another state for a minimum of one year immediately preceding the date the individual became a resident of Florida.
· The individual must submit a completed application for Florida, received by the department within 90 days after residency is established, along with payment of the applicable fees and submission of:
* Certification issued by the appropriate official of the applicant’s home state identifying the type of license, lines of authority, and a statement that the applicant was in good standing, or the state’s NAIC database indicates the agent or all-lines adjuster is or was licensed in good standing for the line of authority requested.
* Set of applicant’s fingerprints
* The individual must satisfy prelicensing education requirements in Florida, unless the completion of prelicensing education requirements were a prerequisite for licensure in the home state and are substantially equivalent to our prelicensing requirements.
* The individual must satisfy examination requirements, unless exempted.
An applicant satisfying the requirements for a license transfer will be approved for licensure in Florida unless grounds exist for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license. [Source: §626.292]
Effect of Expiration of License and Appointment
Once an individual’s appointment expires, the individual cannot engage or attempt to engage in any activity requiring an appointment.
When a licensee’s last appointment has been terminated or not renewed, the licensee will be notified that eligibility for appointment, will expire unless he or she is appointed prior to expiration of the 48-month period.
An individual who fails to maintain an appointment with an appointing entity writing the class of business listed on his or her license during any 48-month period will not be granted an appointment for that class of insurance until he or she qualifies as a first-time applicant. [Source: §626.431]
License or Appointment; Transferability
A license or appointment issued is valid only as to the person named and is not transferable to another. As a licensee or appointee, you cannot allow anyone to transact insurance utilizing your license or appointment. [Source: §626.441]
Duration of Suspension or Revocation
The department will, in an order suspending a license, appointment, or suspending the eligibility of a person to hold or apply for a license or appointment, specify the period during which the suspension is in effect, not to exceed two years. The license, appointment, or eligibility remains suspended subject to any rescission, modification of the order, or reversal by a court, prior to expiration of the suspension period.
A license, appointment, or eligibility that has been suspended, will not be reinstated except on the filing and approval of an Application for Reinstatement and, in the case of a second suspension, completion of continuing education courses prescribed and approved by the department. The department will not approve an application for reinstatement if it finds the circumstances for which the license, appointment, or eligibility was suspended still exist or are likely to recur. In addition, an application for reinstatement is subject to denial and a waiting period prior to approval on the same grounds that apply to applications for licensure.
If any of an individual’s licenses as an agent, customer rep, or eligibility to hold such license or licenses has been revoked two separate times, the department may not grant or issue any license to the individual. If a license as an agent, customer rep, or eligibility to hold such license has been revoked resulting from the solicitation or sale of an insurance product to a person 65-years of age or older, the department may not grant or issue any license.
During the period of suspension or revocation of a license or appointment, and until the license is reinstated or, if revoked, a new license issued, the former licensee or appointee may not engage in or profess to engage in any transaction or business for which a license or appointment is required, or own, control, or be employed in any manner by an agent, agency, adjuster, or adjusting firm.
Surrender of License
Though issued to a licensee, all licenses are the property of the State of Florida; and, on notice of any suspension, revocation, refusal to renew, failure to renew, expiration, or other termination of the license, the license will no longer be in force and effect. This is not indicative of a requirement to surrender any license unless the department has requested surrender. [Source: §626.661]
Grounds for Compulsory/Discretionary Refusal, Suspension, or Revocation of Insurance License/Agency License/Appointment
Refusal, Suspension, or Revocation of Insurance License
The department will deny an application for, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the license or appointment of any applicant, agent, title agency, adjuster, customer rep, service rep, or managing general agent, and it will suspend or revoke the eligibility to hold a license or appointment of any such person, if it finds any one or more of the circumstances on Appendix A.
An applicant satisfying the requirements for a license transfer will be approved for licensure in Florida unless the department finds grounds exist under §626.611 or §626.621 for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license.
In transactions related to viatical settlement contracts:
· Commission of a fraudulent or dishonest act.
· No longer meeting the requirements for initial licensure.
· Receiving a fee, commission, or other valuable consideration for your services with respect to viatical settlements that involved unlicensed viatical settlement providers who offered or attempted to negotiate on behalf of another in a viatical settlement contract and who were not licensed life agents.
· Dealing in bad faith.
Grounds for Compulsory Refusal, Suspension, or Revocation of Insurance Agency License
The department can impose any form of suspension, revocation, or denial if it finds the agency has experienced any of the following:
· Lack of qualifications for the license.
· Misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud in obtaining or attempting to obtain the license.
· Denial, suspension, or revocation of a license to practice or conduct any regulated profession, business, or vocation relating to the business of insurance by any state, government or lawful agency. [Source: §626.6115]
Grounds for Discretionary Refusal, Suspension, or Revocation of Insurance Agency License
The department, in its discretion, can deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to continue the license of any insurance agency if it finds an agency or a majority owner, partner, manager, director, officer, or other person who manages or controls the agency, that any one or more of the following applicable grounds exist (see complete list on Appendix A, page 3). [Source: §626.6215]
Procedure for Refusal, Suspension, or Revocation of License
If any individual is convicted of a violation of the Insurance Code or a felony, all insurance licenses will be revoked until a hearing, if requested by the licensee, is held. The sole purpose of the hearing will be to determine if the revocation should be rescinded because the individual was not convicted of a violation of the Insurance Code or a felony.
All documentation and evidence relative to a hearing for revocation or suspension of a license is confidential and exempt from public records provisions until after they are published at the hearing. [Source: §626.631]
Effect of Suspension, Revocation on Associated Licenses, Appointments, Licensees and Appointees
If suspended, revoked, or refused to renew or continue any one license, or upon suspension or revocation of eligibility to hold a license or appointment, the department will suspend or revoke all other licenses, appointments, or status of eligibility held by the licensee or appointee. Should this occur, anyone who knowingly is a party to the act that formed the ground for the suspension or revocation may also be suspended or revoked. [Source: §626.651]
Effect of Suspension or Revocation on Associated Agencies
Once the license of an insurance agency is suspended or revoked, the department may at the same time revoke, suspend, or refuse to continue the license of any other insurance agency under the management, ownership, control, or directorship of anyone who participated in activities that resulted in the suspension, revocation, or refusal to continue the initial license if acts occurred at that specific agency location, which are grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license under the code. [Source: §626.6515]
Administrative Fine in Lieu of or in Addition to Suspension, Revocation, or Refusal of License, Appointment, or Disapproval
Except as to insurance agencies, if the department finds grounds for suspension, revocation, or refusal to issue, renew, or continue any license or appointment, or disapproval of a CE course provider, instructor, school official, or monitor groups, the department may impose a penalty on the individual or group up to $500 or, if the department has found willful misconduct or violation on the part of the individual or group, up to $3,500. The penalty may be augmented by an amount equal to any commissions received by or accruing to the credit of the individual in connection with any transaction as to the grounds for suspension, revocation, or refusal.
With respect to insurance agencies, if the department finds grounds exist for the suspension, revocation, or refusal to issue, renew, or continue any license it may impose a penalty up to $10,000 per violation. The penalty may be augmented by an amount equal to any commissions received by or accruing to the credit of the licensee in connection with any transaction as to which the grounds for suspension, revocation, or refusal relate. [Source: §626.681]
If the department finds grounds for suspension, revocation, or refusal to renew or continue any license or appointment, it may, except when an administrative fine is not permissible or when such action is mandatory, in lieu of, or in addition to the suspension or revocation, in lieu of such refusal, or in connection with any administrative monetary penalty, place the offender on probation for a period not to exceed two years.
As a condition of probation, the department may order reasonable terms and conditions to be fulfilled by the probationer during the probation period. If during the probation period the department has good cause to believe the probationer has violated a term or condition, it will suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue, renew, or continue the license or appointment of the probationer. [Source: §626.691]
If any ground exists for the suspension, revocation, or refusal of a license or appointment, the department may order the licensee to pay restitution to any person who has been deprived of money by the licensee’s misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding of funds belonging to insurers, insureds, beneficiaries, or others. In no instance is the amount of restitution required to exceed the amount of money misappropriated, converted, or unlawfully withheld.
Penalty Guidelines for Insurance Representatives
The penalty guidelines for insurance representatives are contained within the Florida Administrative Code & Florida Administrative Register. Each category within the rule (in this case Rule 69B-231) details the specific violations, their penalties, proceedings, and mitigating factors. The Code and Register provides effective dates and the history of each rule or “sub-rule” (e.g. 69B-231.150). If a penalty is assessed on you, this is where you will find the rights of the department, as well as yours. [Chapter 69B-231]
Duties of Licensed versus Unlicensed Personnel
Furnishing Supplies to Unlicensed Agent Prohibited; Civil Liability
An insurer, managing general agent, insurance agency, or an agent, directly or through a representative, cannot furnish an agent any blank forms, applications, stationery, or other supplies to be used to sell insurance on its behalf unless the blank supplies relate to a class of business for which the agent is licensed and appointed.
An insurer, general agent, insurance agency, or agent who furnishes any of the blank supplies to an agent or prospective agent not appointed to represent the insurer and who accepts from or writes any insurance business for the agent or agency is subject to civil liability to an insured of the insurer to the same extent as if the agent or prospective agent had been appointed or authorized by the insurer or agent to act on its behalf. [Source: §626.342]