The Communications Director manages the Department of Communications. The Insurance Commissioner appointed Florida’s Communications Director in March 2014. According to the Insurance Commissioner, the department’s Director (aka “Commissioner”) of Communications is responsible for: “… the day-to-day activities of the communications business unit. He will serve as the key spokesperson for the OIR, and advise on overall communication strategies.” [Source: OIR Press Release]
The CFO and Insurance Commissioner are proponents of transparency for its citizens. Managing communications and making them public (as appropriate) enforces the transparency process. The Newsroom on the floir.com/office/newsroom.aspx website makes the Director available, provides access to OIR actions, and ensures related news is current. Citizens are invited to follow them @FLOIR_comm on Twitter© and Facebook© and sign up for the weekly newsletter Dollars & Sense.
Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) is part of a non-profit, state-based, statutorily-created system that pays certain outstanding claims of insolvent insurance companies. By paying these claims, guaranty associations protect policyholders and claimants. Guaranty associations are active in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Life and Health Insurance Guaranty of Payments [§631.711]
· Those who are the beneficiaries, assignees, or payees of covered persons; and
· Those who are owners of policies or contracts, and who:
o Are residents of Florida; or
o Are residents of other states, IF:
* The insurer is in Florida;
* The insurers were not licensed in the states in which the individuals reside at the time specified in a state’s guaranty association law (necessary for coverage);
* Such other states have associations similar to the association created by Florida; and
* Such persons are not eligible for coverage by those associations.
* Notwithstanding any other provisions this part applies to coverage of a person who is a payee under a structured settlement annuity, or a beneficiary if the payee is deceased, with a coverage limit of $300,000 by the association, if:
· The payee is a resident of Florida.
· The payee, the beneficiary, or the contract owner is eligible for coverage by the association of the state in which the contract owner resides.
Administration and Assessment [§631.715(2)(a)]
· The health insurance account;
· The life insurance account; and
· The annuity account.
Borrowing between accounts for payment of policyholder and contract holder claims and other obligations of the association is authorized at the discretion of the board of directors, provided that the amounts are restored to the appropriate accounts not less than annually.
Florida HMO Consumer Assistance Plan [§631.811 and §631.828]
New Florida Law Updates
[SB 1524] Florida Information Protection Act of 2014
Source: Florida Legislature 2014: What Passed and What Failed; Tampa Bay Times, May 26, 2014; State Library and Archives of Florida, 2013 and 2014 Florida Senate Glossary
Under the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 (FIPA), any covered entity or third-party agent must now report breaches to the Florida Department of Legal Affairs and to consumers within 30 days (compared with the prior law's 45 days). If they show good cause, organizations may get a 15-day extension or receive a law enforcement extension. Violators can be fined $1,000 per day for the first 30 days and $50,000 for each subsequent 30-day period under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA); the fine is not to exceed $500,000.
Chapter 3 Contents
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