Florida Insurance Regulation3

Given the central role the insurance industry plays in millions of American lives and businesses, it is no wonder that it is subject to a number of regulators – the federal government, state governments, and industry watchdogs. The primary purpose of this regulation is to promote the public welfare by maintaining the solvency of insurance companies.  After all, policyholders depend on a company’s financial stability to pay benefits well into the future. One insolvent company can jeopardize thousands of insureds. In addition to ensuring the financial strength of individual insurers, regulators also provide consumer protection, enforce fair trade practices and take care that insurance contracts are offered to the public at fair prices. It is very important that insurance agents be aware of and comply with all insurance laws and regulations. 




Florida's Regulators


The Department of Financial Services, headed by Florida's Chief Financial Officer, and the Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation oversee the insurance industry in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Insurance Code. They each have rule-making and enforcement powers to carry out their responsibilities.


The Florida Insurance Code is a broad set of regulatory principles.  It sets general policy, but leaves the details of regulation to the Department and Office.   The Florida Legislature adopted a Policyholder Bill of Rights to protect the insurance buying public.  The Bill of Rights sets forth a series of aspirational goals to guide the Department and Office in their day-to-day operations. 

Text Box: Florida Policyholders’ Bill of Rights
Florida Statutes, Chapter 626.9641  
(1)  The principles expressed in the following statements shall serve as standards to be followed by the department, commission, and office in exercising their powers and duties, in exercising administrative discretion, in dispensing administrative interpretations of the law, and in adopting rules:

(a)  Policyholders shall have the right to competitive pricing practices and marketing methods that enable them to determine the best value among comparable policies.

(b)  Policyholders shall have the right to obtain comprehensive coverage.

(c)  Policyholders shall have the right to insurance advertising and other selling approaches that provide accurate and balanced information on the benefits and limitations of a policy.

(d)  Policyholders shall have a right to an insurance company that is financially stable.

(e)  Policyholders shall have the right to be serviced by a competent, honest insurance agent or broker.

(f)  Policyholders shall have the right to a readable policy.

(g)  Policyholders shall have the right to an insurance company that provides an economic delivery of coverage and that tries to prevent losses.

(h)  Policyholders shall have the right to a balanced and positive regulation by the department, commission, and office.
(2)  This section shall not be construed as creating a civil cause of action by any individual policyholder against any individual insurer.

Chapter 3 Contents



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 The Department of Financial Services focuses its regulations and authority on consumer and agent issues, such as agent licensing and anti-fraud efforts. The Office of Insurance Regulation concentrates on regulation of insurance companies and contract terms.  The Department and the Office are empowered to investigate complaints, audit industry participants, and, if need be, rehabilitate insolvent insurers.  


Let's take a quick look at a few regulations Florida imposes on insurance companies and agents.