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DFS Discusses Fees Charged by Agents

DFS Discusses Fees Charged by Agents

Questions regarding the permissible fees that a Florida agent may charge are among the most common we see.  Likewise, the Florida Department of Financial Services frequently receives questions from agents about the fees they may charge.  DFS recently published the following summary of fees that may be lawfully charged by a general lines agent:

MVR Fee

As an agent, you or your agency may charge a consumer the actual cost of the motor vehicle report (MVR) for each licensed driver. The amount of the fee may not exceed the agent’s actual cost in obtaining the report which is not otherwise compensated. However, you may not include subscription or access fees associated with obtaining the MVR in the cost to the consumer. (See section 627.7295(5)(b))

Policy Fee

A licensed general lines agent may charge a per-policy fee not to exceed $10 to cover the administrative costs of the agent associated with selling the motor vehicle insurance policy if the policy covers only personal injury protection coverage as provided by s. 627.736 and property damage liability coverage as provided by s. 627.7275 and if no other insurance is sold or issued in conjunction with or collateral to the policy. The fee is not considered part of the premium. (See section 627.7295(5)(b))

Credit Card Fee

If a credit card company charges a fee for payments of policies/premiums, then in accordance with  section 626.9541(1)(o)2., a licensed agent may charge “ . . . the exact amount of any discount or other such fee charged by a credit card facility in connection with the use of a credit card, as authorized by subparagraph (q)3., in addition to the premium required by the insurer.”

Section 626.9541(1)(q)3., states, “A licensed agent or insurer may solicit or negotiate insurance; seek or accept applications for insurance; issue or deliver any policy; receive, collect, or transmit premiums, to or for an insurer; or otherwise transact insurance in this state, or relative to a subject of insurance resident, located, or to be performed in this state, through the arrangement or facilities of a credit card facility or organization, for the purpose of insuring credit card holders or prospective credit card holders if:

a. The insurance or policy which is the subject of the transaction is noncancelable by any person other than the named insured, the policyholder, or the insurer;

b. Any refund of unearned premium is made to the credit card holder by mail or electronic transfer; and

c. The credit card transaction is authorized by the signature of the credit card holder or other person authorized to sign on the credit card account.”