Personal Lines Forms Certification Process to End
As 2013 draws to a close, so will the process by which personal lines insurers may certify their forms’ compliance with the Florida Insurance Code. Through a series of orders, the Office of Insurance Regulation has allowed property and casualty insurers in most lines of business to certify their forms’ compliance with applicable requirements, thereby exempting the forms for the review and prior approval process set forth at Section 627.410, Florida Statutes. The legislature codified the certification process for commercial lines forms earlier this year, so that process will remain in effect. However, the legislature did not extend this opportunity to the personal lines. Instead, for personal lines products, the Office of Insurance Regulation continued throughout 2013 to accept certified filings under the authority of an order that is scheduled to expire December 31, 2013. The OIR announced earlier this week that it will allow the order to expire without renewing it. This means personal lines filings submitted on or after January 2, 2014 must be submitted pursuant to the prior approval process of the insurance code.
Florida law provides a 45-day period for the review of insurers’ form filings. This period can be extended when insurers are willing to waive the deadline. Extensions became routine in recent years as a combination of law changes and personnel shortages caused most filings to extend beyond the statutory review period. The legislature appropriated additional funds for forms analysts, and the OIR has been training these analysts in addition to working through backlog of filings. The OIR is optimistic these changes will allow it to return to more prompt forms reviews, particularly as commercial filings in many cases will continue to be certified.