New Laws Affect Agent Procedures
In the 2019 session, the Florida legislature passed HB 301 with several provisions impacting agents and insurers. Most of these provisions took effect July 1, 2019. Among the law changes, the insurance code now requires a life insurer to notify the servicing agent at least 21 days before a life insurance policy lapses. This notice applies in addition to notices provided to the insured and a second person designated by the insurer, except when:
- The insurer provides an online method for the agent to identify lapsing policies;
- The insurance company maintains a process for the agent to determine that the pre-lapse notice was sent to the insured;
- The insurer has no record of the agent servicing the policy; or
- The agent is employed by the insurer.
The legislature also eliminated a $35 cap on the per-policy fee surplus lines agents may charge for each policy exported to the surplus lines market. The surplus lines agent may charge a “reasonable” policy fee, which must be itemized separately for the customer before purchase. The fee must be identified in the policy. The new law allows a retail agent to receive a reasonable per-policy fee on exported policies. The per-policy fee must be itemized separately for the consumer before purchase. However, the law does not specify this particular fee must be shown in the policy.
Additionally, the new law allows an insurer or agent to offer and give insureds goods or services of any value for the purposes of loss control or loss mitigation related to covered risks.