News & Updates


Consumer Protection Laws Added to Florida Insurance Code

Consumer Protection Laws Added to Florida Insurance Code

HB 939 entitled “Consumer Protections” was passed by the Legislature and amends various statutes in the Florida Insurance Code among other changes.  The Governor approved the law on May 2, 2024, and the changes take effect July 1, 2024.  The insurance-related changes in the bill (1) add continuing education (CE) requirements for accountants used by insurers for annual audits; (2); revise the Notice of Change Policy Form that insurers must use to notify policyholders of changes; (3) create time frames by which a residential condo unit owner must file a “loss assessment” claim; (4) revise requirements for public adjuster contracts; and (5) revise disclosure and signature requirements for “short term health insurance.”

New CE Requirements for Insurer’s Accountants

The bill revises section 624.424, Florida Statutes and provides that any certified public accountant who prepares the mandatory annual audit for an insurer must be

licensed in Florida pursuant to chapter 473, Florida Statutes, and have completed at least 4 hours of insurance-related continuing education within each 2-year continuing education cycle. This requirement would become effective once the courses have been created.

Time Frames Specified for Policyholders To File Loss Assessment Claims

The bill revises the “notice of property insurance claim” statute in section 627.70132, Florida Statues, to create time frames by which a “loss assessment” claim must be made.  The bill does not change section 627.714, Florida Statutes, which governs requirements for an insurer issuing residential condominium unit owner coverage to provide at least $2,000 in property loss assessment coverage.  HB 939 renumbers subsection (4) of section 627.70132 as subsection (5), and a new subsection (4) is added to that section that states:

(4)(a) A notice of claim for loss assessment coverage under s. 627.714 may not occur later than 3 years after the date of loss and must be provided to the insurer the later of:

  1. Within 1 year after the date of loss; or
  2. Within 90 days after the date on which the condominium association or its governing board votes to levy an assessment resulting from a covered loss.

The bill also adds language that states for purposes of these new time frames, the “date of loss” is “the date of the covered loss event that created the need for an assessment.”

New Font and Type Size Requirements for Notice of Change in Policy Terms

Section 627.43141, Florida Statutes, currently requires property and casualty insurers providing notices of renewal to policyholders pursuant to section 627.4133 and section 627.728 to notify policyholders of any change in policy terms.  Beginning January 1, 2025, the bill will require the “Notice of Change in Policy Terms” to be in bold type of not less than 14 points and included as a single page or consecutive pages, as necessary, within the written notice.

New Requirements for Contracts Entered into By Public Adjuster Firms

HB 939 revises requirements in section 626.8796, Florida Statutes, relating to contracts that a public adjusting firm enters into with a policyholder in connection with a property and casualty insurance claim.  The bill requires that such contracts specify the license number of the public adjusting firm.

Revised Disclosure and Signature Requirements for Short Term Health Insurance

HB 939 also revises requirements in section 627.6426, Florida Statutes, relating to “short-term health insurance.”  Current law defines such coverage as “health insurance coverage provided by an issuer with an expiration date specified in the contract that is less than 12 months after the original effective date of the contract and, taking into account renewals or extensions, has a duration not to exceed 36 months in total.”  HB 939 revises the current disclosure requirements and adds a signature requirement for the purchase of such insurance.  The disclosures and signature must occur at the time of purchase, and the new requirements relate to the duration of the contract, including any waiting period; any essential health benefit that the contract does not provide; the content of coverage; and any exclusion of preexisting conditions. The disclosures must be printed in at least 12-point type and in a color that is readable. A copy of the signed disclosures must be maintained by the issuer for a period of five years after the date of purchase. Disclosures provided by electronic means must include the required content specified in section 627.6426.