(1) The purpose of this section is to establish requirements and standards for continuing education courses for individuals licensed to solicit, sell, or adjust insurance in the state.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, this section applies to individuals licensed to engage in the sale of insurance or adjustment of insurance claims in this state for all lines of insurance for which an examination is required for licensing and to each insurer, employer, or appointing entity, including, but not limited to, those created or existing pursuant to s. 627.351. This section does not apply to an individual who holds a license for the sale of any line of insurance for which an examination is not required by the laws of this state or who holds a limited license as a crop or hail and multiple-peril crop insurance agent. Licensees who are unable to comply with the continuing education requirements due to active duty in the military may submit a written request for a waiver to the department. (3) Each licensee except a title insurance agent must complete a 5-hour update course every 2 years which is specific to the license held by the licensee. The course must be developed and offered by providers and approved by the department. The content of the course must address all lines of insurance for which examination and licensure are required and include the following subject areas: insurance law updates, ethics for insurance professionals, disciplinary trends and case studies, industry trends, premium discounts, determining suitability of products and services, and other similar insurance-related topics the department determines are relevant to legally and ethically carrying out the responsibilities of the license granted. A licensee who holds multiple insurance licenses must complete an update course that is specific to at least one of the licenses held. Except as otherwise specified, any remaining required hours of continuing education are elective and may consist of any continuing education course approved by the department under this section.
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), and (i), each licensee must also complete 19 hours of elective continuing education courses every 2 years.
(b) A licensee who has been licensed for 6 or more years must also complete a minimum of 15 hours of elective continuing education every 2 years.
(c) A licensee who has been licensed for 25 years or more and is a CLU or a CPCU or has a Bachelor of Science degree in risk management or insurance with evidence of 18 or more semester hours in insurance-related courses must also complete a minimum of 5 hours of elective continuing education courses every 2 years.
(d) An individual who holds a license as a customer representative, limited customer representative, motor vehicle physical damage and mechanical breakdown insurance agent, or an industrial fire insurance or burglary insurance agent and who is not a licensed life or health agent, must also complete a minimum of 5 hours of continuing education courses every 2 years.
(e) An individual subject to chapter 648 must complete the 5-hour update course and a minimum of 9 hours of elective continuing education courses every 2 years.
(f) Elective continuing education courses for public adjusters must be specifically designed for public adjusters and approved by the department. Notwithstanding this subsection, public adjusters for workers’ compensation insurance or health insurance are not required to take continuing education courses pursuant to this section.
(g) Excess hours accumulated during any 2-year compliance period may be carried forward to the next compliance period.
(h) An individual teaching an approved course of instruction or lecturing at any approved seminar and attending the entire course or seminar qualifies for the same number of classroom hours as would be granted to a person taking and successfully completing such course or seminar. Credit is limited to the number of hours actually taught unless a person attends the entire course or seminar. An individual who is an official of or employed by a governmental entity in this state and serves as a professor, instructor, or in another position or office, the duties and responsibilities of which are determined by the department to require monitoring and review of insurance laws or insurance regulations and practices, is exempt from this section.
(i) For compliance periods beginning on or after October 1, 2014, any person who holds a license as a title insurance agent must complete a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education credit every 2 years in title insurance and escrow management specific to this state and approved by the department, which shall include at least 3 hours of continuing education on the subject matter of ethics, rules, or compliance with state and federal regulations relating specifically to title insurance and closing services.
(4) Compliance with continuing education requirements is a condition precedent to the issuance, continuation, reinstatement, or renewal of any appointment subject to this section. However:
(a) An appointing entity, except one that appoints individuals who are employees or exclusive independent contractors of the appointing entity, may not require, directly or indirectly, as a condition of such appointment or the continuation of such appointment, the taking of an approved course or program by any appointee or potential appointee which is not of the appointee’s choosing.
(b) Any entity created or existing pursuant to s. 627.351 may require employees to take training of any type relevant to their employment but may not require appointees who are not employees to take any approved course or program unless the course or program deals solely with the appointing entity’s internal procedures or products or with subjects substantially unique to the appointing entity.
(5) For good cause shown, the department may grant an extension of time during which the requirements of this section may be completed, but such extension may not exceed 1 year.
(6) A nonresident licensee who must complete continuing education requirements in his or her home state may use the home state requirements to also meet this state’s continuing education requirements if the licensee’s home state recognizes reciprocity with this state’s continuing education requirements. A nonresident licensee whose home state does not have a continuing education requirement but is licensed for the same class of business in another state that has a continuing education requirement may comply with this section by furnishing proof of compliance with the other state’s requirement if that state has a reciprocal agreement with this state relative to continuing education. A nonresident licensee whose home state does not have such continuing education requirements, and who is not licensed as a nonresident licensee in a state that has continuing education requirements and reciprocates with this state, must meet the continuing education requirements of this state.
1(7) Any person who holds a license to solicit or sell life insurance in this state must complete a minimum of 3 hours in continuing education, approved by the department, on the subject of suitability in annuity and life insurance transactions. This requirement does not apply to an agent who does not have any active life insurance or annuity contracts. In applying this exemption, the department may require the filing of a certification attesting that the agent has not sold life insurance or annuities during the continuing education compliance cycle in question and does not have any active life insurance or annuity contracts. A licensee may use the hours obtained under this paragraph to satisfy the requirement for continuing education in ethics under paragraph (3)(a). (8) The following courses may be completed in order to meet the elective continuing education course requirements:
(a) Any part of the Life Underwriter Training Council Life Course Curriculum: 24 hours; Health Course: 12 hours.
(b) Any part of the American College “CLU” diploma curriculum: 24 hours.
(c) Any part of the Insurance Institute of America’s program in general insurance: 12 hours.
(d) Any part of the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters’ Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) professional designation program: 24 hours.
(e) Any part of the Certified Insurance Counselor program: 21 hours.
(f) Any part of the Accredited Advisor in Insurance: 21 hours.
(g) In the case of title agents, completion of the Certified Land Closer (CLC) professional designation program and receipt of the designation: 24 hours.
(h) In the case of title agents, completion of the Certified Land Searcher (CLS) professional designation program and receipt of the designation: 24 hours.
(i) Any insurance-related course that is approved by the department and taught by an accredited college or university per credit hour granted: 12 hours.
(j) Any course, including courses relating to agency management or errors and omissions, developed or sponsored by an authorized insurer or recognized agents’ association or insurance trade association or an independent study program of instruction, subject to approval by the department, qualifies for the equivalency of the number of classroom hours assigned by the department. However, unless otherwise provided in this section, continuing education hours may not be credited toward meeting the requirements of this section unless the course is provided by classroom instruction or results in a monitored examination. A monitored examination is not required for:
1. An independent study program of instruction presented through interactive, online technology that the department determines has sufficient internal testing to validate the student’s full comprehension of the materials presented; or
2. An independent study program of instruction presented on paper or in printed material which imposes a final closed book examination that meets the requirements of the department’s rule for self-study courses. The examination may be taken without a proctor if the student presents to the provider a sworn affidavit certifying that the student did not consult any written materials or receive outside assistance of any kind or from any person, directly or indirectly, while taking the examination. If the student is an employee of an agency or corporate entity, the student’s supervisor or a manager or owner of the agency or corporate entity must also sign the sworn affidavit. If the student is self-employed, a sole proprietor, or a partner, or if the examination is administered online, the sworn affidavit must also be signed by a disinterested third party. The sworn affidavit must be received by the approved provider before reporting continuing education credits to the department.
(9) Each person or entity sponsoring a course for continuing education credit must furnish, within 21 days after completion of the course, in a form satisfactory to the department or its designee, a roster showing the name and license number of all persons successfully completing such course and requesting credit.
(10) The department may immediately terminate or refuse to renew the appointment of an agent or adjuster who has been notified by the department that his or her continuing education requirements have not been certified, unless the agent or adjuster has been granted an extension or waiver by the department. The department may not issue a new appointment of the same or similar type to a licensee who was denied a renewal appointment for failing to complete continuing education as required until the licensee completes his or her continuing education requirement.
(11) The department may contract services relative to the administration of the continuing education program to a private entity. The contract shall be procured as a contractual service pursuant to s. 287.057.