2004 Florida Statutes
Readable language in insurance policies.
(1) Every policy shall be readable as required by this section. For the purposes of this section, the term "policy" means a policy form or endorsement. A policy is deemed readable if:
(a) The text achieves a minimum score of 45 on the Flesch reading ease test as computed in subsection (5) or an equivalent score on any other test comparable in result and approved by the office;
(b) It uses layout and spacing which separate the paragraphs from each other and from the border of the paper;
(c) It has section titles that are captioned in boldfaced type or that otherwise stand out significantly from the text;
(d) It avoids the use of unnecessarily long, complicated, or obscure words, sentences, paragraphs, or constructions;
(e) The style, arrangement, and overall appearance of the policy give no undue prominence to any portion of the text of the policy or to any endorsements or riders; and
(f) It contains a table of contents or an index of the principal sections of the policy, if the policy has more than 3,000 words or more than three pages.
(2) The office may authorize a lower score than the Flesch reading ease test score required in subsection (1) whenever it finds that a lower score will provide a more accurate reflection of the readability of a policy form, is warranted by the nature of a particular policy form or type or class of policy forms, or is the result of language which is used to conform to the requirements of any law.
(3) A filing subject to this section shall be accompanied by a certification signed by an officer of the insurer stating that the policy meets the requirements of subsection (1). Such certification shall state that the policy meets the minimum reading ease test score on the test used or that the score is lower than the minimum required but should be approved in accordance with subsection (2). The office may require the submission of further information to verify any certification.
(4) Any non-English language policy shall be deemed to be in compliance with this section if the insurer certifies that such policy is translated from an English language policy which complies with this section.
(5) A Flesch reading ease test score shall be measured by the following method:
(a) For policy forms containing 10,000 words or fewer of text, the entire form shall be analyzed. For policy forms containing more than 10,000 words, the readability of two 200-word samples per page may be analyzed instead of the entire form. The samples shall be separated by at least 20 printed lines.
(b) The total number of words in the text shall be counted and divided by the total number of sentences, and the figure obtained shall be multiplied by a factor of 1.015.
(c) The total number of syllables shall be counted and divided by the total number of words, and the figure obtained shall be multiplied by a factor of 84.6.
(d) The sum of the figures computed under paragraphs (b) and (c) subtracted from 206.835 equals the Flesch reading ease test score for the policy form.
(e) For purposes of this subsection:
1. A contraction, hyphenated word, or numerals and letters, when separated by spaces, shall be counted as one word; and
2. A unit of words ending with a period, semicolon, or colon, excluding headings and captions, shall be counted as one sentence.
(f) The term "text" as used in this subsection includes all printed matter except:
1. The name and address of the insurer; the name, number, or title of the policy; the table of contents or index; captions and subcaptions; specification pages; schedules; or tables;
2. Policy language required by any collectively bargained agreement;
3. Any medical terminology;
4. Words which are defined in the policy; and
5. Any policy language required by law, if the insurer identifies the language or terminology excepted by this paragraph and certifies to the office, in writing, that the language or terminology is entitled to be excepted under this paragraph.
(g) At the option of the insurer, riders, endorsements, applications, and other forms made a part of the policy may be scored as separate forms or as part of the policy with which they are to be used.
(6) This section does not apply to:
(a) Any policy which is a security subject to federal jurisdiction;
(b) Any group policy covering a group of 1,000 or more lives at date of issue, other than a group credit life insurance policy or a group credit health insurance policy; however, this paragraph does not exempt any certificate issued pursuant to a group policy delivered or issued for delivery in this state;
(c) Any group annuity contract which serves as a funding vehicle for pension, profit-sharing, or deferred compensation plans;
(d) Any form used in connection with, as a conversion from, as an addition to, or in exchange pursuant to a contractual provision for a policy delivered or issued for delivery on a form approved or permitted to be issued prior to the dates such forms must be approved under this section;
(e) Any policy or form, or partial revision thereof, or renewal thereof, which policy or form is filed prior to October 1, 1983; or
(f) Endorsements filed on or after October 1, 1983, which modify policy forms prior to October 1, 1983.
(g) Mortgage guaranty insurance policies, as defined in s. 635.011
(7) This section applies to forms filed on or after October 1, 1983.
History.--ss. 368, 809(2nd), ch. 82-243; ss. 51, 79, ch. 82-386; s. 96, ch. 83-216; s. 13, ch. 83-288; s. 2, ch. 84-352; s. 114, ch. 92-318; s. 1118, ch. 2003-261.