Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 708
       By Senator Bean
       4-00819A-14                                            2014708__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to insurance claims; amending s.
    3         626.601, F.S.; adding mediators and neutral evaluators
    4         to the list of individuals or entities that the
    5         Department of Financial Services or the Office of
    6         Insurance Regulation may investigate for alleged
    7         improper conduct; amending s. 627.3518, F.S.;
    8         conforming a cross-reference; amending s. 627.409,
    9         F.S.; providing that a claim for residential property
   10         insurance cannot be denied based on certain credit
   11         information; amending s. 627.4133, F.S.; providing
   12         that a policy or contract be cancelled based on
   13         certain credit information; amending s. 627.422, F.S.;
   14         providing for the assignment of property insurance
   15         policy benefits; specifying requirements for the
   16         assignment of post-loss benefits in a valid agreement
   17         for services; amending s. 627.7015, F.S.; revising the
   18         rule requirements relating to the property insurance
   19         mediation program administered by the department;
   20         creating s. 627.70151, F.S.; providing grounds for
   21         challenging an umpire’s impartiality in estimating the
   22         amount of a property loss; amending s. 627.706, F.S.;
   23         redefining the term “neutral evaluator”; amending s.
   24         627.7074, F.S.; specifying grounds for denying,
   25         suspending, or revoking approval of a neutral
   26         evaluator; creating s. 627.7142, F.S.; establishing a
   27         Claims Bill of Rights for residential property
   28         insurance policyholders; providing that such bill of
   29         rights does not provide a cause of action; creating s.
   30         627.715, F.S.; defining terms; providing requirements
   31         for emergency mitigation repair agreements; requiring
   32         an emergency mitigation contractor to be appropriately
   33         certified or to possess a contracting license;
   34         amending s. 627.745, F.S.; revising qualifications for
   35         mediators of personal injury claims; providing grounds
   36         for denying, suspending, or revoking the application
   37         or approval of a mediator; providing an effective
   38         date.
   40  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   42         Section 1. Section 626.601, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   43  read:
   44         626.601 Improper conduct; investigation inquiry;
   45  fingerprinting.—
   46         (1) The department or office may, upon its own motion or
   47  upon a written complaint signed by an any interested person and
   48  filed with the department or office, inquire into the any
   49  alleged improper conduct of an approved, certified, or any
   50  licensed insurance agency, agent, adjuster, service
   51  representative, managing general agent, customer representative,
   52  title insurance agent, title insurance agency, mediator, neutral
   53  evaluator, continuing education course provider, instructor,
   54  school official, or monitor group under this code. The
   55  department or office may thereafter initiate an investigation of
   56  any such individual or entity licensee if it has reasonable
   57  cause to believe that the individual or entity licensee has
   58  violated any provision of the insurance code. During the course
   59  of its investigation, the department or office shall contact the
   60  individual or entity licensee being investigated unless it
   61  determines that contacting such individual or entity person
   62  could jeopardize the successful completion of the investigation
   63  or cause injury to the public.
   64         (2) In the investigation by the department or office of the
   65  alleged misconduct, the individual or entity licensee shall, if
   66  whenever so required by the department or office, open the
   67  individual’s or entity’s cause his or her books and records to
   68  be open for inspection for the purpose of such inquiries.
   69         (3) The Complaints against an individual or entity any
   70  licensee may be informally alleged and are not required to
   71  include language need not be in any such language as is
   72  necessary to charge a crime on an indictment or information.
   73         (4) The expense for any hearings or investigations
   74  conducted pursuant to under this section law, as well as the
   75  fees and mileage of witnesses, may be paid out of the
   76  appropriate fund.
   77         (5) If the department or office, after investigation, the
   78  department or office has reason to believe that an individual a
   79  licensee may have been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo
   80  contendere to a felony or a crime related to the business of
   81  insurance in this or any other state or jurisdiction, the
   82  department or office may require the individual licensee to file
   83  with the department or office a complete set of his or her
   84  fingerprints, which shall be accompanied by the fingerprint
   85  processing fee specified set forth in s. 624.501. The
   86  fingerprints must shall be taken by an authorized law
   87  enforcement agency or other department-approved entity.
   88         (6) The complaint and any information obtained pursuant to
   89  the investigation by the department or office are confidential
   90  and are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07, unless the
   91  department or office files a formal administrative complaint,
   92  emergency order, or consent order against the individual or
   93  entity licensee. Nothing in This subsection does not shall be
   94  construed to prevent the department or office from disclosing
   95  the complaint or such information as it deems necessary to
   96  conduct the investigation, to update the complainant as to the
   97  status and outcome of the complaint, or to share such
   98  information with a any law enforcement agency or other
   99  regulatory body.
  100         Section 2. Subsection (9) of section 627.3518, Florida
  101  Statutes, is amended to read:
  102         627.3518 Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
  103  policyholder eligibility clearinghouse program.—The purpose of
  104  this section is to provide a framework for the corporation to
  105  implement a clearinghouse program by January 1, 2014.
  106         (9) The 45-day notice of nonrenewal requirement set forth
  107  in s. 627.4133(2)(b)5.b. s. 627.4133(2)(b)4.b. applies when a
  108  policy is nonrenewed by the corporation because the risk has
  109  received an offer of coverage pursuant to this section which
  110  renders the risk ineligible for coverage by the corporation.
  111         Section 3. Section 627.409, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  112  read:
  113         627.409 Representations in applications; warranties.—
  114         (1) Any statement or description made by or on behalf of an
  115  insured or annuitant in an application for an insurance policy
  116  or annuity contract, or in negotiations for a policy or
  117  contract, is a representation and is not a warranty. Except as
  118  provided in subsection (3), a misrepresentation, omission,
  119  concealment of fact, or incorrect statement may prevent recovery
  120  under the contract or policy only if any of the following apply:
  121         (a) The misrepresentation, omission, concealment, or
  122  statement is fraudulent or is material either to the acceptance
  123  of the risk or to the hazard assumed by the insurer.
  124         (b) If the true facts had been known to the insurer
  125  pursuant to a policy requirement or other requirement, the
  126  insurer in good faith would not have issued the policy or
  127  contract, would not have issued it at the same premium rate,
  128  would not have issued a policy or contract in as large an
  129  amount, or would not have provided coverage with respect to the
  130  hazard resulting in the loss.
  131         (2) A breach or violation by the insured of a any warranty,
  132  condition, or provision of a any wet marine or transportation
  133  insurance policy, contract of insurance, endorsement, or
  134  application therefor does not void the policy or contract, or
  135  constitute a defense to a loss thereon, unless such breach or
  136  violation increased the hazard by any means within the control
  137  of the insured.
  138         (3) For residential property insurance, if a policy or
  139  contract has been in effect for more than 90 days, a claim filed
  140  by the insured cannot be denied based on credit information
  141  available in public record.
  142         Section 4. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
  143  627.4133, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  144         627.4133 Notice of cancellation, nonrenewal, or renewal
  145  premium.—
  146         (2) With respect to any personal lines or commercial
  147  residential property insurance policy, including, but not
  148  limited to, any homeowner’s, mobile home owner’s, farmowner’s,
  149  condominium association, condominium unit owner’s, apartment
  150  building, or other policy covering a residential structure or
  151  its contents:
  152         (b) The insurer shall give the first-named insured written
  153  notice of nonrenewal, cancellation, or termination at least 100
  154  days before the effective date of the nonrenewal, cancellation,
  155  or termination. However, the insurer shall give at least 100
  156  days’ written notice, or written notice by June 1, whichever is
  157  earlier, for any nonrenewal, cancellation, or termination that
  158  would be effective between June 1 and November 30. The notice
  159  must include the reason or reasons for the nonrenewal,
  160  cancellation, or termination, except that:
  161         1. The insurer shall give the first-named insured written
  162  notice of nonrenewal, cancellation, or termination at least 120
  163  days before prior to the effective date of the nonrenewal,
  164  cancellation, or termination for a first-named insured whose
  165  residential structure has been insured by that insurer or an
  166  affiliated insurer for at least 5 years before a 5-year period
  167  immediately prior to the date of the written notice.
  168         2. If cancellation is for nonpayment of premium, at least
  169  10 days’ written notice of cancellation accompanied by the
  170  reason therefor must be given. As used in this subparagraph, the
  171  term “nonpayment of premium” means failure of the named insured
  172  to discharge when due her or his obligations for paying the
  173  premium in connection with the payment of premiums on a policy
  174  or an any installment of such premium, whether the premium is
  175  payable directly to the insurer or its agent or indirectly under
  176  a any premium finance plan or extension of credit, or failure to
  177  maintain membership in an organization if such membership is a
  178  condition precedent to insurance coverage. The term also means
  179  the failure of a financial institution to honor an insurance
  180  applicant’s check after delivery to a licensed agent for payment
  181  of a premium, even if the agent has previously delivered or
  182  transferred the premium to the insurer. If a dishonored check
  183  represents the initial premium payment, the contract and all
  184  contractual obligations are void ab initio unless the nonpayment
  185  is cured within the earlier of 5 days after actual notice by
  186  certified mail is received by the applicant or 15 days after
  187  notice is sent to the applicant by certified mail or registered
  188  mail., and If the contract is void, any premium received by the
  189  insurer from a third party must be refunded to that party in
  190  full.
  191         3. If such cancellation or termination occurs during the
  192  first 90 days the insurance is in force and the insurance is
  193  canceled or terminated for reasons other than nonpayment of
  194  premium, at least 20 days’ written notice of cancellation or
  195  termination accompanied by the reason therefor must be given
  196  unless there has been a material misstatement or
  197  misrepresentation or a failure to comply with the underwriting
  198  requirements established by the insurer.
  199         4. After a policy or contract has been in effect for more
  200  than 90 days, the insurer may not cancel or terminate the policy
  201  or contract based on credit information available in public
  202  records.
  203         5.4. The requirement for providing written notice by June 1
  204  of any nonrenewal that would be effective between June 1 and
  205  November 30 does not apply to the following situations, but the
  206  insurer remains subject to the requirement to provide such
  207  notice at least 100 days before the effective date of
  208  nonrenewal:
  209         a. A policy that is nonrenewed due to a revision in the
  210  coverage for sinkhole losses and catastrophic ground cover
  211  collapse pursuant to s. 627.706.
  212         b. A policy that is nonrenewed by Citizens Property
  213  Insurance Corporation, pursuant to s. 627.351(6), for a policy
  214  that has been assumed by an authorized insurer offering
  215  replacement coverage to the policyholder is exempt from the
  216  notice requirements of paragraph (a) and this paragraph. In such
  217  cases, the corporation must give the named insured written
  218  notice of nonrenewal at least 45 days before the effective date
  219  of the nonrenewal.
  221  After the policy has been in effect for 90 days, the policy may
  222  not be canceled by the insurer unless there has been a material
  223  misstatement, a nonpayment of premium, a failure to comply with
  224  underwriting requirements established by the insurer within 90
  225  days after the date of effectuation of coverage, or a
  226  substantial change in the risk covered by the policy, or if the
  227  cancellation is for all insureds under such policies for a given
  228  class of insureds. This paragraph does not apply to individually
  229  rated risks that have having a policy term of less than 90 days.
  230         6.5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an insurer
  231  may cancel or nonrenew a property insurance policy after at
  232  least 45 days’ notice if the office finds that the early
  233  cancellation of some or all of the insurer’s policies is
  234  necessary to protect the best interests of the public or
  235  policyholders and the office approves the insurer’s plan for
  236  early cancellation or nonrenewal of some or all of its policies.
  237  The office may base such finding upon the financial condition of
  238  the insurer, lack of adequate reinsurance coverage for hurricane
  239  risk, or other relevant factors. The office may condition its
  240  finding on the consent of the insurer to be placed under
  241  administrative supervision pursuant to s. 624.81 or to the
  242  appointment of a receiver under chapter 631.
  243         7.6. A policy covering both a home and a motor vehicle may
  244  be nonrenewed for any reason applicable to either the property
  245  or motor vehicle insurance after providing 90 days’ notice.
  246         Section 5. Section 627.422, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  247  read:
  248         627.422 Assignment of policies.—A policy may be assignable,
  249  or not assignable, as provided by its terms.
  250         (1) Subject to its terms relating to assignability, a any
  251  life or health insurance policy, under the terms of which the
  252  beneficiary may be changed only upon the sole request of the
  253  policyowner, may be assigned either by pledge or transfer of
  254  title, by an assignment executed by the policyowner alone and
  255  delivered to the insurer, regardless of whether or not the
  256  pledgee or assignee is the insurer. Any such assignment entitles
  257  shall entitle the insurer to deal with the assignee as the owner
  258  or pledgee of the policy in accordance with the terms of the
  259  assignment, until the insurer has received at its home office
  260  written notice of termination of the assignment or pledge or
  261  written notice by or on behalf of some other person claiming
  262  some interest in the policy in conflict with the assignment.
  263         (2) The assignment of post-loss benefits is restricted for
  264  a residential property insurance policy. An agreement purporting
  265  to assign post-loss benefits for repair or replacement is valid
  266  only if the agreement:
  267         (a) Requires the assignee to notify the insurance company
  268  within 48 hours of the assignment. If the contact information
  269  for the insurer is unavailable for the first 48 hours, the
  270  assignee shall contact the company as soon as practicable;
  271         (b) Limits the assignment to the contracted work to be
  272  performed and is restricted to claims for damage to structures
  273  covered under the policy;
  274         (c) Specifies the estimated scope and price of the work
  275  before it is performed;
  276         (d) Prohibits the assignee from charging the policyowner
  277  for any portion of the repair or replacement beyond the
  278  applicable deductible contained in the insurance policy;
  279         (e) Prohibits a person performing any portion of the repair
  280  or replacement on behalf of the assignee from charging the
  281  policyowner;
  282         (f) Prohibits the assignee from retaining insurance
  283  proceeds that are earmarked by the insurer for payment of work
  284  to be performed by vendors other than the assignee; and
  285         (g) Requires the assignee to guarantee that the work
  286  performed for the loss event conforms to the most recent,
  287  accepted industry standards.
  288         Section 6. Paragraph (b) of subsection (4) of section
  289  627.7015, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  290         627.7015 Alternative procedure for resolution of disputed
  291  property insurance claims.—
  292         (4) The department shall adopt by rule a property insurance
  293  mediation program to be administered by the department or its
  294  designee. The department may also adopt special rules which are
  295  applicable in cases of an emergency within the state. The rules
  296  shall be modeled after practices and procedures set forth in
  297  mediation rules of procedure adopted by the Supreme Court. The
  298  rules shall provide for:
  299         (b) Qualifications, denial of application, suspension,
  300  revocation, and other penalties for of mediators as provided in
  301  s. 627.745 and in the Florida Rules for of Certified and Court
  302  Appointed Court Appointed Mediators, and for such other
  303  individuals as are qualified by education, training, or
  304  experience as the department determines to be appropriate.
  305         Section 7. Section 627.70151, Florida Statutes, is created
  306  to read:
  307         627.70151 Appraisal; conflicts of interest.—An insurer that
  308  offers residential coverage as defined in s. 627.4025, or a
  309  policyholder that uses an appraisal clause in a property
  310  insurance contract to establish a process for using an impartial
  311  umpire to estimate or evaluate the amount of loss, may challenge
  312  an umpire’s impartiality and disqualify the proposed umpire only
  313  if:
  314         (1) A familial relationship within the third degree exists
  315  between the umpire and a party or a representative of a party;
  316         (2) The umpire has previously represented a party or a
  317  representative of a party in a professional capacity in the same
  318  or a substantially related matter;
  319         (3) The umpire has represented another person in a
  320  professional capacity on the same or a substantially related
  321  matter that includes the claim or the same property, and the
  322  other person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests
  323  of a party; or
  324         (4) The umpire has worked as an employer or employee of a
  325  party within the preceding 5 years.
  326         Section 8. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section
  327  627.706, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  328         627.706 Sinkhole insurance; catastrophic ground cover
  329  collapse; definitions.—
  330         (2) As used in ss. 627.706-627.7074, and as used in
  331  connection with any policy providing coverage for a catastrophic
  332  ground cover collapse or for sinkhole losses, the term:
  333         (c) “Neutral evaluator” means a professional engineer or a
  334  professional geologist who has completed a course of study in
  335  alternative dispute resolution designed or approved by the
  336  department for use in the neutral evaluation process, and who is
  337  determined by the department to be fair and impartial, and who
  338  is not otherwise ineligible for certification under s. 627.7074.
  339         Section 9. Subsections (7) and (18) of section 627.7074,
  340  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  341         627.7074 Alternative procedure for resolution of disputed
  342  sinkhole insurance claims.—
  343         (7) Upon receipt of a request for neutral evaluation, the
  344  department shall provide the parties a list of certified neutral
  345  evaluators. The department shall allow the parties to submit
  346  requests to disqualify evaluators on the list for cause.
  347         (a) The department shall disqualify neutral evaluators for
  348  cause based only on any of the following grounds:
  349         1. A familial relationship within the third degree exists
  350  between the neutral evaluator and either party or a
  351  representative of either party within the third degree.
  352         2. The proposed neutral evaluator has, in a professional
  353  capacity, previously represented either party or a
  354  representative of either party, in the same or a substantially
  355  related matter.
  356         3. The proposed neutral evaluator has, in a professional
  357  capacity, represented another person in the same or a
  358  substantially related matter and that person’s interests are
  359  materially adverse to the interests of the parties. The term
  360  “substantially related matter” means participation by the
  361  neutral evaluator on the same claim, property, or adjacent
  362  property.
  363         4. The proposed neutral evaluator has, within the preceding
  364  5 years, worked as an employer or employee of any party to the
  365  case.
  366         (b) The department shall deny an application for, or
  367  suspend or revoke its approval of, a neutral evaluator if the
  368  department finds that any of the following grounds exist:
  369         1. Lack of one or more of the qualifications specified in
  370  this section for approval or certification.
  371         2. Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud in
  372  obtaining or attempting to obtain approval or certification.
  373         3. Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to act
  374  as a neutral evaluator.
  375         4. Fraudulent or dishonest practices in the conduct of an
  376  evaluation or in the conduct of financial services business.
  377         5. Violation of any provision of this code or of a lawful
  378  order or rule of the department, or aiding, instructing, or
  379  encouraging another party in committing such a violation.
  380         (c)(b) The parties shall appoint a neutral evaluator from
  381  the department list and promptly inform the department. If the
  382  parties cannot agree to a neutral evaluator within 14 business
  383  days, the department shall appoint a neutral evaluator from the
  384  list of certified neutral evaluators. The department shall allow
  385  each party to disqualify two neutral evaluators without cause.
  386  Upon selection or appointment, the department shall promptly
  387  refer the request to the neutral evaluator.
  388         (d)(c) Within 14 business days after the referral, the
  389  neutral evaluator shall notify the policyholder and the insurer
  390  of the date, time, and place of the neutral evaluation
  391  conference. The conference may be held by telephone, if feasible
  392  and desirable. The neutral evaluator shall make reasonable
  393  efforts to hold the conference within 90 days after the receipt
  394  of the request by the department. Failure of the neutral
  395  evaluator to hold the conference within 90 days does not
  396  invalidate either party’s right to neutral evaluation or to a
  397  neutral evaluation conference held outside this timeframe.
  398         (18) The department shall adopt rules of procedure for the
  399  neutral evaluation process and for certifying, denying
  400  certification, suspending certification, and revoking the
  401  certification of a neutral evaluator.
  402         Section 10. Section 627.7142, Florida Statutes, is created
  403  to read:
  404         627.7142Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.—An insurer
  405  issuing a residential property insurance policy in this state
  406  must provide a Claims Bill of Rights to a policyholder within 14
  407  calendar days after receiving a communication with respect to a
  408  claim, unless the claim follows an event that is the subject of
  409  a declaration of a state emergency by the Governor. The purpose
  410  of the bill of rights is to explain, in simple, nontechnical
  411  terms, the rights of a residential property insurance
  412  policyholder who files a claim of loss. The Claims Bill of
  413  Rights is specific to the claims process and does not represent
  414  all of a policyholder’s rights under Florida law regarding the
  415  insurance policy. The Claims Bill of Rights does not create a
  416  civil cause of action by any individual policyholder or class of
  417  policyholders against an individual insurer. The Claims Bill of
  418  Rights shall state:
  420                          HOMEOWNER CLAIMS                         
  421                           BILL OF RIGHTS                          
  422         This Bill of Rights is specific to the claims process
  423         and does not represent all of your rights under
  424         Florida law regarding your policy. There are also
  425         exceptions to the stated timelines when conditions are
  426         beyond your insurance company’s control. This document
  427         does not create a civil cause of action by an
  428         individual policyholder, or a class of policyholders,
  429         against an individual insurer.
  431         YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
  432         1. Receive from your insurance company an
  433         acknowledgment of your reported claim within 14 days
  434         after the time you communicated the claim, along with
  435         necessary claim forms, including a proof-of-loss form,
  436         instructions, and appropriate, up-to-date contact
  437         information.
  438         2. Upon written request, receive from your
  439         insurance company within 30 days after you have
  440         completed a proof-of-loss statement to your insurance
  441         company, confirmation that your claim is covered in
  442         full, partially covered, or denied, or receive a
  443         written statement that your claim is being
  444         investigated.
  445         3. Within 90 days, receive full settlement
  446         payment for your claim or payment of the undisputed
  447         portion of your claim, or your insurance company’s
  448         denial of your claim.
  449         4. Free mediation of your disputed claim by the
  450         Division of Consumer Services, under most
  451         circumstances and subject to certain restrictions.
  452         5. Neutral evaluation of your disputed claim, if
  453         your claim is for damage caused by a sinkhole and is
  454         covered by your policy.
  455         6. Contact the Florida Department of Financial
  456         Services Division of Consumer Services’ toll-free
  457         helpline for assistance with any insurance claim or
  458         questions pertaining to the handling of your claim.
  459         You can reach the Helpline by phone at...toll free
  460         phone number..., or you can seek assistance online at
  461         the Florida Department of Financial Services Division
  462         of Consumer Services’ website at...website address....
  464         YOU ARE ADVISED TO:
  465         1. Contact your insurance company before entering
  466         into any contract for repairs to confirm any managed
  467         repair policy provisions or optional preferred
  468         vendors.
  469         2. Make and document emergency repairs that are
  470         necessary to prevent further damage. Keep the damaged
  471         property, if feasible, keep all receipts, and take
  472         photographs of damage before and after any repairs.
  473         3. Carefully read any contract that requires you
  474         to pay out-of-pocket expenses or a fee that is based
  475         on a percentage of the insurance proceeds that you
  476         will receive for repairing or replacing your property.
  477         4. Confirm that the contractor you choose is
  478         licensed to do business in Florida. You can verify a
  479         contractor’s license and check to see if there are any
  480         complaints against him or her by calling the Florida
  481         Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  482         You should also ask the contractor for references from
  483         previous work.
  484         5. Require all contractors to provide proof of
  485         insurance before beginning repairs.
  486         6. Take precautions if the damage requires you to
  487         leave your home, including securing your property and
  488         turning off your gas, water, and electricity, and
  489         contacting your insurance company and provide a phone
  490         number where you can be reached.
  492         Section 11. Section 627.715, Florida Statutes, is created
  493  to read:
  494         627.715 Emergency mitigation services; agreements.—
  495         (1) As used in this section, the term “emergency mitigation
  496  services” means the delivery of goods or services that are
  497  needed to mitigate damage caused by fire, water, or catastrophic
  498  events when delay may exacerbate the damage to the covered
  499  property. Services include the removal of contents, removal of
  500  water or other contaminants, cleaning, sanitizing, incidental
  501  demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities.
  502         (2) For residential property insurance, an agreement for
  503  emergency mitigation services to which insurance proceeds may be
  504  applied is valid only if:
  505         (a) The agreement specifies in writing the estimated scope
  506  and price of the work before it is performed;
  507         (b) Any change from the original estimated scope and price
  508  of the work is preapproved by the policyholder; and
  509         (c) The work is performed by an individual or company
  510  possessing a valid certification consistent with the most recent
  511  Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage
  512  Restoration, as developed by the Institute of Inspection,
  513  Cleaning and Restoration Certification and approved by the
  514  American National Standards Institute, or by a company that
  515  possesses a valid Division I license under chapter 489, which is
  516  providing services within the scope of that license. A company
  517  is considered to be certified for the purposes of this paragraph
  518  if the company representative who possesses a valid
  519  certification personally supervises the emergency mitigation
  520  services performed.
  521         Section 12. Present subsections (3) through (5) of section
  522  627.745, Florida Statutes, are amended, and a new subsection (4)
  523  is added to that section, to read:
  524         627.745 Mediation of claims.—
  525         (3)(a) The department shall approve mediators to conduct
  526  mediations pursuant to this section.
  527         (a) All mediators must file an application under oath for
  528  approval as a mediator.
  529         (b) To qualify for approval as a mediator, an individual a
  530  person must meet one of the following qualifications:
  531         1. Possess active certification by the Florida Supreme
  532  Court as a circuit court mediator. A certified circuit court
  533  mediator in a lapsed, suspended, sanctioned, or decertified
  534  status is not eligible to participate in the mediation program a
  535  masters or doctorate degree in psychology, counseling, business,
  536  accounting, or economics, be a member of The Florida Bar, be
  537  licensed as a certified public accountant, or demonstrate that
  538  the applicant for approval has been actively engaged as a
  539  qualified mediator for at least 4 years prior to July 1, 1990.
  540         2. Be an approved department mediator as of July 1, 2014,
  541  and have conducted at least one mediation on behalf of the
  542  department within the 4 years immediately preceding that the
  543  date. the application for approval is filed with the department,
  544  have completed a minimum of a 40-hour training program approved
  545  by the department and successfully passed a final examination
  546  included in the training program and approved by the department.
  547  The training program shall include and address all of the
  548  following:
  549         a. Mediation theory.
  550         b. Mediation process and techniques.
  551         c. Standards of conduct for mediators.
  552         d. Conflict management and intervention skills.
  553         e. Insurance nomenclature.
  554         (4) The department shall deny an application, or suspend or
  555  revoke its approval of a mediator, or the certification of a
  556  neutral evaluator to serve as a mediator, if the department
  557  finds that any of the following grounds exists:
  558         (a) Lack of one or more of the qualifications specified in
  559  this section for approval or certification.
  560         (b) Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud in
  561  obtaining or attempting to obtain approval or certification.
  562         (c) Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to act
  563  as a mediator or neutral evaluator.
  564         (d) Fraudulent or dishonest practices in the conduct of
  565  mediation or neutral evaluation or in the conduct of financial
  566  services business.
  567         (e) Violation of this code, of a lawful order or rule of
  568  the department, or of the Florida Rules for Certified and Court
  569  Appointed Mediators, or the aiding, instructing, or encouraging
  570  of another to commit such violation.
  571         (5)(4) The department shall must adopt rules to administer
  572  this section, including rules of procedure for claims mediation,
  573  taking into consideration a system that which:
  574         (a) Is fair.
  575         (b) Promotes settlement.
  576         (c) Avoids delay.
  577         (d) Is nonadversarial.
  578         (e) Uses a framework for modern mediating technique.
  579         (f) Controls costs and expenses of mediation.
  580         (6)(5) Disclosures and information divulged in the
  581  mediation process are not admissible in any subsequent action or
  582  proceeding relating to the claim or to the cause of action
  583  giving rise to the claim. A person demanding mediation under
  584  this section may not demand or request mediation after a suit is
  585  filed relating to the same facts already mediated is filed.
  586         Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.