Florida Senate - 2016 SB 1248 By Senator Diaz de la Portilla 40-01321-16 20161248__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to prohibited insurance practices; 3 amending s. 626.854, F.S.; providing responsibilities 4 and prohibiting activities of licensed contractors and 5 subcontractors under certain conditions; creating s. 6 626.8699, F.S.; prohibiting certain persons and 7 entities from giving a referral fee, commission, 8 bonus, kickback, or rebate, or engaging in any split 9 fee arrangement, in connection with certain repair, 10 mitigation, or restoration services; providing duties 11 of the Department of Financial Services; providing 12 civil penalties; providing an effective date. 13 14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 15 16 Section 1. Subsection (16) of section 626.854, Florida 17 Statutes, is amended to read: 18 626.854 “Public adjuster” defined; prohibitions.—The 19 Legislature finds that it is necessary for the protection of the 20 public to regulate public insurance adjusters and to prevent the 21 unauthorized practice of law. 22 (16) Any
A licensedcontractor licensed under part I of 23 chapter 489, or asubcontractor to the contractor, or entity or 24 person that performs emergency remediation or restoration 25 services for an insured under an insurance policy in this state: 26 (a) May not adjust a claim on behalf of an insured unless 27 licensed and compliant as a public adjuster under this chapter. 28 However, the contractor or subcontractor may discuss or explain 29 a bid for construction or repair of covered property with the 30 residential property owner who has suffered loss or damage 31 covered by a property insurance policy, or the insurer of such 32 property, if the contractor or subcontractor is doing so for the 33 usual and customary fees applicable to the work to be performed 34 as stated in the contract between the contractor or 35 subcontractor and the insured. 36 (b) May not interpret or advise the insured as to his or 37 her coverages or obligations under an insurance policy, unless 38 he or she is licensed and compliant as a public adjuster under 39 this chapter. 40 (c) Must provide the insured a detailed estimate of the 41 services to be provided before the execution of any agreement to 42 provide services. 43 (d) Must provide the insured a 5-day right of rescission 44 period in the agreement with the insured. The period shall not 45 begin until the insurer has received a copy of the fully 46 executed agreement. The agreement must be sent by certified 47 mail, e-mail, or facsimile to the claim handler, if known, or, 48 if the claim handler is not known, to the specific office 49 handling the claim as indicated in the policy or as requested by 50 the insurance company. If the insured rescinds the agreement 51 during the 5-day period, the agreement is rescinded ab initio, 52 and the contractor, subcontractor, entity, or person is entitled 53 to reasonable compensation for any necessary emergency 54 mitigation services performed before the agreement was 55 rescinded. 56 Section 2. Section 626.8699, Florida Statutes, is created 57 to read: 58 626.8699 Prohibited practices related to repair, 59 mitigation, and restoration services; penalties.— 60 (1) A person or entity may not give a referral fee, 61 commission, bonus, kickback, or rebate, or engage in any split 62 fee arrangement, with any person or entity for any repair, 63 mitigation, or restoration service if the repair, mitigation, or 64 restoration service is for an amount greater than $25 and is 65 covered under an insurance policy in this state. 66 (2) A penalty for a violation of subsection (1) shall be 67 administered by the department and may include: 68 (a) A fine no greater than $10,000 per violation. 69 (b) A recommendation by the department to the appropriate 70 licensing board that disciplinary action be taken. 71 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.