Florida Senate - 2016                             CS for SB 1248
       By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senator Diaz de
       la Portilla
       597-03682-16                                          20161248c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to prohibited insurance practices;
    3         amending s. 626.854, F.S.; adding entities and persons
    4         that may not adjust a claim on behalf of an insured
    5         unless licensed and compliant as a public adjuster;
    6         revising an exception to include a subcontractor;
    7         creating s. 627.716, F.S.; prohibiting a person or
    8         entity from certain actions relating to the referral
    9         of certain business related to certain repair,
   10         mitigation, and restoration services; specifying
   11         requirements for an entity or person that provides
   12         certain emergency remediation or restoration services;
   13         authorizing the Department of Financial Services to
   14         seek a cease and desist order and administrative fines
   15         for certain violations; authorizing the department to
   16         enforce such penalties in a specified circuit court;
   17         authorizing the department to recommend disciplinary
   18         action to other licensing agencies or boards;
   19         providing an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Subsection (16) of section 626.854, Florida
   24  Statutes, is amended to read:
   25         626.854 “Public adjuster” defined; prohibitions.—The
   26  Legislature finds that it is necessary for the protection of the
   27  public to regulate public insurance adjusters and to prevent the
   28  unauthorized practice of law.
   29         (16) Any A licensed contractor licensed under part I of
   30  chapter 489, or a subcontractor to the contractor, or entity or
   31  person that performs emergency remediation or restoration
   32  services for an insured under an insurance policy in this state
   33  may not adjust a claim on behalf of an insured unless licensed
   34  and compliant as a public adjuster under this chapter. However,
   35  the contractor or subcontractor may discuss or explain a bid for
   36  construction or repair of covered property with the residential
   37  property owner who has suffered loss or damage covered by a
   38  property insurance policy, or the insurer of such property, if
   39  the contractor or subcontractor is doing so for the usual and
   40  customary fees applicable to the work to be performed as stated
   41  in the contract between the contractor or subcontractor and the
   42  insured.
   43         Section 2. Section 627.716, Florida Statutes, is created to
   44  read:
   45         627.716 Prohibited practices related to repair, mitigation,
   46  and restoration services; penalties.—
   47         (1) A person or entity may not directly or indirectly
   48  offer, deliver, receive, or accept any compensation, inducement,
   49  or reward greater than $25 for the referral of any business for
   50  the repair, mitigation, or restoration of property for which
   51  property insurance proceeds are payable.
   52         (2) An entity or person, including a contractor licensed
   53  under part I of chapter 489 or a subcontractor to the
   54  contractor, that provides emergency remediation or restoration
   55  services for an insured under a property insurance policy in
   56  this state must:
   57         (a) Provide an insured with a scope of services and
   58  materials to be provided for repairs undertaken pursuant to a
   59  property insurance claim before the agreement authorizing such
   60  repairs is executed.
   61         (b) Notify the insured in writing that any assignment
   62  accepted by the person or entity is limited to the scope of the
   63  work indicated therein; that the insured may have other claims
   64  under their homeowner’s insurance policy that are not covered by
   65  this assignment; and that the insured may wish to contact a
   66  public adjuster or attorney to evaluate other claims and
   67  coverages. Nothing in this section prohibits the use of post
   68  loss, partial assignments in homeowner’s insurance claims.
   69         (3)The department may, in a proceeding initiated pursuant
   70  to chapter 120, seek a cease and desist order, and if a cease
   71  and desist order is violated, impose an administrative fine of
   72  not more than $10,000 per violation against any person found in
   73  the proceeding to have violated this section. Any cease and
   74  desist order or administrative fine levied by the department
   75  under this subsection may be enforced by the department by
   76  appropriate proceedings in the circuit court of the county in
   77  which the person resides. The department may recommend to the
   78  appropriate licensing agency or board that disciplinary action
   79  be taken against persons licensed by other agencies or boards.
   80         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.