Florida Senate - 2016                      CS for CS for SB 1248
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Banking and Insurance;
       and Senator Diaz de la Portilla
       576-04478-16                                          20161248c2
    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         providing applicability; authorizing the Department of
   14         Financial Services to seek a cease and desist order
   15         and administrative fines for certain violations;
   16         authorizing the department to enforce such penalties
   17         in a specified circuit court; authorizing the
   18         department to recommend disciplinary action to other
   19         licensing agencies or boards; providing applicability;
   20         creating s. 627.717, F.S.; providing that a
   21         policyholder that assigns the right to receive benefit
   22         of payment under a property insurance policy is not
   23         liable to the assignee for certain services or
   24         materials; prohibiting certain actions by an assignee
   25         against a policyholder under specified circumstances;
   26         providing an effective date.
   28  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   30         Section 1. Subsection (16) of section 626.854, Florida
   31  Statutes, is amended to read:
   32         626.854 “Public adjuster” defined; prohibitions.—The
   33  Legislature finds that it is necessary for the protection of the
   34  public to regulate public insurance adjusters and to prevent the
   35  unauthorized practice of law.
   36         (16) Any A licensed contractor licensed under part I of
   37  chapter 489, or a subcontractor to the contractor, or entity or
   38  person that performs emergency remediation or restoration
   39  services for an insured under an insurance policy in this state
   40  may not adjust a claim on behalf of an insured unless licensed
   41  and compliant as a public adjuster under this chapter. However,
   42  the contractor or subcontractor may discuss or explain a bid for
   43  construction or repair of covered property with the residential
   44  property owner who has suffered loss or damage covered by a
   45  property insurance policy, or the insurer of such property, if
   46  the contractor or subcontractor is doing so for the usual and
   47  customary fees applicable to the work to be performed as stated
   48  in the contract between the contractor or subcontractor and the
   49  insured.
   50         Section 2. Section 627.716, Florida Statutes, is created to
   51  read:
   52         627.716 Prohibited practices related to repair, mitigation,
   53  and restoration services; penalties.—
   54         (1) A person or entity may not directly or indirectly
   55  offer, deliver, receive, or accept any compensation, inducement,
   56  or reward greater than $25 for the referral of any business for
   57  the repair, mitigation, or restoration of property for which
   58  property insurance proceeds are payable.
   59         (2) An entity or person, including a contractor licensed
   60  under part I of chapter 489 or a subcontractor to the
   61  contractor, that provides emergency remediation or restoration
   62  services for an insured under a property insurance policy in
   63  this state must:
   64         (a) Provide an insured with a scope of services and
   65  materials to be provided for repairs undertaken pursuant to a
   66  property insurance claim before the agreement authorizing such
   67  repairs is executed. A supplement to the original scope of work
   68  does not violate this section.
   69         (b) Notify the insured in writing that any assignment
   70  accepted by the person or entity is limited to the scope of the
   71  work indicated therein and that the insured may have other
   72  claims under his or her homeowner’s insurance policy which are
   73  not covered by this assignment. Nothing in this section
   74  prohibits the use of post-loss, partial assignments in
   75  homeowner’s insurance claims.
   76         (3)The department may, in a proceeding initiated pursuant
   77  to chapter 120, seek a cease and desist order, and if a cease
   78  and desist order is violated, impose an administrative fine of
   79  not more than $10,000 per violation against any person found in
   80  the proceeding to have violated this section. Any cease and
   81  desist order or administrative fine levied by the department
   82  under this subsection may be enforced by the department by
   83  appropriate proceedings in the circuit court of the county in
   84  which the person resides. The department may recommend to the
   85  appropriate licensing agency or board that disciplinary action
   86  be taken against persons licensed by other agencies or boards.
   87         (4) This section applies to residential coverage as
   88  described in s. 627.4025(1).
   89         Section 3. Section 627.717, Florida Statutes, is created to
   90  read:
   91         627.717 Assignment of the right to receive benefit of
   92  payment; construction.—A policyholder who assigns the right to
   93  receive the benefit of payment under a property insurance policy
   94  in this state is not liable to the assignee for services and
   95  materials for which the insurer is liable, and the assignee may
   96  not collect or attempt to collect money from, maintain an action
   97  at law against, or report a policyholder to a credit agency for
   98  payment for which the insurer is liable. However, this section
   99  does not prohibit the assignee from taking such actions against
  100  a policyholder for payment of the amount of the insurance
  101  deductible or any amount attributable to upgrades ordered by the
  102  policyholder which are not covered under the insurance policy.
  103         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.