Florida Senate - 2021                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 1598
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and
       General Government (Gruters) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 98 - 799
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Subsection (9) of section 501.0051, Florida
    6  Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         501.0051 Protected consumer report security freeze.—
    8         (9)(a) A consumer reporting agency may not charge any fee
    9  to place or remove a security freeze.
   10         (b)A consumer reporting agency may charge a reasonable
   11  fee, not to exceed $10, if the representative fails to retain
   12  the original unique personal identifier provided by the consumer
   13  reporting agency and the agency must reissue the unique personal
   14  identifier or provide a new unique personal identifier to the
   15  representative.
   16         Section 2. Paragraph (b) of subsection (10) of section
   17  624.307, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   18         624.307 General powers; duties.—
   19         (10)
   20         (b) Any person licensed or issued a certificate of
   21  authority by the department or the office shall respond, in
   22  writing, to the division within 20 days after receipt of a
   23  written request for documents and information from the division
   24  concerning a consumer complaint. The response must address the
   25  issues and allegations raised in the complaint and include any
   26  requested documents concerning the consumer complaint not
   27  subject to attorney-client or work-product privilege. The
   28  division may impose an administrative penalty for failure to
   29  comply with this paragraph of up to $2,500 per violation upon
   30  any entity licensed by the department or the office and $250 for
   31  the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and up to
   32  $1,000 for the third or subsequent violation upon any individual
   33  licensed by the department or the office.
   34         Section 3. Subsection (20) of section 624.501, Florida
   35  Statutes, is amended to read:
   36         624.501 Filing, license, appointment, and miscellaneous
   37  fees.—The department, commission, or office, as appropriate,
   38  shall collect in advance, and persons so served shall pay to it
   39  in advance, fees, licenses, and miscellaneous charges as
   40  follows:
   41         (20) Adjusting firm, original or renewal 3-year
   42  license...................................................$60.00
   43         Section 4. Present subsection (9) of section 626.112,
   44  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (10) and
   45  amended, a new subsection (9) is added to that section, and
   46  paragraph (d) of subsection (7) of that section is amended, to
   47  read:
   48         626.112 License and appointment required; agents, customer
   49  representatives, adjusters, insurance agencies, service
   50  representatives, managing general agents, insurance adjusting
   51  firms.—
   52         (7)
   53         (d)Effective October 1, 2015, the department must
   54  automatically convert the registration of an approved registered
   55  insurance agency to an insurance agency license.
   56         (9)(a)An individual, a firm, a partnership, a corporation,
   57  an association, or any other entity may not act in its own name
   58  or under a trade name, directly or indirectly, as an adjusting
   59  firm unless it complies with s. 626.8696 with respect to
   60  possessing an adjusting firm license for each place of business
   61  at which it engages in an activity that may be performed only by
   62  a licensed insurance adjuster. However, an adjusting firm that
   63  is owned and operated by a single licensed adjuster conducting
   64  business in his or her individual name and not employing or
   65  otherwise using the services of or appointing other licensees is
   66  exempt from the adjusting firm licensing requirements of this
   67  subsection.
   68         (b)A branch place of business that is established by a
   69  licensed adjusting firm is considered a branch firm and is not
   70  required to be licensed if:
   71         1.It transacts business under the same name and federal
   72  tax identification number as the licensed adjusting firm;
   73         2.It has designated with the department a primary adjuster
   74  operating the location as required by s. 626.8695; and
   75         3.The address and telephone number of the branch location
   76  have been submitted to the department for inclusion in the
   77  licensing record of the licensed adjusting firm within 30 days
   78  after insurance transactions begin at the branch location.
   79         (c)If an adjusting firm is required to be licensed but
   80  fails to apply for licensure in accordance with this subsection,
   81  the department must impose an administrative penalty of up to
   82  $10,000 on the firm.
   83         (10)(9) Any person who knowingly transacts insurance or
   84  otherwise engages in insurance activities in this state without
   85  a license in violation of this section or who knowingly aids or
   86  abets an unlicensed person in transacting insurance or otherwise
   87  engaging in insurance activities in this state without a license
   88  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
   89  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
   90         Section 5. Subsection (4) is added to section 626.602,
   91  Florida Statutes, to read:
   92         626.602 Insurance agency names; disapproval.—The department
   93  may disapprove the use of any true or fictitious name, other
   94  than the bona fide natural name of an individual, by any
   95  insurance agency on any of the following grounds:
   96         (4)The name contains the word “Medicare” or “Medicaid.” An
   97  insurance agency whose name contains the word “Medicare” or
   98  “Medicaid” but which is licensed as of July 1, 2021, may
   99  continue to use that name until June 30, 2023, provided that the
  100  agency’s license remains valid. If the agency’s license expires
  101  or is suspended or revoked, the agency may not be relicensed
  102  using that name. Licenses for agencies with names containing
  103  either of these words automatically expire on July 1, 2023,
  104  unless these words are removed from the name.
  105         Section 6. Subsections (16) and (17) are added to section
  106  626.621, Florida Statutes, to read:
  107         626.621 Grounds for discretionary refusal, suspension, or
  108  revocation of agent’s, adjuster’s, customer representative’s,
  109  service representative’s, or managing general agent’s license or
  110  appointment.—The department may, in its discretion, deny an
  111  application for, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew or continue
  112  the license or appointment of any applicant, agent, adjuster,
  113  customer representative, service representative, or managing
  114  general agent, and it may suspend or revoke the eligibility to
  115  hold a license or appointment of any such person, if it finds
  116  that as to the applicant, licensee, or appointee any one or more
  117  of the following applicable grounds exist under circumstances
  118  for which such denial, suspension, revocation, or refusal is not
  119  mandatory under s. 626.611:
  120         (16)Taking an action that allows the personal financial or
  121  medical information of a consumer or customer to be made
  122  available or accessible to the general public, regardless of the
  123  format in which the record is stored.
  124         (17)Initiating in-person or telephone solicitation after 9
  125  p.m. or before 8 a.m. local time of the prospective customer
  126  unless requested by the prospective customer.
  127         Section 7. Section 626.782, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  128  read:
  129         626.782 “Industrial class insurer” defined.—An “industrial
  130  class insurer” is an insurer collecting premiums on policies of
  131  writing industrial life insurance, as defined in s. 627.502,
  132  written before July 1, 2021, and as to such insurance, operates
  133  under a system of collecting a debit by its agent.
  134         Section 8. Section 626.783, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  135  read:
  136         626.783 “Ordinary-combination class insurer” defined.—An
  137  “ordinary-combination class insurer” is an insurer writing both
  138  ordinary class insurance and collecting premiums on existing
  139  industrial life class insurance as defined by s. 627.502.
  140         Section 9. Section 626.796, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  141         Section 10. Subsections (6), (11), (15), and (19) of
  142  section 626.854, Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection
  143  (20) is added to that section, to read:
  144         626.854 “Public adjuster” defined; prohibitions.—The
  145  Legislature finds that it is necessary for the protection of the
  146  public to regulate public insurance adjusters and to prevent the
  147  unauthorized practice of law.
  148         (6) An insured or claimant may cancel a public adjuster’s
  149  contract to adjust a claim without penalty or obligation within
  150  10 calendar 3 business days after the date on which the contract
  151  is executed or within 3 business days after the date on which
  152  the insured or claimant has notified the insurer of the claim,
  153  whichever is later. The public adjuster’s contract must contain
  154  the following language in minimum 18-point bold type: “You, the
  155  insured, may cancel this contract for any reason without penalty
  156  or obligation to you within 10 days after the date of this
  157  contract by providing notice to ...(name of public adjuster)...,
  158  submitted in writing and sent by certified mail, return receipt
  159  requested, or other form of mailing that provides proof thereof,
  160  at the address specified in the contract disclose to the insured
  161  or claimant his or her right to cancel the contract and advise
  162  the insured or claimant that notice of cancellation must be
  163  submitted in writing and sent by certified mail, return receipt
  164  requested, or other form of mailing that provides proof thereof,
  165  to the public adjuster at the address specified in the contract;
  166  provided, during any state of emergency as declared by the
  167  Governor and for 1 year after the date of loss, the insured or
  168  claimant has 5 business days after the date on which the
  169  contract is executed to cancel a public adjuster’s contract.
  170         (11) Each public adjuster must provide to the claimant or
  171  insured a written estimate of the loss to assist in the
  172  submission of a proof of loss or any other claim for payment of
  173  insurance proceeds within 60 days after the date of the
  174  contract. The written estimate must include an itemized, per
  175  unit estimate of the repairs, including itemized information on
  176  equipment, materials, labor, and supplies, in accordance with
  177  accepted industry standards. The public adjuster shall retain
  178  such written estimate for at least 5 years and shall make the
  179  estimate available to the claimant or insured, the insurer, and
  180  the department upon request.
  181         (15) A licensed contractor under part I of chapter 489, or
  182  a subcontractor of such licensee, may not advertise, solicit,
  183  offer to handle, handle, or perform public adjuster services as
  184  provided in s. 626.854(1) adjust a claim on behalf of an insured
  185  unless licensed and compliant as a public adjuster under this
  186  chapter. The prohibition against solicitation does not preclude
  187  a contractor from suggesting or otherwise recommending to a
  188  consumer that the consumer consider contacting his or her
  189  insurer to determine if the proposed repair is covered under the
  190  consumer’s insurance policy. In addition However, the contractor
  191  may discuss or explain a bid for construction or repair of
  192  covered property with the residential property owner who has
  193  suffered loss or damage covered by a property insurance policy,
  194  or the insurer of such property, if the contractor is doing so
  195  for the usual and customary fees applicable to the work to be
  196  performed as stated in the contract between the contractor and
  197  the insured.
  198         (19) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no
  199  person, except an attorney at law or a licensed public adjuster,
  200  may for money, commission, or any other thing of value, directly
  201  or indirectly:
  202         (a) Prepare, complete, or file an insurance claim for an
  203  insured or a third-party claimant;
  204         (b) Act on behalf of or aid an insured or a third-party
  205  claimant in negotiating for or effecting the settlement of a
  206  claim for loss or damage covered by an insurance contract;
  207         (c) Offer to initiate or negotiate a claim on behalf of an
  208  insured;
  209         (d) Advertise services that require a license for
  210  employment as a public adjuster; or
  211         (e)(d) Solicit, investigate, or adjust a claim on behalf of
  212  a public adjuster, an insured, or a third-party claimant.
  213         (20)The department may take administrative actions and
  214  impose fines against any persons performing claims adjusting as
  215  defined in s. 626.015(6) or any other services as described in
  216  this section without the licensure required under this section
  217  and s. 626.112.
  218         Section 11. Effective January 1, 2022, subsection (3) of
  219  section 626.916, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (f)
  220  is added to subsection (1) of that section, to read:
  221         626.916 Eligibility for export.—
  222         (1) No insurance coverage shall be eligible for export
  223  unless it meets all of the following conditions:
  224         (f)The insured has signed or otherwise provided documented
  225  acknowledgment of a disclosure in substantially the following
  226  form: “You are agreeing to place coverage in the surplus lines
  227  market. Coverage may be available in the admitted market.
  228  Persons insured by surplus lines carriers are not protected
  229  under the Florida Insurance Guaranty Act with respect to any
  230  right of recovery for the obligation of an insolvent unlicensed
  231  insurer.”
  232         (3)(a) Subsection (1) does not apply to wet marine and
  233  transportation or aviation risks that which are subject to s.
  234  626.917.
  235         (b) Paragraphs (1)(a)-(d) do not apply to classes of
  236  insurance which are subject to s. 627.062(3)(d)1. These classes
  237  may be exportable under the following conditions:
  238         1. The insurance must be placed only by or through a
  239  surplus lines agent licensed in this state;
  240         2. The insurer must be made eligible under s. 626.918; and
  241         3. The insured has complied with paragraph (1)(f) must sign
  242  a disclosure that substantially provides the following: “You are
  243  agreeing to place coverage in the surplus lines market. Superior
  244  coverage may be available in the admitted market and at a lesser
  245  cost. Persons insured by surplus lines carriers are not
  246  protected under the Florida Insurance Guaranty Act with respect
  247  to any right of recovery for the obligation of an insolvent
  248  unlicensed insurer.” If the disclosure notice is signed by the
  249  insured, the insured is presumed to have been informed and to
  250  know that other coverage may be available, and, with respect to
  251  the diligent-effort requirement under subsection (1), there is
  252  no liability on the part of, and no cause of action arises
  253  against, the retail agent presenting the form.
  254         Section 12. Paragraph (z) of subsection (1) of section
  255  626.9541, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  256         626.9541 Unfair methods of competition and unfair or
  257  deceptive acts or practices defined.—
  259  ACTS.—The following are defined as unfair methods of competition
  260  and unfair or deceptive acts or practices:
  261         (z) Sliding.—Sliding is the act or practice of any of the
  262  following:
  263         1. Representing to the applicant that a specific ancillary
  264  coverage or product is required by law in conjunction with the
  265  purchase of insurance when such coverage or product is not
  266  required.;
  267         2. Representing to the applicant that a specific ancillary
  268  coverage or product is included in the policy applied for
  269  without an additional charge when such charge is required.; or
  270         3. Charging an applicant for a specific ancillary coverage
  271  or product, in addition to the cost of the insurance coverage
  272  applied for, without the informed consent of the applicant.
  273         4.Initiating, effectuating, binding, or otherwise issuing
  274  a policy of insurance without the prior informed consent of the
  275  owner of the property to be insured.
  276         5.Mailing, transmitting, or otherwise submitting by any
  277  means an invoice for premium payment to a mortgagee or escrow
  278  agent, for the purpose of effectuating an insurance policy,
  279  without the prior informed consent of the owner of the property
  280  to be insured. However, this subparagraph does not apply in
  281  cases in which the mortgagee or escrow agent is renewing
  282  insurance or issuing collateral protection insurance, as defined
  283  in s. 624.6085, pursuant to the mortgage or other pertinent loan
  284  documents or communications regarding the property.
  285         Section 13. Effective January 1, 2022, subsection (3) of
  286  section 626.9741, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  287         626.9741 Use of credit reports and credit scores by
  288  insurers.—
  289         (3) An insurer must inform an applicant or insured, in the
  290  same medium as the application is taken, that a credit report or
  291  score is being requested for underwriting or rating purposes.
  292  The notification to the consumer must include the following
  293  language: “The Department of Financial Services offers free
  294  financial literacy programs to assist you with insurance-related
  295  questions, including how credit works and how credit scores are
  296  calculated. To learn more, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com.” An
  297  insurer that makes an adverse decision based, in whole or in
  298  part, upon a credit report must provide at no charge, a copy of
  299  the credit report to the applicant or insured or provide the
  300  applicant or insured with the name, address, and telephone
  301  number of the consumer reporting agency from which the insured
  302  or applicant may obtain the credit report. The insurer must
  303  provide notification to the consumer explaining the reasons for
  304  the adverse decision. The reasons must be provided in
  305  sufficiently clear and specific language so that a person can
  306  identify the basis for the insurer’s adverse decision. Such
  307  notification shall include a description of the four primary
  308  reasons, or such fewer number as existed, which were the primary
  309  influences of the adverse decision. The use of generalized terms
  310  such as “poor credit history,” “poor credit rating,” or “poor
  311  insurance score” does not meet the explanation requirements of
  312  this subsection. A credit score may not be used in underwriting
  313  or rating insurance unless the scoring process produces
  314  information in sufficient detail to permit compliance with the
  315  requirements of this subsection. It shall not be deemed an
  316  adverse decision if, due to the insured’s credit report or
  317  credit score, the insured continues to receive a less favorable
  318  rate or placement in a less favorable tier or company at the
  319  time of renewal except for renewals or reunderwriting required
  320  by this section.
  321         Section 14. Subsection (5) of section 626.9953, Florida
  322  Statutes, is amended to read:
  323         626.9953 Qualifications for registration; application
  324  required.—
  325         (5) An applicant must submit a set of his or her
  326  fingerprints to the department and pay the processing fee
  327  established under s. 624.501(23) s. 624.501(24). The department
  328  shall submit the applicant’s fingerprints to the Department of
  329  Law Enforcement for processing state criminal history records
  330  checks and local criminal records checks through local law
  331  enforcement agencies and for forwarding to the Federal Bureau of
  332  Investigation for national criminal history records checks. The
  333  fingerprints shall be taken by a law enforcement agency, a
  334  designated examination center, or another department-approved
  335  entity. The department may not approve an application for
  336  registration as a navigator if fingerprints have not been
  337  submitted.
  338         Section 15. Subsection (1) of section 626.9957, Florida
  339  Statutes, is amended to read:
  340         626.9957 Conduct prohibited; denial, revocation, or
  341  suspension of registration.—
  342         (1) As provided in s. 626.112, only a person licensed as an
  343  insurance agent or customer representative may engage in the
  344  solicitation of insurance. A person who engages in the
  345  solicitation of insurance as described in s. 626.112(1) without
  346  such license is subject to the penalties provided under s.
  347  626.112(10) s. 626.112(9).
  348         Section 16. Subsection (10) of section 627.062, Florida
  349  Statutes, is amended to read:
  350         627.062 Rate standards.—
  351         (10) Any interest paid pursuant to s. 627.70131(7) s.
  352  627.70131(5) may not be included in the insurer’s rate base and
  353  may not be used to justify a rate or rate change.
  354         Section 17. Section 627.502, Florida Statutes, is amended
  355  to read:
  356         627.502 “Industrial life insurance” defined; reporting;
  357  prohibition on new policies after a certain date.—
  358         (1) For the purposes of this code, “industrial life
  359  insurance” is that form of life insurance written under policies
  360  under which premiums are payable monthly or more often, bearing
  361  the words “industrial policy” or “weekly premium policy” or
  362  words of similar import imprinted upon the policies as part of
  363  the descriptive matter, and issued by an insurer that which, as
  364  to such industrial life insurance, is operating under a system
  365  of collecting a debit by its agent.
  366         (2) Every life insurer servicing existing transacting
  367  industrial life insurance shall report to the office all annual
  368  statement data regarding the exhibit of life insurance,
  369  including relevant information for industrial life insurance.
  370         (3)Beginning July 1, 2021, a life insurer may not write a
  371  new policy of industrial life insurance.
  372         Section 18. Effective January 1, 2022, section 627.70131,
  373  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  374         627.70131 Insurer’s duty to acknowledge communications
  375  regarding claims; investigation.—
  376         (1)(a) Upon an insurer’s receiving a communication with
  377  respect to a claim, the insurer shall, within 14 calendar days,
  378  review and acknowledge receipt of such communication unless
  379  payment is made within that period of time or unless the failure
  380  to acknowledge is caused by factors beyond the control of the
  381  insurer which reasonably prevent such acknowledgment. If the
  382  acknowledgment is not in writing, a notification indicating
  383  acknowledgment shall be made in the insurer’s claim file and
  384  dated. A communication made to or by a representative an agent
  385  of an insurer with respect to a claim shall constitute
  386  communication to or by the insurer.
  387         (b) As used in this subsection, the term “representative”
  388  “agent” means any person to whom an insurer has granted
  389  authority or responsibility to receive or make such
  390  communications with respect to claims on behalf of the insurer.
  391         (c) This subsection does shall not apply to claimants
  392  represented by counsel beyond those communications necessary to
  393  provide forms and instructions.
  394         (2) Such acknowledgment must shall be responsive to the
  395  communication. If the communication constitutes a notification
  396  of a claim, unless the acknowledgment reasonably advises the
  397  claimant that the claim appears not to be covered by the
  398  insurer, the acknowledgment must shall provide necessary claim
  399  forms, and instructions, including an appropriate telephone
  400  number.
  401         (3)(a) Unless otherwise provided by the policy of insurance
  402  or by law, within 14 10 working days after an insurer receives
  403  proof of loss statements, the insurer shall begin such
  404  investigation as is reasonably necessary unless the failure to
  405  begin such investigation is caused by factors beyond the control
  406  of the insurer which reasonably prevent the commencement of such
  407  investigation.
  408         (b)If such investigation involves a physical inspection of
  409  the property, the licensed adjuster assigned by the insurer must
  410  provide the policyholder with a printed or electronic document
  411  containing his or her name and state adjuster license number.
  412         (c)Any subsequent communication with the policyholder
  413  regarding the claim must also include the name and license
  414  number of the adjuster communicating about the claim.
  415  Communication of the adjuster’s name and license number may be
  416  included with other information provided to the policyholder.
  417         (4) An insurer shall maintain a record or log of each
  418  adjuster who communicates with the policyholder as provided in
  419  paragraphs (3)(b) and (c) and provide a list of such adjusters
  420  to the insured, office, or department upon request.
  421         (5) For purposes of this section, the term “insurer” means
  422  any residential property insurer.
  423         (6)(a)When providing a preliminary or partial estimate of
  424  damage regarding a claim, an insurer shall include with the
  425  estimate the following statement printed in at least 12-point
  426  bold, uppercase type: THIS ESTIMATE REPRESENTS OUR CURRENT
  431         (b)When providing a payment on a claim which is not the
  432  full and final payment for the claim, an insurer shall include
  433  with the payment the following statement printed in at least 12
  434  point bold, uppercase type: WE ARE CONTINUING TO EVALUATE YOUR
  438  US.
  439         (7)(a)(5)(a) Within 90 days after an insurer receives
  440  notice of an initial, reopened, or supplemental property
  441  insurance claim from a policyholder, the insurer shall pay or
  442  deny such claim or a portion of the claim unless the failure to
  443  pay is caused by factors beyond the control of the insurer which
  444  reasonably prevent such payment. Any payment of an initial or
  445  supplemental claim or portion of such claim made 90 days after
  446  the insurer receives notice of the claim, or made more than 15
  447  days after there are no longer factors beyond the control of the
  448  insurer which reasonably prevented such payment, whichever is
  449  later, bears interest at the rate set forth in s. 55.03.
  450  Interest begins to accrue from the date the insurer receives
  451  notice of the claim. The provisions of this subsection may not
  452  be waived, voided, or nullified by the terms of the insurance
  453  policy. If there is a right to prejudgment interest, the insured
  454  shall select whether to receive prejudgment interest or interest
  455  under this subsection. Interest is payable when the claim or
  456  portion of the claim is paid. Failure to comply with this
  457  subsection constitutes a violation of this code. However,
  458  failure to comply with this subsection does not form the sole
  459  basis for a private cause of action.
  460         (b) Notwithstanding subsection (5) (4), for purposes of
  461  this subsection, the term “claim” means any of the following:
  462         1. A claim under an insurance policy providing residential
  463  coverage as defined in s. 627.4025(1);
  464         2. A claim for structural or contents coverage under a
  465  commercial property insurance policy if the insured structure is
  466  10,000 square feet or less; or
  467         3. A claim for contents coverage under a commercial tenant
  468  policy if the insured premises is 10,000 square feet or less.
  469         (c) This subsection does shall not apply to claims under an
  470  insurance policy covering nonresidential commercial structures
  471  or contents in more than one state.
  472         (8)This section also applies to surplus lines insurers and
  473  surplus lines insurance authorized under ss. 626.913-626.937
  474  providing personal residential coverage.
  475         Section 19. Section 627.7031, Florida Statutes, is created
  476  to read:
  477         627.7031Foreign venue clauses prohibited.—After July 1,
  478  2021, a personal residential property insurance policy sold in
  479  this state, insuring only real property located in this state,
  480  may not require an insured to pursue dispute resolution through
  481  litigation, arbitration, or mediation outside this state. This
  482  section also applies to surplus lines insurers and surplus lines
  483  insurance authorized under ss. 626.913-626.937.
  484         Section 20. Effective January 1, 2022, section 627.7142,
  485  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  486         627.7142 Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.—An insurer
  487  issuing a personal lines residential property insurance policy
  488  in this state must provide a Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights to
  489  a policyholder within 14 days after receiving an initial
  490  communication with respect to a claim, unless the claim follows
  491  an event that is the subject of a declaration of a state of
  492  emergency by the Governor. The purpose of the bill of rights is
  493  to summarize, in simple, nontechnical terms, existing Florida
  494  law regarding the rights of a personal lines residential
  495  property insurance policyholder who files a claim of loss. The
  496  Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is specific to the claims
  497  process and does not represent all of a policyholder’s rights
  498  under Florida law regarding the insurance policy. The Homeowner
  499  Claims Bill of Rights does not create a civil cause of action by
  500  any individual policyholder or class of policyholders against an
  501  insurer or insurers. The failure of an insurer to properly
  502  deliver the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is subject to
  503  administrative enforcement by the office but is not admissible
  504  as evidence in a civil action against an insurer. The Homeowner
  505  Claims Bill of Rights does not enlarge, modify, or contravene
  506  statutory requirements, including, but not limited to, ss.
  507  626.854, 626.9541, 627.70131, 627.7015, and 627.7074, and does
  508  not prohibit an insurer from exercising its right to repair
  509  damaged property in compliance with the terms of an applicable
  510  policy or ss. 627.7011(5)(e) and 627.702(7). The Homeowner
  511  Claims Bill of Rights must state:
  513                          HOMEOWNER CLAIMS                         
  514                           BILL OF RIGHTS                          
  515         This Bill of Rights is specific to the claims process
  516         and does not represent all of your rights under
  517         Florida law regarding your policy. There are also
  518         exceptions to the stated timelines when conditions are
  519         beyond your insurance company’s control. This document
  520         does not create a civil cause of action by an
  521         individual policyholder, or a class of policyholders,
  522         against an insurer or insurers and does not prohibit
  523         an insurer from exercising its right to repair damaged
  524         property in compliance with the terms of an applicable
  525         policy.
  527         YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
  528         1. Receive from your insurance company an
  529         acknowledgment of your reported claim within 14 days
  530         after the time you communicated the claim.
  531         2. Upon written request, receive from your
  532         insurance company within 30 days after you have
  533         submitted a complete proof-of-loss statement to your
  534         insurance company, confirmation that your claim is
  535         covered in full, partially covered, or denied, or
  536         receive a written statement that your claim is being
  537         investigated.
  538         3. Within 90 days, subject to any dual interest
  539         noted in the policy, receive full settlement payment
  540         for your claim or payment of the undisputed portion of
  541         your claim, or your insurance company’s denial of your
  542         claim.
  543         4.Receive payment of interest, as provided in s.
  544         627.70131, Florida Statutes, from your insurance
  545         company, which begins accruing from the date your
  546         claim is filed if your insurance company does not pay
  547         full settlement of your initial, reopened, or
  548         supplemental claim or the undisputed portion of your
  549         claim or does not deny your claim within 90 days after
  550         your claim is filed. The interest, if applicable, must
  551         be paid when your claim or the undisputed portion of
  552         your claim is paid.
  553         5. Free mediation of your disputed claim by the
  554         Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of
  555         Consumer Services, under most circumstances and
  556         subject to certain restrictions.
  557         6.5. Neutral evaluation of your disputed claim,
  558         if your claim is for damage caused by a sinkhole and
  559         is covered by your policy.
  560         7.6. Contact the Florida Department of Financial
  561         Services, Division of Consumer Services’ toll-free
  562         helpline for assistance with any insurance claim or
  563         questions pertaining to the handling of your claim.
  564         You can reach the Helpline by phone at...(toll-free
  565         phone number)..., or you can seek assistance online at
  566         the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division
  567         of Consumer Services’ website at...(website
  568         address)....
  570         YOU ARE ADVISED TO:
  571         1. Contact your insurance company before entering
  572         into any contract for repairs to confirm any managed
  573         repair policy provisions or optional preferred
  574         vendors.
  575         2. Make and document emergency repairs that are
  576         necessary to prevent further damage. Keep the damaged
  577         property, if feasible, keep all receipts, and take
  578         photographs or video of damage before and after any
  579         repairs to provide to your insurer.
  580         3. Carefully read any contract that requires you
  581         to pay out-of-pocket expenses or a fee that is based
  582         on a percentage of the insurance proceeds that you
  583         will receive for repairing or replacing your property.
  584         4. Confirm that the contractor you choose is
  585         licensed to do business in Florida. You can verify a
  586         contractor’s license and check to see if there are any
  587         complaints against him or her by calling the Florida
  588         Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  589         You should also ask the contractor for references from
  590         previous work.
  591         5. Require all contractors to provide proof of
  592         insurance before beginning repairs.
  593         6. Take precautions if the damage requires you to
  594         leave your home, including securing your property and
  595         turning off your gas, water, and electricity, and
  596         contacting your insurance company and provide a phone
  597         number where you can be reached.
  598         7. File all claims directly with your insurance
  599         company and be aware of contractors or repair vendors
  600         that offer incentives for free inspections or promise
  601         to coordinate with your insurance company to repair
  602         your home with no out-of-pocket expenses to you.
  604  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  605  And the title is amended as follows:
  606         Delete lines 3 - 54
  607  and insert:
  608         501.0051, F.S.; deleting authorization for consumer
  609         reporting agencies to charge a fee for reissuing or
  610         providing a new unique personal identifier to a
  611         consumer; amending s. 624.307, F.S.; revising a
  612         requirement for persons licensed or authorized by the
  613         Department of Financial Services or the Office of
  614         Insurance Regulation to respond to the department’s
  615         Division of Consumer Services regarding consumer
  616         complaints; amending s. 624.501, F.S.; deleting a fee
  617         for adjusting firm licenses; amending s. 626.112,
  618         F.S.; deleting an obsolete provision; prohibiting
  619         unlicensed activity by an adjusting firm; providing an
  620         exemption; providing an exemption from licensure for
  621         branch firms that meet certain criteria; providing an
  622         administrative penalty for failing to apply for
  623         certain licensure; providing a criminal penalty for
  624         aiding or abetting unlicensed activity; amending s.
  625         626.602, F.S.; authorizing the department to
  626         disapprove the use of insurance agency names
  627         containing the words “Medicare” or “Medicaid”;
  628         providing an exception for certain insurance agencies
  629         for a certain period; providing for expiration of
  630         certain licenses on a certain date; amending s.
  631         626.621, F.S.; adding grounds on which the department
  632         may take certain actions against a license,
  633         appointment, or application of certain insurance
  634         representatives; amending ss. 626.782 and 626.783,
  635         F.S.; revising the definitions of the terms
  636         “industrial class insurer” and “ordinary-combination
  637         class insurer,” respectively, to conform to changes
  638         made by the act; repealing s. 626.796, F.S., relating
  639         to the representation of multiple insurers in the same
  640         industrial debit territory; amending s. 626.854, F.S.;
  641         revising the timeframes in which an insured or a
  642         claimant may cancel a public adjuster’s contract to
  643         adjust a claim without penalty or obligation;
  644         requiring that a public adjuster’s contract include a
  645         specified disclosure; specifying requirements for
  646         written estimates of loss provided by public adjusters
  647         to claimants or insureds; revising a prohibition
  648         against certain contractors or subcontractors
  649         providing insureds with specified services; providing
  650         an exception; revising services a person is prohibited
  651         from performing unless the person meets specified
  652         requirements; authorizing the department to take
  653         administrative actions and impose fines against
  654         persons performing specified activities without
  655         licensure; amending s. 626.916, F.S.; revising