October 19, 2019
Print This PagePrint This Page

  *
Session:
Bill #:
Session:
Chamber: View Search Tips
Search Term:
Year: View Search Tips
Search Term:

Florida Senate - 2008 CS for SB's 2860 & 1196

By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senators Atwater, Geller, Fasano, Garcia and Jones

597-05738B-08 20082860c1

1

A bill to be entitled

2

An act relating to insurance; amending s. 215.5595, F.S.;

3

revising legislative findings with respect to the

4

Insurance Capital Build-Up Incentive Program and the

5

appropriation of state funds for surplus notes issued by

6

residential property insurers; revising the conditions and

7

requirements for providing funds to insurers under the

8

program; requiring a commitment by the insurer to meet

9

minimum premium-to-surplus writing ratios for residential

10

property insurance and for taking policies out of Citizens

11

Property Insurance Corporation; allowing the State Board

12

of Administration to charge a late fee for payment of

13

remittances; providing that amendments made by the act do

14

not affect the terms of surplus notes approved prior to a

15

specified date, but authorizing the board and an insurer

16

to renegotiate such terms consistent with such amendments;

17

amending s. 542.20, F.S.; subjecting the business of

18

insurance to the Florida Antitrust Act; providing

19

exceptions; amending s. 624.3161, F.S.; authorizing the

20

Office of Insurance Regulation to require an insurer to

21

file its claims handling practices and procedures as a

22

public record based on findings of a market conduct

23

examination; amending s. 624.418, F.S.; authorizing the

24

Office of Insurance Regulation to immediately suspend the

25

certificate of authority of an insurer that fails to

26

provide information subpoenaed by the office; amending s.

27

624.4211, F.S.; increasing the maximum amounts of

28

administrative fines that may be imposed upon an insurer

29

by the Office of Insurance Regulation for nonwillful and

30

willful violations of an order or rule of the office or

31

any provision of the Florida Insurance Code; authorizing

32

the office to impose a fine for each day of noncompliance

33

up to a maximum amount; providing factors to consider when

34

determining the amount of the fine; creating s. 624.4213,

35

F.S.; specifying requirements for submission of a document

36

or information to the Office of Insurance Regulation or

37

the Department of Financial Services in order for a person

38

to claim that the document is a trade secret; requiring

39

each page or portion to be labeled as a trade secret and

40

be separated from non-trade secret material; requiring the

41

submitting party to include an affidavit certifying

42

certain information about the documents claimed to be

43

trade secrets; requiring an award of attorney's fees

44

against a person who certified a document as trade secret

45

if a court or administrative tribunal finds that the

46

document is not a trade secret; providing for

47

administrative penalties under certain conditions;

48

creating s. 624.4305, F.S.; requiring an insurer planning

49

to nonrenew more than a specified number of residential

50

property insurance polices to notify the Office of

51

Insurance Regulation and obtain approval; specifying

52

procedures; prohibiting the office from approving the plan

53

unless it determines that the insurer has met certain

54

conditions; amending s. 626.9521, F.S.; increasing the

55

maximum fines that may be imposed by the office for

56

nonwillful and willful violations of state law regarding

57

unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts

58

or practices related to insurance; amending s. 626.9541,

59

F.S.; prohibiting an insurer from failing to promptly

60

provide to the insured estimates of damage and a good

61

faith explanation of the insurer's evaluation; prohibiting

62

an insurer from considering certain factors when

63

evaluating or adjusting a property insurance claim;

64

prohibiting an insurer from failing to pay undisputed

65

amounts of benefits owed under a property insurance policy

66

within a certain period; amending s. 627.062, F.S.;

67

requiring that an insurer seeking a rate for property

68

insurance that is greater than the rate most recently

69

approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation make a

70

"file and use" filing for all such rate filings made after

71

a specified date; revising the factors the office must

72

consider in reviewing a rate filing; providing that the

73

cost of reinsurance shall be presumed excessive under

74

certain conditions and, for reinsurance purchased from

75

affiliated reinsurers, may not include broker fees;

76

providing that projected hurricane losses are to be

77

considered as provided in s. 627.0628, F.S., relating to

78

hurricane loss models or methods found to be accurate or

79

reliable by the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss

80

Projection Methodology; allowing the office to disapprove

81

a rate as excessive within 1 year after the rate has been

82

approved under certain conditions related to nonrenewal of

83

policies by the insurer; requiring certain officers and

84

the chief actuary of a property insurer to certify certain

85

information as part of a rate filing, subject to the

86

penalty of perjury; requiring that a rate filing contain

87

all information that supports the filing; providing that

88

after the office issues a notice of intent to disapprove

89

the filing, no additional information is admissible in any

90

subsequent administrative or judicial proceeding;

91

repealing s. 627.062(6), F.S., relating to the submission

92

of a disputed rate filing, other than a rate filing for

93

medical malpractice insurance, to an arbitration panel in

94

lieu of an administrative hearing if the rate is filed

95

before a specified date; amending s. 627.0613, F.S.;

96

deleting cross-references to conform to changes made by

97

the act; amending s. 627.0628, F.S.; requiring that with

98

respect to rate filings, insurers must use actuarial

99

methods or models found to be accurate or reliable by the

100

Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection

101

Methodology; deleting cross-references to conform to

102

changes made by the act; amending s. 627.0629, F.S.;

103

requiring that the Office of Insurance Regulation develop

104

and make publicly available before a specified deadline a

105

proposed method for insurers to establish windstorm

106

mitigation premium discounts that correlate to the uniform

107

home rating scale; requiring that the Financial Services

108

Commission adopt rules before a specified deadline;

109

requiring insurers to make rate filings pursuant to such

110

method; authorizing the commission to make changes by rule

111

to the uniform home grading scale and specify by rule the

112

minimum required discounts, credits, or other rate

113

differentials; requiring that such rate differentials be

114

consistent with generally accepted actuarial principles

115

and wind loss mitigation studies; amending s. 627.351,

116

F.S., relating to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation;

117

deleting a provision to conform to changes made in the

118

act; deleting provisions defining the terms "homestead

119

property" and "nonhomestead property"; deleting a

120

provision providing for the classification of certain

121

dwellings as "nonhomestead property"; deleting provisions

122

making dwellings and condominium units that have a

123

replacement cost above a specified value ineligible for

124

coverage after a specified date; requiring certain

125

structures to have opening protections as a condition of

126

eligibility for coverage after a specified date; requiring

127

that the corporation cease issuance of new wind-only

128

coverage beginning on a specified date; deleting outdated

129

provisions requiring the corporation to submit a report

130

for approval of offering multiperil coverage; revising

131

threshold amounts of deficits incurred in a calendar year

132

on which the decision to levy assessments and the types of

133

such assessments are based; revising the formula used to

134

calculate shares of assessments owed by certain assessable

135

insureds; requiring that the board of governors make

136

certain determinations before levying emergency

137

assessments; providing the board of governors with

138

discretion to set the amount of an emergency assessment

139

within specified limits; requiring the board of governors

140

to levy a Citizens policyholder surcharge under certain

141

conditions; deleting a provision requiring the levy of an

142

immediate assessment against certain policyholders under

143

such conditions; requiring that funds collected from the

144

levy of such surcharges be used for certain purposes;

145

providing that such surcharges are not considered premium

146

and are not subject to commissions, fees, or premium

147

taxes; requiring that the failure to pay such surcharges

148

be treated as failure to pay premium; requiring that the

149

amount of any assessment or surcharge which exceeds the

150

amount of deficits be remitted to and used by the

151

corporation for specified purposes; deleting provisions

152

requiring that the plan of operation of the corporation

153

provide for the levy of a Citizens policyholder surcharge

154

if regular deficit assessments are levied as a result of

155

deficits in certain accounts; deleting provisions related

156

to the calculation, classification, and nonpayment of such

157

surcharge; providing legislative findings; requiring that

158

the corporation make an annual filing for each personal or

159

commercial line of business it writes, beginning on a

160

specified date; limiting the overall average statewide

161

premium increase and the increase for an individual

162

policyholder to a specified amount for rates established

163

for certain policies during a specified period; deleting a

164

provision requiring an insurer to purchase bonds that

165

remain unsold; requiring the corporation to make its

166

database of policies available to prospective take-out

167

insurers under certain conditions; requiring the

168

corporation to require agents to accept or decline

169

appointment for any policy selected; requiring the

170

corporation to notify the policyholder of certain

171

information if an insurer selected his or her policy for a

172

take-out offer but the policyholder's agent refused to be

173

appointed; deleting provisions requiring the corporation

174

to make certain confidential underwriting and claims files

175

available to agents to conform to changes made by the act

176

relating to ineligibility of certain dwellings; creating

177

s. 627.714, F.S.; requiring that personal lines

178

residential policies be guaranteed renewable for a

179

specified period if the dwelling meets certain wind-borne-

180

debris protection requirements; providing for

181

applicability; creating s. 689.262, F.S.; requiring a

182

purchaser of residential property to be presented with the

183

windstorm mitigation rating of the structure; authorizing

184

the Financial Services Commission to adopt rules; amending

185

s. 817.2341, F.S.; providing criminal penalties for any

186

person who willfully files a materially false or

187

misleading rate filing, under certain conditions, and for

188

any person who attempts to corruptly influence or obstruct

189

the lawful regulation of the business of insurance;

190

providing effective dates.

191

192

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

193

194

     Section 1.  Section 215.5595, Florida Statutes, is amended

195

to read:

196

     215.5595  Insurance Capital Build-Up Incentive Program.--

197

     (1) Upon entering the 2008 2006 hurricane season, the

198

Legislature finds that:

199

     (a)  The losses in Florida from eight hurricanes in 2004 and

200

2005 have seriously strained the resources of both the voluntary

201

insurance market and the public sector mechanisms of Citizens

202

Property Insurance Corporation and the Florida Hurricane

203

Catastrophe Fund.

204

     (b) Private reinsurance is much less available and at a

205

significantly greater cost to residential property insurers as

206

compared to 1 year ago, particularly for amounts below the

207

insurer's retention or retained losses that must be paid before

208

reimbursement is provided by the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe

209

Fund.

210

     (c) The Office of Insurance Regulation has reported that

211

the insolvency of certain insurers may be imminent.

212

     (d) Hurricane forecast experts predict that the 2006

213

hurricane season will be an active hurricane season and that the

214

Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions face an active hurricane cycle of

215

10 to 20 years or longer.

216

     (b)(e) Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has over 1.2

217

million policies in force and has the largest market share of any

218

insurer writing residential property insurer in the state, and

219

faces the threat of a catastrophic loss that The number of

220

cancellations or nonrenewals of residential property insurance

221

policies is expected to increase and the number of new

222

residential policies written in the voluntary market are likely

223

to decrease, causing increased policy growth and exposure to the

224

state insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance

225

Corporation, and threatening to increase the deficit of the

226

corporation, currently estimated to be over $1.7 billion. This

227

deficit must be funded by assessments against insurers and

228

policyholders, unless otherwise funded by the state.

229

     (c)(f) Policyholders are subject to high increased premiums

230

and assessments that are increasingly making such coverage

231

unaffordable and that may force policyholders to sell their homes

232

and even leave the state.

233

     (d)(g) The increased risk to the public sector and private

234

sector continues to pose poses a serious threat to the economy of

235

this state, particularly the building and financing of

236

residential structures, and existing mortgages may be placed in

237

default.

238

     (h) The losses from 2004 and 2005, combined with the

239

expectation that the increase in hurricane activity will continue

240

for the foreseeable future, have caused both insurers and

241

reinsurers to limit the capital they are willing to commit to

242

covering the hurricane risk in Florida; attracting new capital to

243

the Florida market is a critical priority; and providing a low-

244

cost source of capital would enable insurers to write additional

245

residential property insurance coverage and act to mitigate

246

premium increases.

247

     (e)(i) Appropriating state funds to be exchanged for used

248

as surplus notes issued by for residential property insurers,

249

under conditions requiring the insurer to contribute additional

250

private sector capital and to write a minimum level of premiums

251

for residential hurricane coverage, is a valid and important

252

public purpose.

253

     (f) Extending the Insurance Capital Build-up Incentive

254

Program will provide an incentive for investors to commit

255

additional capital to Florida's residential insurance market.

256

     (2) The purpose of this section is to provide funds in

257

exchange for surplus notes to be issued by to new or existing

258

authorized residential property insurers under the Insurance

259

Capital Build-Up Incentive Program administered by the State

260

Board of Administration, under the following conditions:

261

     (a) The amount of state funds provided in exchange for a

262

the surplus note to for any insurer or insurer group, other than

263

an insurer writing only manufactured housing policies, may not

264

exceed $25 million or 20 percent of the total amount of funds

265

appropriated for available under the program, whichever is

266

greater. The amount of the surplus note for any insurer or

267

insurer group writing residential property insurance covering

268

only manufactured housing may not exceed $7 million.

269

     (b)  The insurer must contribute an amount of new capital to

270

its surplus which is at least equal to the amount of the surplus

271

note and must apply to the board by July 1, 2006. If an insurer

272

applies after July 1, 2006, but before June 1, 2007, the amount

273

of the surplus note is limited to one-half of the new capital

274

that the insurer contributes to its surplus, except that an

275

insurer writing only manufactured housing policies is eligible to

276

receive a surplus note of up to $7 million. For purposes of this

277

section, new capital must be in the form of cash or cash

278

equivalents as specified in s. 625.012(1).

279

     (c)  The insurer's surplus, new capital, and the surplus

280

note must total at least $50 million, except for insurers writing

281

residential property insurance covering only manufactured

282

housing. The insurer's surplus, new capital, and the surplus note

283

must total at least $14 million for insurers writing only

284

residential property insurance covering manufactured housing

285

policies as provided in paragraph (a).

286

     (d) The insurer must commit to increase its writings of

287

residential property insurance, including the peril of wind, and

288

to meet meeting a minimum writing ratio of net written premium to

289

surplus of at least 1:1 for the first year after receiving the

290

state funds, 1.5:1 for the second year, and 2:1 for the remaining

291

term of the surplus note. Alternatively, the insurer must meet a

292

minimum writing ratio of gross written premium to surplus of at

293

least 3:1 for the first year after receiving the state funds,

294

4.5:1 for the second year, and 6:1 for the remaining term of the

295

surplus note. The writing ratios, which shall be determined by

296

the Office of Insurance Regulation and certified quarterly to the

297

board. For this purpose, the term "premium" "net written premium"

298

means net written premium for residential property insurance in

299

Florida, including the peril of wind, and "surplus" refers to the

300

entire surplus of the insurer. The insurer must also commit to

301

writing at least one-third of its net or gross written premium

302

for new policies, not including renewal premiums, for policies

303

taken out of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, during each

304

of the first 3 years after receiving the state funds in exchange

305

for the surplus note, which shall be determined by the Office of

306

Insurance Regulation and certified annually to the board. The

307

office may determine that an insurer meets the requirement for

308

taking policies out of Citizens, by written notice to the board,

309

upon a finding that the insurer made offers of coverage to

310

policyholders of Citizens which would have resulted in meeting

311

this requirement had the policyholders accepted the offer. If the

312

required ratio or the required writings for policies taken out of

313

Citizens is not maintained during the term of the surplus note,

314

the board may increase the interest rate, accelerate the

315

repayment of interest and principal, or shorten the term of the

316

surplus note, subject to approval by the Commissioner of

317

Insurance of payments by the insurer of principal and interest as

318

provided in paragraph (f).

319

     (e)  If the requirements of this section are met, the board

320

may approve an application by an insurer for funds in exchange

321

for issuance of a surplus note, unless the board determines that

322

the financial condition of the insurer and its business plan for

323

writing residential property insurance in Florida places an

324

unreasonably high level of financial risk to the state of

325

nonpayment in full of the interest and principal. The board shall

326

consult with the Office of Insurance Regulation and may contract

327

with independent financial and insurance consultants in making

328

this determination.

329

     (f)  The surplus note must be repayable to the state with a

330

term of 20 years. The surplus note shall accrue interest on the

331

unpaid principal balance at a rate equivalent to the 10-year U.S.

332

Treasury Bond rate, require the payment only of interest during

333

the first 3 years, and include such other terms as approved by

334

the board. The board may charge late fees up to 5 percent for

335

late payments or other late remittances. Payment of principal, or

336

interest, or late fees by the insurer on the surplus note must be

337

approved by the Commissioner of Insurance, who shall approve such

338

payment unless the commissioner determines that such payment will

339

substantially impair the financial condition of the insurer. If

340

such a determination is made, the commissioner shall approve such

341

payment that will not substantially impair the financial

342

condition of the insurer.

343

     (g)  The total amount of funds available for the program is

344

limited to the amount appropriated by the Legislature for this

345

purpose. If the amount of surplus notes requested by insurers

346

exceeds the amount of funds available, the board may prioritize

347

insurers that are eligible and approved, with priority for

348

funding given to insurers writing only manufactured housing

349

policies, regardless of the date of application, based on the

350

financial strength of the insurer, the viability of its proposed

351

business plan for writing additional residential property

352

insurance in the state, and the effect on competition in the

353

residential property insurance market. Between insurers writing

354

residential property insurance covering manufactured housing,

355

priority shall be given to the insurer writing the highest

356

percentage of its policies covering manufactured housing.

357

     (h) The board may allocate portions of the funds available

358

for the program and establish dates for insurers to apply for

359

surplus notes from such allocation which are earlier than the

360

dates established in paragraph (b).

361

     (h)(i) Notwithstanding paragraph (d), a newly formed

362

manufactured housing insurer that is eligible for a surplus note

363

under this section shall meet the premium to surplus ratio

364

provisions of s. 624.4095.

365

     (i)(j) As used in this section, "an insurer writing only

366

manufactured housing policies" includes:

367

     1.  A Florida domiciled insurer that begins writing personal

368

lines residential manufactured housing policies in Florida after

369

March 1, 2007, and that removes a minimum of 50,000 policies from

370

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation without accepting a

371

bonus, provided at least 25 percent of its policies cover

372

manufactured housing. Such an insurer may count any funds above

373

the minimum capital and surplus requirement that were contributed

374

into the insurer after March 1, 2007, as new capital under this

375

section.

376

     2.  A Florida domiciled insurer that writes at least 40

377

percent of its policies covering manufactured housing in Florida.

378

     (3)  As used in this section, the term:

379

     (a)  "Board" means the State Board of Administration.

380

     (b)  "Program" means the Insurance Capital Build-Up

381

Incentive Program established by this section.

382

     (4) The state funds provided to the insurer in exchange for

383

the A surplus note provided to an insurer pursuant to this

384

section are is considered borrowed surplus an asset of the

385

insurer pursuant to s. 628.401 s. 625.012.

386

     (5) If an insurer that receives funds in exchange for

387

issuance of a surplus note pursuant to this section is rendered

388

insolvent, the state is a class 3 creditor pursuant to s. 631.271

389

for the unpaid principal and interest on the surplus note.

390

     (6)  The board shall adopt rules prescribing the procedures,

391

administration, and criteria for approving the applications of

392

insurers to receive funds in exchange for issuance of surplus

393

notes pursuant to this section, which may be adopted pursuant to

394

the procedures for emergency rules of chapter 120. Otherwise,

395

actions and determinations by the board pursuant to this section

396

are exempt from chapter 120.

397

     (7)  The board shall invest and reinvest the funds

398

appropriated for the program in accordance with s. 215.47 and

399

consistent with board policy.

400

     (8) The amendments to this section enacted in 2008 do not

401

affect the terms or conditions of the surplus notes that were

402

approved prior to January 1, 2008. However, the board may

403

renegotiate the terms of any surplus note issued by an insurer

404

prior to January 2008 under this program, upon the agreement of

405

the insurer and the board, consistent with the requirements of

406

this section as amended in 2008.

407

     Section 2.  Section 542.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to

408

read:

409

     542.20  Exemptions.--

410

     (1) Any activity or conduct exempt under Florida statutory

411

or common law or exempt from the provisions of the antitrust laws

412

of the United States is exempt from the provisions of this

413

chapter, except as provided in subsection (2).

414

     (2) The business of insurance is subject to the provisions

415

of this chapter. This chapter does not prohibit a rating

416

organization or advisory organization from collecting claims,

417

loss, or expense data from insurers and filing rates or advisory

418

rates with the Office of Insurance Regulation.

419

     Section 3.  Subsection (6) is added to section 624.3161,

420

Florida Statutes, to read:

421

     624.3161  Market conduct examinations.--

422

     (6) Based on the findings of a market conduct examination

423

that an insurer has violated an unfair insurance trade practice

424

related to claims-handling as prohibited by s. 626.9541(1)(i),

425

the office may require an insurer to file its claims-handling

426

practices and procedures related to that line of insurance with

427

the office for review and inspection, to be held by the office

428

for the following 36-month period. Such claims-handling practices

429

and procedures are public records and are not trade secrets or

430

otherwise exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). As used in

431

this section, "claims-handling practices and procedures" are any

432

policies, guidelines, rules, protocols, standard operating

433

procedures, instructions, or directives that govern or guide how

434

and the manner in which an insured's claims for benefits under

435

any policy will be processed.

436

     Section 4.  Subsection (4) is added to section 624.418,

437

Florida Statutes, to read:

438

     624.418  Suspension, revocation of certificate of authority

439

for violations and special grounds.--

440

     (4) The failure of an insurer to provide documents or

441

information subpoenaed by the office constitutes an immediate and

442

serious danger to the public health, safety, and welfare; and the

443

office may, at its discretion, without prior notice or the

444

opportunity for a hearing immediately suspend the insurer's

445

certificate of authority.

446

     Section 5.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section 624.4211,

447

Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsections (5) and (6) are

448

added to that section, to read:

449

     624.4211  Administrative fine in lieu of suspension or

450

revocation.--

451

     (2) With respect to any nonwillful violation, such fine may

452

shall not exceed $25,000 $2,500 per violation. In no event shall

453

such fine exceed an aggregate amount of $10,000 for all

454

nonwillful violations arising out of the same action. If When an

455

insurer discovers a nonwillful violation, the insurer shall

456

correct the violation and, if restitution is due, make

457

restitution to all affected persons. Such restitution shall

458

include interest at 12 percent per year from either the date of

459

the violation or the date of inception of the affected person's

460

policy, at the insurer's option. The restitution may be a credit

461

against future premiums due provided that the interest

462

accumulates shall accumulate until the premiums are due. If the

463

amount of restitution due to any person is $50 or more and the

464

insurer wishes to credit it against future premiums, it shall

465

notify such person that she or he may receive a check instead of

466

a credit. If the credit is on a policy that which is not renewed,

467

the insurer shall pay the restitution to the person to whom it is

468

due.

469

     (3)  With respect to any knowing and willful violation of a

470

lawful order or rule of the office or commission or a provision

471

of this code, the office may impose a fine upon the insurer in an

472

amount not to exceed $100,000 $20,000 for each such violation. In

473

no event shall such fine exceed an aggregate amount of $100,000

474

for all knowing and willful violations arising out of the same

475

action. In addition to such fines, the such insurer shall make

476

restitution when due in accordance with the provisions of

477

subsection (2).

478

     (5) The office may impose an administrative fine for each

479

day the insurer is not in compliance with the Florida Insurance

480

Code up to a maximum of $25,000 per violation per day.

481

     (6) In determining the amount of the fine, the office shall

482

consider:

483

     (a) The degree of consumer harm caused or potentially

484

caused by the violation;

485

     (b) Whether the violation constitutes an immediate danger

486

to the public;

487

     (c) Whether the violation is a repeat violation or similar

488

to past violations by the insurer;

489

     (d) The effect on the solvency of the insurer;

490

     (e) The premium volume of the insurer; and

491

     (f) The effect that fining the insurer will have on the

492

insurer's compliance with the Florida Insurance Code.

493

     Section 6. Section 624.4213, Florida Statutes, is created to

494

read:

495

     624.4213 Trade secret documents.--

496

     (1) If any person who is required to submit documents or

497

other information to the office or department pursuant to the

498

Insurance Code or by rule or order of the office, department, or

499

commission claims that such submission contains a trade secret,

500

such person may file with the office or department a notice of

501

trade secret as provided in this section. Failure to do so

502

constitutes a waiver of any claim by such person that the

503

document or information is a trade secret.

504

     (a) Each page of such document or specific portion of a

505

document claimed to be a trade secret must be clearly marked as

506

"trade secret."

507

     (b) All material marked as a trade secret must be separated

508

from all non-trade secret material, such as being submitted in a

509

separate envelope clearly marked as "trade secret."

510

     (c) In submitting a notice of trade secret to the office or

511

department, the submitting party must include an affidavit

512

certifying under oath to the truth of the following statements

513

concerning all documents or information that are claimed to be

514

trade secrets:

515

     1. [I consider/My company considers] this information a

516

trade secret that has value and provides an advantage or an

517

opportunity to obtain an advantage over those who do not know or

518

use it.

519

     2. [I have/My company has] taken measures to prevent the

520

disclosure of the information to anyone other that those who have

521

been selected to have access for limited purposes, and [I

522

intend/my company intends] to continue to take such measures.

523

     3. The information is not, and has not been, reasonably

524

obtainable without [my/our] consent by other persons by use of

525

legitimate means.

526

     4. The information is not publicly available elsewhere.

527

     (2) If a court or administrative tribunal finds that any

528

document or information certified as a trade secret, submitted to

529

the office or department under this section, and subsequently

530

requested by a third party is not a trade secret, the company or

531

the person certifying such document or information as a trade

532

secret is liable for an award of reasonable attorney's fees and

533

costs to the third party seeking access to such documents. In

534

addition, it is a violation of the Florida Insurance Code if the

535

office or department finds that the person submitting the

536

document or information knew, or should have known, that the

537

document or information is not a trade secret.

538

     (3) The office or department may disclose a trade secret,

539

together with the claim that it is a trade secret, to an officer

540

or employee of another governmental agency whose use of the trade

541

secret is within the scope of his or her employment.

542

     Section 7. Section 624.4305, Florida Statutes, is created to

543

read:

544

     624.4305 Nonrenewal of residential property insurance

545

policies.--

546

     (1) Any insurer planning to nonrenew more than 10,000

547

residential property insurance policies in this state within a

548

12-month period shall give 90 days' notice in writing to the

549

office prior to the issuance of any notices of nonrenewal. The

550

notice must set forth the insurer's reasons for such action, the

551

effective dates of nonrenewal, and any arrangements that have

552

been made for other insurers to offer coverage to affected

553

policyholders.

554

     (2) The insurer may not issue a notice of nonrenewal to

555

such policyholders unless the office approves or fails to

556

disapprove the nonrenewal plan within 90 days after receiving the

557

notice from the insurer. The office may not approve the plan

558

unless it finds that the insurer has staggered the nonrenewals

559

over a reasonable period relative to the number of nonrenewals,

560

or has made arrangements for offers of replacement coverage, such

561

that the actions are not hazardous to policyholders or the

562

public.

563

     Section 8.  Subsection (2) of section 626.9521, Florida

564

Statutes, is amended to read:

565

     626.9521  Unfair methods of competition and unfair or

566

deceptive acts or practices prohibited; penalties.--

567

     (2)  Any person who violates any provision of this part

568

shall be subject to a fine in an amount not greater than $25,000

569

$2,500 for each nonwillful violation and not greater than

570

$100,000 $20,000 for each willful violation. Fines under this

571

subsection may not exceed an aggregate amount of $10,000 for all

572

nonwillful violations arising out of the same action or an

573

aggregate amount of $100,000 for all willful violations arising

574

out of the same action. The fines authorized by this subsection

575

may be imposed in addition to any other applicable penalty.

576

     Section 9.  Paragraph (i) of subsection (1) of section

577

626.9541, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

578

     626.9541  Unfair methods of competition and unfair or

579

deceptive acts or practices defined.--

580

     (1)  UNFAIR METHODS OF COMPETITION AND UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE

581

ACTS.--The following are defined as unfair methods of competition

582

and unfair or deceptive acts or practices:

583

     (i)  Unfair claim settlement practices.--

584

     1.  Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an

585

application, when serving as a binder or intended to become a

586

part of the policy, or any other material document that is which

587

was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the

588

insured;

589

     2.  A material misrepresentation made to an insured or any

590

other person having an interest in the proceeds payable under a

591

such contract or policy, for the purpose and with the intent of

592

effecting settlement of such claims, loss, or damage under such

593

contract or policy on less favorable terms than those provided

594

in, and contemplated by, the such contract or policy; or

595

     3.  Committing or performing with such frequency as to

596

indicate a general business practice any of the following:

597

     a.  Failing to adopt and implement standards for the proper

598

investigation of claims.;

599

     b.  Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy

600

provisions relating to coverages at issue.;

601

     c.  Failing to acknowledge and act promptly upon

602

communications with respect to claims.;

603

     d.  Denying claims without conducting reasonable

604

investigations based upon available information.;

605

     e.  Failing to affirm or deny full or partial coverage of

606

claims, and, as to partial coverage, the dollar amount or extent

607

of coverage, or failing to provide a written statement that the

608

claim is being investigated, upon the written request of the

609

insured within 30 days after proof-of-loss statements have been

610

completed.;

611

     f.  Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation in

612

writing to the insured of the basis in the insurance policy, in

613

relation to the facts or applicable law, for denial of a claim or

614

for the offer of a compromise settlement.;

615

     g.  Failing to promptly notify the insured of any additional

616

information necessary for the processing of a claim.; or

617

     h.  Failing to clearly explain the nature of the requested

618

information and the reasons why such information is necessary.

619

     i. Failing to promptly provide to the insured estimates of

620

damage and a good faith explanation in writing of the insurer's

621

evaluation of benefits and the basis for the evaluation.

622

     4. Giving consideration to the age, race, income level,

623

education, credit score, or any other personal characteristic of

624

a policyholder when evaluating, adjusting, settling, or

625

attempting to settle a property insurance claim; or

626

     5. Failing to pay undisputed amounts of partial or full

627

benefits owed under first-party property insurance policies

628

within 30 days after determining the amounts of partial or full

629

benefits and agreeing to coverage. This subparagraph controls to

630

the extent of any conflict with any other provision of law.

631

     Section 10.  Paragraphs (a), (b), and (g) of subsection (2)

632

and subsection (9) of section 627.062, Florida Statutes, are

633

amended to read:

634

     627.062  Rate standards.--

635

     (2)  As to all such classes of insurance:

636

     (a)  Insurers or rating organizations shall establish and

637

use rates, rating schedules, or rating manuals to allow the

638

insurer a reasonable rate of return on such classes of insurance

639

written in this state. A copy of rates, rating schedules, rating

640

manuals, premium credits or discount schedules, and surcharge

641

schedules, and changes thereto, shall be filed with the office

642

under one of the following procedures except as provided in

643

subparagraph 3.:

644

     1.  If the filing is made at least 90 days before the

645

proposed effective date and the filing is not implemented during

646

the office's review of the filing and any proceeding and judicial

647

review, then such filing shall be considered a "file and use"

648

filing. In such case, the office shall finalize its review by

649

issuance of a notice of intent to approve or a notice of intent

650

to disapprove within 90 days after receipt of the filing. The

651

notice of intent to approve and the notice of intent to

652

disapprove constitute agency action for purposes of the

653

Administrative Procedure Act. Requests for supporting

654

information, requests for mathematical or mechanical corrections,

655

or notification to the insurer by the office of its preliminary

656

findings shall not toll the 90-day period during any such

657

proceedings and subsequent judicial review. The rate shall be

658

deemed approved if the office does not issue a notice of intent

659

to approve or a notice of intent to disapprove within 90 days

660

after receipt of the filing.

661

     2.  If the filing is not made in accordance with the

662

provisions of subparagraph 1., such filing shall be made as soon

663

as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the effective

664

date, and shall be considered a "use and file" filing. An insurer

665

making a "use and file" filing is potentially subject to an order

666

by the office to return to policyholders portions of rates found

667

to be excessive, as provided in paragraph (h).

668

     3. For all property insurance filings made or submitted

669

after January 25, 2007, but before December 31, 2008, an insurer

670

seeking a rate that is greater than the rate most recently

671

approved by the office shall make a "file and use" filing. This

672

subparagraph applies to property insurance only. For purposes of

673

this subparagraph, motor vehicle collision and comprehensive

674

coverages are not considered to be property coverages.

675

     (b)  Upon receiving a rate filing, the office shall review

676

the rate filing to determine if a rate is excessive, inadequate,

677

or unfairly discriminatory. In making that determination, the

678

office shall, in accordance with generally accepted and

679

reasonable actuarial techniques, consider the following factors:

680

     1.  Past and prospective loss experience within and without

681

this state.

682

     2.  Past and prospective expenses.

683

     3.  The degree of competition among insurers for the risk

684

insured.

685

     4.  Investment income reasonably expected by the insurer,

686

consistent with the insurer's investment practices, from

687

investable premiums anticipated in the filing, plus any other

688

expected income from currently invested assets representing the

689

amount expected on unearned premium reserves and loss reserves.

690

The commission may adopt rules using utilizing reasonable

691

techniques of actuarial science and economics to specify the

692

manner in which insurers shall calculate investment income

693

attributable to such classes of insurance written in this state

694

and the manner in which such investment income shall be used to

695

calculate in the calculation of insurance rates. Such manner

696

shall contemplate allowances for an underwriting profit factor

697

and full consideration of investment income which produce a

698

reasonable rate of return; however, investment income from

699

invested surplus may shall not be considered.

700

     5.  The reasonableness of the judgment reflected in the

701

filing.

702

     6.  Dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits

703

allowed or returned to Florida policyholders, members, or

704

subscribers.

705

     7.  The adequacy of loss reserves.

706

     8. The cost of reinsurance, subject to the following

707

conditions:.

708

     a. The cost of reinsurance shall be presumed to be

709

excessive if the annual expected recoveries are less than 40

710

percent of the annual reinsurance premium for reinsurance

711

purchased from affiliated reinsurers, or less than 20 percent of

712

the annual reinsurance premium for reinsurance purchased from

713

unaffiliated reinsurers after excluding the Florida Hurricane

714

Catastrophe Fund. The insurer may rebut this presumption by

715

providing documentation to the office demonstrating that the

716

annual expected recovery must deviate from such requirements in

717

order to ensure the financial soundness of the insurer.

718

     b. For reinsurance purchased from affiliated reinsurers,

719

the costs may not include any broker fees.

720

     c. The cost of catastrophe reinsurance shall be presumed to

721

be excessive to the extent that the amount of reinsurance

722

coverage was based on estimates of probable maximum loss which

723

are in excess of estimates using a hurricane loss model or method

724

found to be acceptable or reliable by the Florida Commission on

725

Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, as provided in s.

727

     9.  Trend factors, including trends in actual losses per

728

insured unit for the insurer making the filing.

729

     10.  Conflagration and catastrophe hazards, if applicable.

730

     11. Projected hurricane losses, if applicable, which must

731

be estimated using a model or method found to be acceptable or

732

reliable by the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection

733

Methodology, and as further provided in s. 627.0628.

734

     12.11. A reasonable margin for underwriting profit and

735

contingencies. For that portion of the rate covering the risk of

736

hurricanes and other catastrophic losses for which the insurer

737

has not purchased reinsurance and has exposed its capital and

738

surplus to such risk, the office must approve a rating factor

739

that provides the insurer a reasonable rate of return that is

740

commensurate with such risk.

741

     13.12. The cost of medical services, if applicable.

742

     14.13. Other relevant factors which impact upon the

743

frequency or severity of claims or upon expenses.

744

     (g)  The office may at any time review a rate, rating

745

schedule, rating manual, or rate change; the pertinent records of

746

the insurer; and market conditions. If the office finds on a

747

preliminary basis that a rate may be excessive, inadequate, or

748

unfairly discriminatory, the office shall initiate proceedings to

749

disapprove the rate and shall so notify the insurer. However, the

750

office may not disapprove as excessive any rate for which it has

751

given final approval or which has been deemed approved for a

752

period of 1 year after the effective date of the filing unless

753

the office finds that a material misrepresentation or material

754

error was made by the insurer or was contained in the filing, or

755

unless the insurer has nonrenewed a number or percentage of

756

policies which the office determines may result in the insurer

757

having an excessive rate. Upon being so notified, the insurer or

758

rating organization shall, within 60 days, file with the office

759

all information which, in the belief of the insurer or

760

organization, proves the reasonableness, adequacy, and fairness

761

of the rate or rate change. The office shall issue a notice of

762

intent to approve or a notice of intent to disapprove pursuant to

763

the procedures of paragraph (a) within 90 days after receipt of

764

the insurer's initial response. In such instances and in any

765

administrative proceeding relating to the legality of the rate,

766

the insurer or rating organization shall carry the burden of

767

proof by a preponderance of the evidence to show that the rate is

768

not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory. After the

769

office notifies an insurer that a rate may be excessive,

770

inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, unless the office

771

withdraws the notification, the insurer shall not alter the rate

772

except to conform with the office's notice until the earlier of

773

120 days after the date the notification was provided or 180 days

774

after the date of the implementation of the rate. The office may,

775

subject to chapter 120, disapprove without the 60-day

776

notification any rate increase filed by an insurer within the

777

prohibited time period or during the time that the legality of

778

the increased rate is being contested.

779

780

The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to workers'

781

compensation and employer's liability insurance and to motor

782

vehicle insurance.

783

     (9)(a) Effective March 1, 2007, The chief executive officer

784

or chief financial officer of a property insurer and the chief

785

actuary of a property insurer must certify under oath and subject

786

to the penalty of perjury, on a form approved by the commission,

787

the following information, which must accompany a rate filing:

788

     1.  The signing officer and actuary have reviewed the rate

789

filing;

790

     2.  Based on the signing officer's and actuary's knowledge,

791

the rate filing does not contain any untrue statement of a

792

material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order

793

to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under

794

which such statements were made, not misleading;

795

     3.  Based on the signing officer's and actuary's knowledge,

796

the information and other factors described in paragraph (2)(b),

797

including, but not limited to, investment income, fairly present

798

in all material respects the basis of the rate filing for the

799

periods presented in the filing; and

800

     4.  Based on the signing officer's and actuary's knowledge,

801

the rate filing reflects all premium savings that are reasonably

802

expected to result from legislative enactments and are in

803

accordance with generally accepted and reasonable actuarial

804

techniques;.

805

     5. Based on the signing officer's and actuary's knowledge,

806

the actuary responsible for preparing the rate filing reviewed

807

the rate indications used by the office in approving the

808

insurer's last rate filing, if made available to the insurer for

809

review, and identified factors used in the current rate filing

810

which are inconsistent with the factors used by the office in

811

developing such rate indications; and

812

     6. Based on the signing officer's and actuary's knowledge,

813

the number and type of policies that the insurer intends to

814

nonrenew during the year following the proposed effective date of

815

the rate filing, and that the rate filing reflects the reduced

816

risk of loss associated with such nonrenewals.

817

     (b)  A signing officer or actuary knowingly making a false

818

certification under this subsection commits a violation of s.

819

626.9541(1)(e) and is subject to the penalties under s. 626.9521.

820

     (c)  Failure to provide such certification by the officer

821

and actuary shall result in the rate filing being disapproved

822

without prejudice to be refiled.

823

     (d) A properly certified rate filing must contain all

824

information that the insurer intends to support the rate filing,

825

unless the office requests additional information to support the

826

filing. If the office issues a notice of intent to disapprove the

827

filing, additional information related to the rate filing is not

828

admissible to justify the rate in any subsequent administrative

829

or legal proceeding, other than expert opinion.

830

     (e)(d) The commission may adopt rules and forms pursuant to

831

ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this subsection.

832

     Section 11. Subsection (6) of section 627.062, Florida

833

Statutes, is repealed.

834

     Section 12.  Subsection (1) of section 627.0613, Florida

835

Statutes, is amended to read:

836

     627.0613  Consumer advocate.--The Chief Financial Officer

837

must appoint a consumer advocate who must represent the general

838

public of the state before the department and the office. The

839

consumer advocate must report directly to the Chief Financial

840

Officer, but is not otherwise under the authority of the

841

department or of any employee of the department. The consumer

842

advocate has such powers as are necessary to carry out the duties

843

of the office of consumer advocate, including, but not limited

844

to, the powers to:

845

     (1)  Recommend to the department or office, by petition, the

846

commencement of any proceeding or action; appear in any

847

proceeding or action before the department or office; or appear

848

in any proceeding before the Division of Administrative Hearings

849

or arbitration panel specified in s. 627.062(6) relating to

850

subject matter under the jurisdiction of the department or

851

office.

852

     Section 13.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) and paragraph

853

(c) of subsection (3) of section 627.0628, Florida Statutes, are

854

amended to read:

855

     627.0628  Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection

856

Methodology; public records exemption; public meetings

857

exemption.--

858

     (1)  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.--

859

     (c)  It is the intent of the Legislature to create the

860

Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology as a

861

panel of experts to provide the most actuarially sophisticated

862

guidelines and standards for projection of hurricane losses

863

possible, given the current state of actuarial science. It is the

864

further intent of the Legislature that such standards and

865

guidelines must be used by the State Board of Administration in

866

developing reimbursement premium rates for the Florida Hurricane

867

Catastrophe Fund, and, subject to paragraph (3)(c), must may be

868

used by insurers in rate filings under s. 627.062 unless the way

869

in which such standards and guidelines were applied by the

870

insurer was erroneous, as shown by a preponderance of the

871

evidence.

872

     (3)  ADOPTION AND EFFECT OF STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES.--

873

     (c)  With respect to a rate filing under s. 627.062, an

874

insurer must may employ and may not modify or adjust actuarial

875

methods, principles, standards, models, or output ranges found by

876

the commission to be accurate or reliable in determining to

877

determine hurricane loss factors used for use in a rate filing

878

and in determining probable maximum loss levels for reinsurance

879

costs included in a rate filing under s. 627.062. However, such

880

findings and factors are admissible and relevant in consideration

881

of a rate filing by the office or in any arbitration or

882

administrative or judicial review only if the office and the

883

consumer advocate appointed pursuant to s. 627.0613 have access

884

to all of the assumptions and factors that were used in

885

developing the actuarial methods, principles, standards, models,

886

or output ranges, and are not precluded from disclosing such

887

information in a rate proceeding. In any rate hearing under s.

888

120.57 or in any arbitration proceeding under s. 627.062(6), the

889

hearing officer or, judge, or arbitration panel may determine

890

whether the office and the consumer advocate were provided with

891

access to all of the assumptions and factors that were used in

892

developing the actuarial methods, principles, standards, models,

893

or output ranges and may to determine their admissibility.

894

     Section 14.  Subsection (1) of section 627.0629, Florida

895

Statutes, is amended to read:

896

     627.0629  Residential property insurance; rate filings.--

897

     (1)(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that insurers

898

must provide savings to consumers who install or implement

899

windstorm damage mitigation techniques, alterations, or solutions

900

to their properties to prevent windstorm losses. A rate filing

901

for residential property insurance must include actuarially

902

reasonable discounts, credits, or other rate differentials, or

903

appropriate reductions in deductibles, for properties on which

904

fixtures or construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the

905

amount of loss in a windstorm have been installed or implemented.

906

The fixtures or construction techniques shall include, but not be

907

limited to, fixtures or construction techniques which enhance

908

roof strength, roof covering performance, roof-to-wall strength,

909

wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength, opening protection, and

910

window, door, and skylight strength. Credits, discounts, or other

911

rate differentials, or appropriate reductions in deductibles, for

912

fixtures and construction techniques which meet the minimum

913

requirements of the Florida Building Code must be included in the

914

rate filing. All insurance companies must make a rate filing

915

which includes the credits, discounts, or other rate

916

differentials or reductions in deductibles by February 28, 2003.

917

By July 1, 2007, the office shall reevaluate the discounts,

918

credits, other rate differentials, and appropriate reductions in

919

deductibles for fixtures and construction techniques that meet

920

the minimum requirements of the Florida Building Code, based upon

921

actual experience or any other loss relativity studies available

922

to the office. The office shall determine the discounts, credits,

923

other rate differentials, and appropriate reductions in

924

deductibles that reflect the full actuarial value of such

925

revaluation, which may be used by insurers in rate filings.

926

     (b) By February 1, 2009, the Office of Insurance

927

Regulation, in consultation with the Department of Financial

928

Services and the Department of Community Affairs, shall develop

929

and make publicly available a proposed method for insurers to

930

establish discounts, credits, or other rate differentials for

931

hurricane mitigation measures which directly correlate to the

932

numerical rating assigned to a structure pursuant to the uniform

933

home grading scale adopted by the Financial Services Commission

934

pursuant to s. 215.55865, including any proposed changes to the

935

uniform home grading scale. By October 1, 2009, the commission

936

shall adopt rules requiring insurers to make rate filings for

937

residential property insurance which revise insurers' discounts,

938

credits, or other rate differentials for hurricane mitigation

939

measures so that such rate differentials correlate directly to

940

the uniform home grading scale. The rules may include such

941

changes to the uniform home grading scale as the commission

942

determines are necessary, and may specify the minimum required

943

discounts, credits, or other rate differentials. Such rate

944

differentials must be consistent with generally accepted

945

actuarial principles and wind-loss mitigation studies. The rules

946

shall allow a period of at least 2 years after the effective date

947

of the revised mitigation discounts, credits, or other rate

948

differentials for a property owner to obtain an inspection or

949

otherwise qualify for the revised credit, during which time the

950

insurer shall continue to apply the mitigation credit that was

951

applied immediately prior to the effective date of the revised

952

credit.

953

     Section 15.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) and subsection

954

(6) of section 627.351, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

955

     627.351  Insurance risk apportionment plans.--

956

     (2)  WINDSTORM INSURANCE RISK APPORTIONMENT.--

957

     (b)  The department shall require all insurers holding a

958

certificate of authority to transact property insurance on a

959

direct basis in this state, other than joint underwriting

960

associations and other entities formed pursuant to this section,

961

to provide windstorm coverage to applicants from areas determined

962

to be eligible pursuant to paragraph (c) who in good faith are

963

entitled to, but are unable to procure, such coverage through

964

ordinary means; or it shall adopt a reasonable plan or plans for

965

the equitable apportionment or sharing among such insurers of

966

windstorm coverage, which may include formation of an association

967

for this purpose. As used in this subsection, the term "property

968

insurance" means insurance on real or personal property, as

969

defined in s. 624.604, including insurance for fire, industrial

970

fire, allied lines, farmowners multiperil, homeowners'

971

multiperil, commercial multiperil, and mobile homes, and

972

including liability coverages on all such insurance, but

973

excluding inland marine as defined in s. 624.607(3) and excluding

974

vehicle insurance as defined in s. 624.605(1)(a) other than

975

insurance on mobile homes used as permanent dwellings. The

976

department shall adopt rules that provide a formula for the

977

recovery and repayment of any deferred assessments.

978

     1.  For the purpose of this section, properties eligible for

979

such windstorm coverage are defined as dwellings, buildings, and

980

other structures, including mobile homes which are used as

981

dwellings and which are tied down in compliance with mobile home

982

tie-down requirements prescribed by the Department of Highway

983

Safety and Motor Vehicles pursuant to s. 320.8325, and the

984

contents of all such properties. An applicant or policyholder is

985

eligible for coverage only if an offer of coverage cannot be

986

obtained by or for the applicant or policyholder from an admitted

987

insurer at approved rates.

988

     2.a.(I)  All insurers required to be members of such

989

association shall participate in its writings, expenses, and

990

losses. Surplus of the association shall be retained for the

991

payment of claims and shall not be distributed to the member

992

insurers. Such participation by member insurers shall be in the

993

proportion that the net direct premiums of each member insurer

994

written for property insurance in this state during the preceding

995

calendar year bear to the aggregate net direct premiums for

996

property insurance of all member insurers, as reduced by any

997

credits for voluntary writings, in this state during the

998

preceding calendar year. For the purposes of this subsection, the

999

term "net direct premiums" means direct written premiums for

1000

property insurance, reduced by premium for liability coverage and

1001

for the following if included in allied lines: rain and hail on

1002

growing crops; livestock; association direct premiums booked;

1003

National Flood Insurance Program direct premiums; and similar

1004

deductions specifically authorized by the plan of operation and

1005

approved by the department. A member's participation shall begin

1006

on the first day of the calendar year following the year in which

1007

it is issued a certificate of authority to transact property

1008

insurance in the state and shall terminate 1 year after the end

1009

of the calendar year during which it no longer holds a

1010

certificate of authority to transact property insurance in the

1011

state. The commissioner, after review of annual statements, other

1012

reports, and any other statistics that the commissioner deems

1013

necessary, shall certify to the association the aggregate direct

1014

premiums written for property insurance in this state by all

1015

member insurers.

1016

     (II)  Effective July 1, 2002, the association shall operate

1017

subject to the supervision and approval of a board of governors

1018

who are the same individuals that have been appointed by the

1019

Treasurer to serve on the board of governors of the Citizens

1020

Property Insurance Corporation.

1021

     (III)  The plan of operation shall provide a formula whereby

1022

a company voluntarily providing windstorm coverage in affected

1023

areas will be relieved wholly or partially from apportionment of

1024

a regular assessment pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph d.(I) or

1025

sub-sub-subparagraph d.(II).

1026

     (IV)  A company which is a member of a group of companies

1027

under common management may elect to have its credits applied on

1028

a group basis, and any company or group may elect to have its

1029

credits applied to any other company or group.

1030

     (V)  There shall be no credits or relief from apportionment

1031

to a company for emergency assessments collected from its

1032

policyholders under sub-sub-subparagraph d.(III).

1033

     (VI)  The plan of operation may also provide for the award

1034

of credits, for a period not to exceed 3 years, from a regular

1035

assessment pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph d.(I) or sub-sub-

1036

subparagraph d.(II) as an incentive for taking policies out of

1037

the Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting

1038

Association. In order to qualify for the exemption under this

1039

sub-sub-subparagraph, the take-out plan must provide that at

1040

least 40 percent of the policies removed from the Residential

1041

Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association cover risks

1042

located in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties or at least 30

1043

percent of the policies so removed cover risks located in Dade,

1044

Broward, and Palm Beach Counties and an additional 50 percent of

1045

the policies so removed cover risks located in other coastal

1046

counties, and must also provide that no more than 15 percent of

1047

the policies so removed may exclude windstorm coverage. With the

1048

approval of the department, the association may waive these

1049

geographic criteria for a take-out plan that removes at least the

1050

lesser of 100,000 Residential Property and Casualty Joint

1051

Underwriting Association policies or 15 percent of the total

1052

number of Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting

1053

Association policies, provided the governing board of the

1054

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association

1055

certifies that the take-out plan will materially reduce the

1056

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting

1057

Association's 100-year probable maximum loss from hurricanes.

1058

With the approval of the department, the board may extend such

1059

credits for an additional year if the insurer guarantees an

1060

additional year of renewability for all policies removed from the

1061

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association,

1062

or for 2 additional years if the insurer guarantees 2 additional

1063

years of renewability for all policies removed from the

1064

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association.

1065

     b.  Assessments to pay deficits in the association under

1066

this subparagraph shall be included as an appropriate factor in

1067

the making of rates as provided in s. 627.3512.

1068

     c.  The Legislature finds that the potential for unlimited

1069

deficit assessments under this subparagraph may induce insurers

1070

to attempt to reduce their writings in the voluntary market, and

1071

that such actions would worsen the availability problems that the

1072

association was created to remedy. It is the intent of the

1073

Legislature that insurers remain fully responsible for paying

1074

regular assessments and collecting emergency assessments for any

1075

deficits of the association; however, it is also the intent of

1076

the Legislature to provide a means by which assessment

1077

liabilities may be amortized over a period of years.

1078

     d.(I)  When the deficit incurred in a particular calendar

1079

year is 10 percent or less of the aggregate statewide direct

1080

written premium for property insurance for the prior calendar

1081

year for all member insurers, the association shall levy an

1082

assessment on member insurers in an amount equal to the deficit.

1083

     (II)  When the deficit incurred in a particular calendar

1084

year exceeds 10 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written

1085

premium for property insurance for the prior calendar year for

1086

all member insurers, the association shall levy an assessment on

1087

member insurers in an amount equal to the greater of 10 percent

1088

of the deficit or 10 percent of the aggregate statewide direct

1089

written premium for property insurance for the prior calendar

1090

year for member insurers. Any remaining deficit shall be

1091

recovered through emergency assessments under sub-sub-

1092

subparagraph (III).

1093

     (III)  Upon a determination by the board of directors that a

1094

deficit exceeds the amount that will be recovered through regular

1095

assessments on member insurers, pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph

1096

(I) or sub-sub-subparagraph (II), the board shall levy, after

1097

verification by the department, emergency assessments to be

1098

collected by member insurers and by underwriting associations

1099

created pursuant to this section which write property insurance,

1100

upon issuance or renewal of property insurance policies other

1101

than National Flood Insurance policies in the year or years

1102

following levy of the regular assessments. The amount of the

1103

emergency assessment collected in a particular year shall be a

1104

uniform percentage of that year's direct written premium for

1105

property insurance for all member insurers and underwriting

1106

associations, excluding National Flood Insurance policy premiums,

1107

as annually determined by the board and verified by the

1108

department. The department shall verify the arithmetic

1109

calculations involved in the board's determination within 30 days

1110

after receipt of the information on which the determination was

1111

based. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each member

1112

insurer and each underwriting association created pursuant to

1113

this section shall collect emergency assessments from its

1114

policyholders without such obligation being affected by any

1115

credit, limitation, exemption, or deferment. The emergency

1116

assessments so collected shall be transferred directly to the

1117

association on a periodic basis as determined by the association.

1118

The aggregate amount of emergency assessments levied under this

1119

sub-sub-subparagraph in any calendar year may not exceed the

1120

greater of 10 percent of the amount needed to cover the original

1121

deficit, plus interest, fees, commissions, required reserves, and

1122

other costs associated with financing of the original deficit, or

1123

10 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written premium for

1124

property insurance written by member insurers and underwriting

1125

associations for the prior year, plus interest, fees,

1126

commissions, required reserves, and other costs associated with

1127

financing the original deficit. The board may pledge the proceeds

1128

of the emergency assessments under this sub-sub-subparagraph as

1129

the source of revenue for bonds, to retire any other debt

1130

incurred as a result of the deficit or events giving rise to the

1131

deficit, or in any other way that the board determines will

1132

efficiently recover the deficit. The emergency assessments under

1133

this sub-sub-subparagraph shall continue as long as any bonds

1134

issued or other indebtedness incurred with respect to a deficit

1135

for which the assessment was imposed remain outstanding, unless

1136

adequate provision has been made for the payment of such bonds or

1137

other indebtedness pursuant to the document governing such bonds

1138

or other indebtedness. Emergency assessments collected under this

1139

sub-sub-subparagraph are not part of an insurer's rates, are not

1140

premium, and are not subject to premium tax, fees, or

1141

commissions; however, failure to pay the emergency assessment

1142

shall be treated as failure to pay premium.

1143

     (IV)  Each member insurer's share of the total regular

1144

assessments under sub-sub-subparagraph (I) or sub-sub-

1145

subparagraph (II) shall be in the proportion that the insurer's

1146

net direct premium for property insurance in this state, for the

1147

year preceding the assessment bears to the aggregate statewide

1148

net direct premium for property insurance of all member insurers,

1149

as reduced by any credits for voluntary writings for that year.

1150

     (V)  If regular deficit assessments are made under sub-sub-

1151

subparagraph (I) or sub-sub-subparagraph (II), or by the

1152

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association

1153

under sub-subparagraph (6)(b)3.a. or sub-subparagraph (6)(b)3.b.,

1154

the association shall levy upon the association's policyholders,

1155

as part of its next rate filing, or by a separate rate filing

1156

solely for this purpose, a market equalization surcharge in a

1157

percentage equal to the total amount of such regular assessments

1158

divided by the aggregate statewide direct written premium for

1159

property insurance for member insurers for the prior calendar

1160

year. Market equalization surcharges under this sub-sub-

1161

subparagraph are not considered premium and are not subject to

1162

commissions, fees, or premium taxes; however, failure to pay a

1163

market equalization surcharge shall be treated as failure to pay

1164

premium.

1165

     e.  The governing body of any unit of local government, any

1166

residents of which are insured under the plan, may issue bonds as

1167

defined in s. 125.013 or s. 166.101 to fund an assistance

1168

program, in conjunction with the association, for the purpose of

1169

defraying deficits of the association. In order to avoid needless

1170

and indiscriminate proliferation, duplication, and fragmentation

1171

of such assistance programs, any unit of local government, any

1172

residents of which are insured by the association, may provide

1173

for the payment of losses, regardless of whether or not the

1174

losses occurred within or outside of the territorial jurisdiction

1175

of the local government. Revenue bonds may not be issued until

1176

validated pursuant to chapter 75, unless a state of emergency is

1177

declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor

1178

pursuant to s. 252.36 making such findings as are necessary to

1179

determine that it is in the best interests of, and necessary for,

1180

the protection of the public health, safety, and general welfare

1181

of residents of this state and the protection and preservation of

1182

the economic stability of insurers operating in this state, and

1183

declaring it an essential public purpose to permit certain

1184

municipalities or counties to issue bonds as will provide relief

1185

to claimants and policyholders of the association and insurers

1186

responsible for apportionment of plan losses. Any such unit of

1187

local government may enter into such contracts with the

1188

association and with any other entity created pursuant to this

1189

subsection as are necessary to carry out this paragraph. Any

1190

bonds issued under this sub-subparagraph shall be payable from

1191

and secured by moneys received by the association from

1192

assessments under this subparagraph, and assigned and pledged to

1193

or on behalf of the unit of local government for the benefit of

1194

the holders of such bonds. The funds, credit, property, and

1195

taxing power of the state or of the unit of local government

1196

shall not be pledged for the payment of such bonds. If any of the

1197

bonds remain unsold 60 days after issuance, the department shall

1198

require all insurers subject to assessment to purchase the bonds,

1199

which shall be treated as admitted assets; each insurer shall be

1200

required to purchase that percentage of the unsold portion of the

1201

bond issue that equals the insurer's relative share of assessment

1202

liability under this subsection. An insurer shall not be required

1203

to purchase the bonds to the extent that the department

1204

determines that the purchase would endanger or impair the

1205

solvency of the insurer. The authority granted by this sub-

1206

subparagraph is additional to any bonding authority granted by

1207

subparagraph 6.

1208

     3.  The plan shall also provide that any member with a

1209

surplus as to policyholders of $20 million or less writing 25

1210

percent or more of its total countrywide property insurance

1211

premiums in this state may petition the department, within the

1212

first 90 days of each calendar year, to qualify as a limited

1213

apportionment company. The apportionment of such a member company

1214

in any calendar year for which it is qualified shall not exceed

1215

its gross participation, which shall not be affected by the

1216

formula for voluntary writings. In no event shall a limited

1217

apportionment company be required to participate in any

1218

apportionment of losses pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph 2.d.(I)

1219

or sub-sub-subparagraph 2.d.(II) in the aggregate which exceeds

1220

$50 million after payment of available plan funds in any calendar

1221

year. However, a limited apportionment company shall collect from

1222

its policyholders any emergency assessment imposed under sub-sub-

1223

subparagraph 2.d.(III). The plan shall provide that, if the

1224

department determines that any regular assessment will result in

1225

an impairment of the surplus of a limited apportionment company,

1226

the department may direct that all or part of such assessment be

1227

deferred. However, there shall be no limitation or deferment of

1228

an emergency assessment to be collected from policyholders under

1229

sub-sub-subparagraph 2.d.(III).

1230

     4.  The plan shall provide for the deferment, in whole or in

1231

part, of a regular assessment of a member insurer under sub-sub-

1232

subparagraph 2.d.(I) or sub-sub-subparagraph 2.d.(II), but not

1233

for an emergency assessment collected from policyholders under

1234

sub-sub-subparagraph 2.d.(III), if, in the opinion of the

1235

commissioner, payment of such regular assessment would endanger

1236

or impair the solvency of the member insurer. In the event a

1237

regular assessment against a member insurer is deferred in whole

1238

or in part, the amount by which such assessment is deferred may

1239

be assessed against the other member insurers in a manner

1240

consistent with the basis for assessments set forth in sub-sub-

1241

subparagraph 2.d.(I) or sub-sub-subparagraph 2.d.(II).

1242

     5.a.  The plan of operation may include deductibles and

1243

rules for classification of risks and rate modifications

1244

consistent with the objective of providing and maintaining funds

1245

sufficient to pay catastrophe losses.

1246

     b. The association may require arbitration of a rate filing

1247

under s. 627.062(6). It is the intent of the Legislature that the

1248

rates for coverage provided by the association be actuarially

1249

sound and not competitive with approved rates charged in the

1250

admitted voluntary market such that the association functions as

1251

a residual market mechanism to provide insurance only when the

1252

insurance cannot be procured in the voluntary market. The plan of

1253

operation shall provide a mechanism to assure that, beginning no

1254

later than January 1, 1999, the rates charged by the association

1255

for each line of business are reflective of approved rates in the

1256

voluntary market for hurricane coverage for each line of business

1257

in the various areas eligible for association coverage.

1258

     c.  The association shall provide for windstorm coverage on

1259

residential properties in limits up to $10 million for commercial

1260

lines residential risks and up to $1 million for personal lines

1261

residential risks. If coverage with the association is sought for

1262

a residential risk valued in excess of these limits, coverage

1263

shall be available to the risk up to the replacement cost or

1264

actual cash value of the property, at the option of the insured,

1265

if coverage for the risk cannot be located in the authorized

1266

market. The association must accept a commercial lines

1267

residential risk with limits above $10 million or a personal

1268

lines residential risk with limits above $1 million if coverage

1269

is not available in the authorized market. The association may

1270

write coverage above the limits specified in this subparagraph

1271

with or without facultative or other reinsurance coverage, as the

1272

association determines appropriate.

1273

     d.  The plan of operation must provide objective criteria

1274

and procedures, approved by the department, to be uniformly

1275

applied for all applicants in determining whether an individual

1276

risk is so hazardous as to be uninsurable. In making this

1277

determination and in establishing the criteria and procedures,

1278

the following shall be considered:

1279

     (I)  Whether the likelihood of a loss for the individual

1280

risk is substantially higher than for other risks of the same

1281

class; and

1282

     (II)  Whether the uncertainty associated with the individual

1283

risk is such that an appropriate premium cannot be determined.

1284

1285

The acceptance or rejection of a risk by the association pursuant

1286

to such criteria and procedures must be construed as the private

1287

placement of insurance, and the provisions of chapter 120 do not

1288

apply.

1289

     e.  If the risk accepts an offer of coverage through the

1290

market assistance program or through a mechanism established by

1291

the association, either before the policy is issued by the

1292

association or during the first 30 days of coverage by the

1293

association, and the producing agent who submitted the

1294

application to the association is not currently appointed by the

1295

insurer, the insurer shall:

1296

     (I)  Pay to the producing agent of record of the policy, for

1297

the first year, an amount that is the greater of the insurer's

1298

usual and customary commission for the type of policy written or

1299

a fee equal to the usual and customary commission of the

1300

association; or

1301

     (II)  Offer to allow the producing agent of record of the

1302

policy to continue servicing the policy for a period of not less

1303

than 1 year and offer to pay the agent the greater of the

1304

insurer's or the association's usual and customary commission for

1305

the type of policy written.

1306

1307

If the producing agent is unwilling or unable to accept

1308

appointment, the new insurer shall pay the agent in accordance

1309

with sub-sub-subparagraph (I). Subject to the provisions of s.

1310

627.3517, the policies issued by the association must provide

1311

that if the association obtains an offer from an authorized

1312

insurer to cover the risk at its approved rates under either a

1313

standard policy including wind coverage or, if consistent with

1314

the insurer's underwriting rules as filed with the department, a

1315

basic policy including wind coverage, the risk is no longer

1316

eligible for coverage through the association. Upon termination

1317

of eligibility, the association shall provide written notice to

1318

the policyholder and agent of record stating that the association

1319

policy must be canceled as of 60 days after the date of the

1320

notice because of the offer of coverage from an authorized

1321

insurer. Other provisions of the insurance code relating to

1322

cancellation and notice of cancellation do not apply to actions

1323

under this sub-subparagraph.

1324

     f.  When the association enters into a contractual agreement

1325

for a take-out plan, the producing agent of record of the

1326

association policy is entitled to retain any unearned commission

1327

on the policy, and the insurer shall:

1328

     (I)  Pay to the producing agent of record of the association

1329

policy, for the first year, an amount that is the greater of the

1330

insurer's usual and customary commission for the type of policy

1331

written or a fee equal to the usual and customary commission of

1332

the association; or

1333

     (II)  Offer to allow the producing agent of record of the

1334

association policy to continue servicing the policy for a period

1335

of not less than 1 year and offer to pay the agent the greater of

1336

the insurer's or the association's usual and customary commission

1337

for the type of policy written.

1338

1339

If the producing agent is unwilling or unable to accept

1340

appointment, the new insurer shall pay the agent in accordance

1341

with sub-sub-subparagraph (I).

1342

     6.a.  The plan of operation may authorize the formation of a

1343

private nonprofit corporation, a private nonprofit unincorporated

1344

association, a partnership, a trust, a limited liability company,

1345

or a nonprofit mutual company which may be empowered, among other

1346

things, to borrow money by issuing bonds or by incurring other

1347

indebtedness and to accumulate reserves or funds to be used for

1348

the payment of insured catastrophe losses. The plan may authorize

1349

all actions necessary to facilitate the issuance of bonds,

1350

including the pledging of assessments or other revenues.

1351

     b.  Any entity created under this subsection, or any entity

1352

formed for the purposes of this subsection, may sue and be sued,

1353

may borrow money; issue bonds, notes, or debt instruments; pledge

1354

or sell assessments, market equalization surcharges and other

1355

surcharges, rights, premiums, contractual rights, projected

1356

recoveries from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, other

1357

reinsurance recoverables, and other assets as security for such

1358

bonds, notes, or debt instruments; enter into any contracts or

1359

agreements necessary or proper to accomplish such borrowings; and

1360

take other actions necessary to carry out the purposes of this

1361

subsection. The association may issue bonds or incur other

1362

indebtedness, or have bonds issued on its behalf by a unit of

1363

local government pursuant to subparagraph (6)(p)2., in the

1364

absence of a hurricane or other weather-related event, upon a

1365

determination by the association subject to approval by the

1366

department that such action would enable it to efficiently meet

1367

the financial obligations of the association and that such

1368

financings are reasonably necessary to effectuate the

1369

requirements of this subsection. Any such entity may accumulate

1370

reserves and retain surpluses as of the end of any association

1371

year to provide for the payment of losses incurred by the

1372

association during that year or any future year. The association

1373

shall incorporate and continue the plan of operation and articles

1374

of agreement in effect on the effective date of chapter 76-96,

1375

Laws of Florida, to the extent that it is not inconsistent with

1376

chapter 76-96, and as subsequently modified consistent with

1377

chapter 76-96. The board of directors and officers currently

1378

serving shall continue to serve until their successors are duly

1379

qualified as provided under the plan. The assets and obligations

1380

of the plan in effect immediately prior to the effective date of

1381

chapter 76-96 shall be construed to be the assets and obligations

1382

of the successor plan created herein.

1383

     c.  In recognition of s. 10, Art. I of the State

1384

Constitution, prohibiting the impairment of obligations of

1385

contracts, it is the intent of the Legislature that no action be

1386

taken whose purpose is to impair any bond indenture or financing

1387

agreement or any revenue source committed by contract to such

1388

bond or other indebtedness issued or incurred by the association

1389

or any other entity created under this subsection.

1390

     7.  On such coverage, an agent's remuneration shall be that

1391

amount of money payable to the agent by the terms of his or her

1392

contract with the company with which the business is placed.

1393

However, no commission will be paid on that portion of the

1394

premium which is in excess of the standard premium of that

1395

company.

1396

     8.  Subject to approval by the department, the association

1397

may establish different eligibility requirements and operational

1398

procedures for any line or type of coverage for any specified

1399

eligible area or portion of an eligible area if the board

1400

determines that such changes to the eligibility requirements and

1401

operational procedures are justified due to the voluntary market

1402

being sufficiently stable and competitive in such area or for

1403

such line or type of coverage and that consumers who, in good

1404

faith, are unable to obtain insurance through the voluntary

1405

market through ordinary methods would continue to have access to

1406

coverage from the association. When coverage is sought in

1407

connection with a real property transfer, such requirements and

1408

procedures shall not provide for an effective date of coverage

1409

later than the date of the closing of the transfer as established

1410

by the transferor, the transferee, and, if applicable, the

1411

lender.

1412

     9.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law:

1413

     a.  The pledge or sale of, the lien upon, and the security

1414

interest in any rights, revenues, or other assets of the

1415

association created or purported to be created pursuant to any

1416

financing documents to secure any bonds or other indebtedness of

1417

the association shall be and remain valid and enforceable,

1418

notwithstanding the commencement of and during the continuation

1419

of, and after, any rehabilitation, insolvency, liquidation,

1420

bankruptcy, receivership, conservatorship, reorganization, or

1421

similar proceeding against the association under the laws of this

1422

state or any other applicable laws.

1423

     b.  No such proceeding shall relieve the association of its

1424

obligation, or otherwise affect its ability to perform its

1425

obligation, to continue to collect, or levy and collect,

1426

assessments, market equalization or other surcharges, projected

1427

recoveries from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund,

1428

reinsurance recoverables, or any other rights, revenues, or other

1429

assets of the association pledged.

1430

     c.  Each such pledge or sale of, lien upon, and security

1431

interest in, including the priority of such pledge, lien, or

1432

security interest, any such assessments, emergency assessments,

1433

market equalization or renewal surcharges, projected recoveries

1434

from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, reinsurance

1435

recoverables, or other rights, revenues, or other assets which

1436

are collected, or levied and collected, after the commencement of

1437

and during the pendency of or after any such proceeding shall

1438

continue unaffected by such proceeding.

1439

     d.  As used in this subsection, the term "financing

1440

documents" means any agreement, instrument, or other document now

1441

existing or hereafter created evidencing any bonds or other

1442

indebtedness of the association or pursuant to which any such

1443

bonds or other indebtedness has been or may be issued and

1444

pursuant to which any rights, revenues, or other assets of the

1445

association are pledged or sold to secure the repayment of such

1446

bonds or indebtedness, together with the payment of interest on

1447

such bonds or such indebtedness, or the payment of any other

1448

obligation of the association related to such bonds or

1449

indebtedness.

1450

     e.  Any such pledge or sale of assessments, revenues,

1451

contract rights or other rights or assets of the association

1452

shall constitute a lien and security interest, or sale, as the

1453

case may be, that is immediately effective and attaches to such

1454

assessments, revenues, contract, or other rights or assets,

1455

whether or not imposed or collected at the time the pledge or

1456

sale is made. Any such pledge or sale is effective, valid,

1457

binding, and enforceable against the association or other entity

1458

making such pledge or sale, and valid and binding against and

1459

superior to any competing claims or obligations owed to any other

1460

person or entity, including policyholders in this state,

1461

asserting rights in any such assessments, revenues, contract, or

1462

other rights or assets to the extent set forth in and in

1463

accordance with the terms of the pledge or sale contained in the

1464

applicable financing documents, whether or not any such person or

1465

entity has notice of such pledge or sale and without the need for

1466

any physical delivery, recordation, filing, or other action.

1467

     f.  There shall be no liability on the part of, and no cause

1468

of action of any nature shall arise against, any member insurer

1469

or its agents or employees, agents or employees of the

1470

association, members of the board of directors of the

1471

association, or the department or its representatives, for any

1472

action taken by them in the performance of their duties or

1473

responsibilities under this subsection. Such immunity does not

1474

apply to actions for breach of any contract or agreement

1475

pertaining to insurance, or any willful tort.

1476

     (6)  CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION.--

1477

     (a)1.  It is the public purpose of this subsection to ensure

1478

the existence of an orderly market for property insurance for

1479

Floridians and Florida businesses. The Legislature finds that

1480

private insurers are unwilling or unable to provide affordable

1481

property insurance coverage in this state to the extent sought

1482

and needed. The absence of affordable property insurance

1483

threatens the public health, safety, and welfare and likewise

1484

threatens the economic health of the state. The state therefore

1485

has a compelling public interest and a public purpose to assist

1486

in assuring that property in the state is insured and that it is

1487

insured at affordable rates so as to facilitate the remediation,

1488

reconstruction, and replacement of damaged or destroyed property

1489

in order to reduce or avoid the negative effects otherwise

1490

resulting to the public health, safety, and welfare, to the

1491

economy of the state, and to the revenues of the state and local

1492

governments which are needed to provide for the public welfare.

1493

It is necessary, therefore, to provide affordable property

1494

insurance to applicants who are in good faith entitled to procure

1495

insurance through the voluntary market but are unable to do so.

1496

The Legislature intends by this subsection that affordable

1497

property insurance be provided and that it continue to be

1498

provided, as long as necessary, through Citizens Property

1499

Insurance Corporation, a government entity that is an integral

1500

part of the state, and that is not a private insurance company.

1501

To that end, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation shall strive

1502

to increase the availability of affordable property insurance in

1503

this state, while achieving efficiencies and economies, and while

1504

providing service to policyholders, applicants, and agents which

1505

is no less than the quality generally provided in the voluntary

1506

market, for the achievement of the foregoing public purposes.

1507

Because it is essential for this government entity to have the

1508

maximum financial resources to pay claims following a

1509

catastrophic hurricane, it is the intent of the Legislature that

1510

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation continue to be an

1511

integral part of the state and that the income of the corporation

1512

be exempt from federal income taxation and that interest on the

1513

debt obligations issued by the corporation be exempt from federal

1514

income taxation.

1515

     2.  The Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting

1516

Association originally created by this statute shall be known, as

1517

of July 1, 2002, as the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

1518

The corporation shall provide insurance for residential and

1519

commercial property, for applicants who are in good faith

1520

entitled, but are unable, to procure insurance through the

1521

voluntary market. The corporation shall operate pursuant to a

1522

plan of operation approved by order of the Financial Services

1523

Commission. The plan is subject to continuous review by the

1524

commission. The commission may, by order, withdraw approval of

1525

all or part of a plan if the commission determines that

1526

conditions have changed since approval was granted and that the

1527

purposes of the plan require changes in the plan. The corporation

1528

shall continue to operate pursuant to the plan of operation

1529

approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation until October 1,

1530

2006. For the purposes of this subsection, residential coverage

1531

includes both personal lines residential coverage, which consists

1532

of the type of coverage provided by homeowner's, mobile home

1533

owner's, dwelling, tenant's, condominium unit owner's, and

1534

similar policies, and commercial lines residential coverage,

1535

which consists of the type of coverage provided by condominium

1536

association, apartment building, and similar policies.

1537

     3. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "homestead

1538

property" means:

1539

     a. Property that has been granted a homestead exemption

1540

under chapter 196;

1541

     b. Property for which the owner has a current, written

1542

lease with a renter for a term of at least 7 months and for which

1543

the dwelling is insured by the corporation for $200,000 or less;

1544

     c. An owner-occupied mobile home or manufactured home, as

1545

defined in s. 320.01, which is permanently affixed to real

1546

property, is owned by a Florida resident, and has been granted a

1547

homestead exemption under chapter 196 or, if the owner does not

1548

own the real property, the owner certifies that the mobile home

1549

or manufactured home is his or her principal place of residence;

1550

     d. Tenant's coverage;

1551

     e. Commercial lines residential property; or

1552

     f. Any county, district, or municipal hospital; a hospital

1553

licensed by any not-for-profit corporation qualified under s.

1554

501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code; or a

1555

continuing care retirement community that is certified under

1556

chapter 651 and that receives an exemption from ad valorem taxes

1557

under chapter 196.

1558

     4. For the purposes of this subsection, the term

1559

"nonhomestead property" means property that is not homestead

1560

property.

1561

     5. Effective January 1, 2009, a personal lines residential

1562

structure that has a dwelling replacement cost of $1 million or

1563

more, or a single condominium unit that has a combined dwelling

1564

and content replacement cost of $1 million or more is not

1565

eligible for coverage by the corporation. Such dwellings insured

1566

by the corporation on December 31, 2008, may continue to be

1567

covered by the corporation until the end of the policy term.

1568

However, such dwellings that are insured by the corporation and

1569

become ineligible for coverage due to the provisions of this

1570

subparagraph may reapply and obtain coverage in the high-risk

1571

account and be considered "nonhomestead property" if the property

1572

owner provides the corporation with a sworn affidavit from one or

1573

more insurance agents, on a form provided by the corporation,

1574

stating that the agents have made their best efforts to obtain

1575

coverage and that the property has been rejected for coverage by

1576

at least one authorized insurer and at least three surplus lines

1577

insurers. If such conditions are met, the dwelling may be insured

1578

by the corporation for up to 3 years, after which time the

1579

dwelling is ineligible for coverage. The office shall approve the

1580

method used by the corporation for valuing the dwelling

1581

replacement cost for the purposes of this subparagraph. If a

1582

policyholder is insured by the corporation prior to being

1583

determined to be ineligible pursuant to this subparagraph and

1584

such policyholder files a lawsuit challenging the determination,

1585

the policyholder may remain insured by the corporation until the

1586

conclusion of the litigation.

1587

     3.6. For properties constructed on or after January 1,

1588

2009, the corporation may not insure any property located within

1589

2,500 feet landward of the coastal construction control line

1590

created pursuant to s. 161.053 unless the property meets the

1591

requirements of the code-plus building standards developed by the

1592

Florida Building Commission.

1593

     4.7. It is the intent of the Legislature that

1594

policyholders, applicants, and agents of the corporation receive

1595

service and treatment of the highest possible level but never

1596

less than that generally provided in the voluntary market. It

1597

also is intended that the corporation be held to service

1598

standards no less than those applied to insurers in the voluntary

1599

market by the office with respect to responsiveness, timeliness,

1600

customer courtesy, and overall dealings with policyholders,

1601

applicants, or agents of the corporation.

1602

     5.8. Effective January 1, 2009, a personal lines

1603

residential structure that is located in the "wind-borne debris

1604

region," as defined in s. 1609.2, International Building Code

1605

(2006), and that has an insured value on the structure of

1606

$750,000 or more is not eligible for coverage by the corporation

1607

unless the structure has opening protections as required under

1608

the Florida Building Code for a newly constructed residential

1609

structure in that area. A residential structure shall be deemed

1610

to comply with the requirements of this subparagraph if it has

1611

shutters or opening protections on all openings and if such

1612

opening protections complied with the Florida Building Code at

1613

the time they were installed. Effective January 1, 2011, the

1614

requirements of this subparagraph apply to a personal lines

1615

residential structure that is located in the wind-borne debris

1616

region and that has an insured value on the structure of $500,000

1617

or more.

1618

     (b)1.  All insurers authorized to write one or more subject

1619

lines of business in this state are subject to assessment by the

1620

corporation and, for the purposes of this subsection, are

1621

referred to collectively as "assessable insurers." Insurers

1622

writing one or more subject lines of business in this state

1623

pursuant to part VIII of chapter 626 are not assessable insurers,

1624

but insureds who procure one or more subject lines of business in

1625

this state pursuant to part VIII of chapter 626 are subject to

1626

assessment by the corporation and are referred to collectively as

1627

"assessable insureds." An authorized insurer's assessment

1628

liability shall begin on the first day of the calendar year

1629

following the year in which the insurer was issued a certificate

1630

of authority to transact insurance for subject lines of business

1631

in this state and shall terminate 1 year after the end of the

1632

first calendar year during which the insurer no longer holds a

1633

certificate of authority to transact insurance for subject lines

1634

of business in this state.

1635

     2.a.  All revenues, assets, liabilities, losses, and

1636

expenses of the corporation shall be divided into three separate

1637

accounts as follows:

1638

     (I)  A personal lines account for personal residential

1639

policies issued by the corporation or issued by the Residential

1640

Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association and renewed

1641

by the corporation that provide comprehensive, multiperil

1642

coverage on risks that are not located in areas eligible for

1643

coverage in the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association as

1644

those areas were defined on January 1, 2002, and for such

1645

policies that do not provide coverage for the peril of wind on

1646

risks that are located in such areas;

1647

     (II)  A commercial lines account for commercial residential

1648

and commercial nonresidential policies issued by the corporation

1649

or issued by the Residential Property and Casualty Joint

1650

Underwriting Association and renewed by the corporation that

1651

provide coverage for basic property perils on risks that are not

1652

located in areas eligible for coverage in the Florida Windstorm

1653

Underwriting Association as those areas were defined on January

1654

1, 2002, and for such policies that do not provide coverage for

1655

the peril of wind on risks that are located in such areas; and

1656

     (III)  A high-risk account for personal residential policies

1657

and commercial residential and commercial nonresidential property

1658

policies issued by the corporation or transferred to the

1659

corporation that provide coverage for the peril of wind on risks

1660

that are located in areas eligible for coverage in the Florida

1661

Windstorm Underwriting Association as those areas were defined on

1662

January 1, 2002. Subject to the approval of a business plan by

1663

the Financial Services Commission and Legislative Budget

1664

Commission as provided in this sub-sub-subparagraph, but no

1665

earlier than March 31, 2007, The corporation shall may offer

1666

policies that provide multiperil coverage and the corporation

1667

shall continue to offer policies that provide coverage only for

1668

the peril of wind for risks located in areas eligible for

1669

coverage in the high-risk account. Beginning July 1, 2008, the

1670

corporation may not issue new policies that provide coverage only

1671

for the peril of wind, but may continue to renew such policies

1672

that were in force on that date. In issuing multiperil coverage,

1673

the corporation may use its approved policy forms and rates for

1674

the personal lines account. An applicant or insured who is

1675

eligible to purchase a multiperil policy from the corporation may

1676

purchase a multiperil policy from an authorized insurer without

1677

prejudice to the applicant's or insured's eligibility to

1678

prospectively purchase a policy that provides coverage only for

1679

the peril of wind from the corporation prior to July 1, 2008. An

1680

applicant or insured who is eligible for a corporation policy

1681

that provides coverage only for the peril of wind may elect to

1682

purchase or retain such policy and also purchase or retain

1683

coverage excluding wind from an authorized insurer without

1684

prejudice to the applicant's or insured's eligibility to

1685

prospectively purchase a policy that provides multiperil coverage

1686

from the corporation. It is the goal of the Legislature that

1687

there would be an overall average savings of 10 percent or more

1688

for a policyholder who currently has a wind-only policy with the

1689

corporation, and an ex-wind policy with a voluntary insurer or

1690

the corporation, and who then obtains a multiperil policy from

1691

the corporation. It is the intent of the Legislature that the

1692

offer of multiperil coverage in the high-risk account be made and

1693

implemented in a manner that does not adversely affect the tax-

1694

exempt status of the corporation or creditworthiness of or

1695

security for currently outstanding financing obligations or

1696

credit facilities of the high-risk account, the personal lines

1697

account, or the commercial lines account. By March 1, 2007, the

1698

corporation shall prepare and submit for approval by the

1699

Financial Services Commission and Legislative Budget Commission a

1700

report detailing the corporation's business plan for issuing

1701

multiperil coverage in the high-risk account. The business plan

1702

shall be approved or disapproved within 30 days after receipt, as

1703

submitted or modified and resubmitted by the corporation. The

1704

business plan must include: the impact of such multiperil

1705

coverage on the corporation's financial resources, the impact of

1706

such multiperil coverage on the corporation's tax-exempt status,

1707

the manner in which the corporation plans to implement the

1708

processing of applications and policy forms for new and existing

1709

policyholders, the impact of such multiperil coverage on the

1710

corporation's ability to deliver customer service at the high

1711

level required by this subsection, the ability of the corporation

1712

to process claims, the ability of the corporation to quote and

1713

issue policies, the impact of such multiperil coverage on the

1714

corporation's agents, the impact of such multiperil coverage on

1715

the corporation's existing policyholders, and the impact of such

1716

multiperil coverage on rates and premium. The high-risk account

1717

must also include quota share primary insurance under

1718

subparagraph (c)2. The area eligible for coverage under the high-

1719

risk account also includes the area within Port Canaveral, which

1720

is bordered on the south by the City of Cape Canaveral, bordered

1721

on the west by the Banana River, and bordered on the north by

1722

Federal Government property.

1723

     b.  The three separate accounts must be maintained as long

1724

as financing obligations entered into by the Florida Windstorm

1725

Underwriting Association or Residential Property and Casualty

1726

Joint Underwriting Association are outstanding, in accordance

1727

with the terms of the corresponding financing documents. When the

1728

financing obligations are no longer outstanding, in accordance

1729

with the terms of the corresponding financing documents, the

1730

corporation may use a single account for all revenues, assets,

1731

liabilities, losses, and expenses of the corporation. Consistent

1732

with the requirement of this subparagraph and prudent investment

1733

policies that minimize the cost of carrying debt, the board shall

1734

exercise its best efforts to retire existing debt or to obtain

1735

approval of necessary parties to amend the terms of existing

1736

debt, so as to structure the most efficient plan to consolidate

1737

the three separate accounts into a single account. By February 1,

1738

2007, the board shall submit a report to the Financial Services

1739

Commission, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the

1740

House of Representatives which includes an analysis of

1741

consolidating the accounts, the actions the board has taken to

1742

minimize the cost of carrying debt, and its recommendations for

1743

executing the most efficient plan.

1744

     c.  Creditors of the Residential Property and Casualty Joint

1745

Underwriting Association and of the accounts specified in sub-

1746

sub-subparagraphs a.(I) and (II) may have a claim against, and

1747

recourse to, the accounts referred to in sub-sub-subparagraphs

1748

a.(I) and (II) and shall have no claim against, or recourse to,

1749

the account referred to in sub-sub-subparagraph a.(III).

1750

Creditors of the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association shall

1751

have a claim against, and recourse to, the account referred to in

1752

sub-sub-subparagraph a.(III) and shall have no claim against, or

1753

recourse to, the accounts referred to in sub-sub-subparagraphs

1754

a.(I) and (II).

1755

     d.  Revenues, assets, liabilities, losses, and expenses not

1756

attributable to particular accounts shall be prorated among the

1757

accounts.

1758

     e.  The Legislature finds that the revenues of the

1759

corporation are revenues that are necessary to meet the

1760

requirements set forth in documents authorizing the issuance of

1761

bonds under this subsection.

1762

     f.  No part of the income of the corporation may inure to

1763

the benefit of any private person.

1764

     3.  With respect to a deficit in an account:

1765

     a.  When the deficit incurred in a particular calendar year

1766

is not greater than 8 10 percent of the aggregate statewide

1767

direct written premium for the subject lines of business for the

1768

prior calendar year, the entire deficit shall be recovered

1769

through regular assessments of assessable insurers under

1770

paragraph (p) and assessable insureds.

1771

     b.  When the deficit incurred in a particular calendar year

1772

exceeds 8 10 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written

1773

premium for the subject lines of business for the prior calendar

1774

year, the corporation shall levy regular assessments on

1775

assessable insurers under paragraph (p) and on assessable

1776

insureds in an amount equal to the greater of 8 10 percent of the

1777

deficit or 8 10 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written

1778

premium for the subject lines of business for the prior calendar

1779

year. Any remaining deficit shall be recovered through emergency

1780

assessments under sub-subparagraph d.

1781

     c.  Each assessable insurer's share of the amount being

1782

assessed under sub-subparagraph a. or sub-subparagraph b. shall

1783

be in the proportion that the assessable insurer's direct written

1784

premium for the subject lines of business for the year preceding

1785

the assessment bears to the aggregate statewide direct written

1786

premium for the subject lines of business for that year. The

1787

assessment percentage applicable to each assessable insured is

1788

the ratio of the amount being assessed under sub-subparagraph a.

1789

or sub-subparagraph b. to the aggregate statewide direct written

1790

premium for the subject lines of business for the prior year.

1791

Assessments levied by the corporation on assessable insurers

1792

under sub-subparagraphs a. and b. shall be paid as required by

1793

the corporation's plan of operation and paragraph (p).

1794

notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, the

1795

aggregate amount of a regular assessment for a deficit incurred

1796

in a particular calendar year shall be reduced by the estimated

1797

amount to be received by the corporation from the Citizens

1798

policyholder surcharge under subparagraph (c)10. and the amount

1799

collected or estimated to be collected from the assessment on

1800

Citizens policyholders pursuant to sub-subparagraph i.

1801

Assessments levied by the corporation on assessable insureds

1802

under sub-subparagraphs a. and b. shall be collected by the

1803

surplus lines agent at the time the surplus lines agent collects

1804

the surplus lines tax required by s. 626.932 and shall be paid to

1805

the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office at the time the surplus

1806

lines agent pays the surplus lines tax to the Florida Surplus

1807

Lines Service Office. Upon receipt of regular assessments from

1808

surplus lines agents, the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office

1809

shall transfer the assessments directly to the corporation as

1810

determined by the corporation.

1811

     d.  Upon a determination by the board of governors that a

1812

deficit in an account exceeds the amount that will be recovered

1813

through regular assessments under sub-subparagraph a. or sub-

1814

subparagraph b., plus the amount that is expected to be recovered

1815

through surcharges under sub-subparagraph i., as to the remaining

1816

projected deficit the board shall levy, after verification by the

1817

office, emergency assessments, for as many years as necessary to

1818

cover the deficits, to be collected by assessable insurers and

1819

the corporation and collected from assessable insureds upon

1820

issuance or renewal of policies for subject lines of business,

1821

excluding National Flood Insurance policies. The amount of the

1822

emergency assessment collected in a particular year shall be a

1823

uniform percentage of that year's direct written premium for

1824

subject lines of business and all accounts of the corporation,

1825

excluding National Flood Insurance Program policy premiums, as

1826

annually determined by the board and verified by the office. The

1827

office shall verify the arithmetic calculations involved in the

1828

board's determination within 30 days after receipt of the

1829

information on which the determination was based. Notwithstanding

1830

any other provision of law, the corporation and each assessable

1831

insurer that writes subject lines of business shall collect

1832

emergency assessments from its policyholders without such

1833

obligation being affected by any credit, limitation, exemption,

1834

or deferment. Emergency assessments levied by the corporation on

1835

assessable insureds shall be collected by the surplus lines agent

1836

at the time the surplus lines agent collects the surplus lines

1837

tax required by s. 626.932 and shall be paid to the Florida

1838

Surplus Lines Service Office at the time the surplus lines agent

1839

pays the surplus lines tax to the Florida Surplus Lines Service

1840

Office. The emergency assessments so collected shall be

1841

transferred directly to the corporation on a periodic basis as

1842

determined by the corporation and shall be held by the

1843

corporation solely in the applicable account. The aggregate

1844

amount of emergency assessments levied for an account under this

1845

sub-subparagraph in any calendar year may, at the discretion of

1846

the board of governors, be less than but may not exceed the

1847

greater of 10 percent of the amount needed to cover the original

1848

deficit, plus interest, fees, commissions, required reserves, and

1849

other costs associated with financing of the original deficit, or

1850

10 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written premium for

1851

subject lines of business and for all accounts of the corporation

1852

for the prior year, plus interest, fees, commissions, required

1853

reserves, and other costs associated with financing the original

1854

deficit.

1855

     e.  The corporation may pledge the proceeds of assessments,

1856

projected recoveries from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund,

1857

other insurance and reinsurance recoverables, policyholder

1858

surcharges and other surcharges, and other funds available to the

1859

corporation as the source of revenue for and to secure bonds

1860

issued under paragraph (p), bonds or other indebtedness issued

1861

under subparagraph (c)3., or lines of credit or other financing

1862

mechanisms issued or created under this subsection, or to retire

1863

any other debt incurred as a result of deficits or events giving

1864

rise to deficits, or in any other way that the board determines

1865

will efficiently recover such deficits. The purpose of the lines

1866

of credit or other financing mechanisms is to provide additional

1867

resources to assist the corporation in covering claims and

1868

expenses attributable to a catastrophe. As used in this

1869

subsection, the term "assessments" includes regular assessments

1870

under sub-subparagraph a., sub-subparagraph b., or subparagraph

1871

(p)1. and emergency assessments under sub-subparagraph d.

1872

Emergency assessments collected under sub-subparagraph d. are not

1873

part of an insurer's rates, are not premium, and are not subject

1874

to premium tax, fees, or commissions; however, failure to pay the

1875

emergency assessment shall be treated as failure to pay premium.

1876

The emergency assessments under sub-subparagraph d. shall

1877

continue as long as any bonds issued or other indebtedness

1878

incurred with respect to a deficit for which the assessment was

1879

imposed remain outstanding, unless adequate provision has been

1880

made for the payment of such bonds or other indebtedness pursuant

1881

to the documents governing such bonds or other indebtedness.

1882

     f.  As used in this subsection for purposes of any deficit

1883

incurred on or after January 25, 2007, the term "subject lines of

1884

business" means insurance written by assessable insurers or

1885

procured by assessable insureds for all property and casualty

1886

lines of business in this state, but not including workers'

1887

compensation or medical malpractice. As used in the sub-

1888

subparagraph, the term "property and casualty lines of business"

1889

includes all lines of business identified on Form 2, Exhibit of

1890

Premiums and Losses, in the annual statement required of

1891

authorized insurers by s. 624.424 and any rule adopted under this

1892

section, except for those lines identified as accident and health

1893

insurance and except for policies written under the National

1894

Flood Insurance Program or the Federal Crop Insurance Program.

1895

For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, the term "workers'

1896

compensation" includes both workers' compensation insurance and

1897

excess workers' compensation insurance.

1898

     g.  The Florida Surplus Lines Service Office shall determine

1899

annually the aggregate statewide written premium in subject lines

1900

of business procured by assessable insureds and shall report that

1901

information to the corporation in a form and at a time the

1902

corporation specifies to ensure that the corporation can meet the

1903

requirements of this subsection and the corporation's financing

1904

obligations.

1905

     h.  The Florida Surplus Lines Service Office shall verify

1906

the proper application by surplus lines agents of assessment

1907

percentages for regular assessments and emergency assessments

1908

levied under this subparagraph on assessable insureds and shall

1909

assist the corporation in ensuring the accurate, timely

1910

collection and payment of assessments by surplus lines agents as

1911

required by the corporation.

1912

     i.  If a deficit is incurred in any account in 2008 or

1913

thereafter, the board of governors shall levy a Citizens

1914

policyholder surcharge an immediate assessment against the

1915

premium of each nonhomestead property policyholder in all

1916

accounts of the corporation, as a uniform percentage of the

1917

premium of the policy of up to 10 percent of such premium, which

1918

funds shall be used to offset the deficit. If this assessment is

1919

insufficient to eliminate the deficit, the board of governors

1920

shall levy an additional assessment against all policyholders of

1921

the corporation for a 12-month period, which shall be collected

1922

at the time of issuance or renewal of a policy, as a uniform

1923

percentage of the premium for the policy of up to 10 percent of

1924

such premium, which funds shall be used to further offset the

1925

deficit and reduce the amount of the regular assessment as

1926

provided in sub-subparagraphs a. and b. Citizens policyholder

1927

surcharges under this sub-subparagraph are not considered premium

1928

and are not subject to commissions, fees, or premium taxes.

1929

However, failure to pay such surcharges shall be treated as

1930

failure to pay premium.

1931

     j. If the amount of any assessments or surcharges collected

1932

from corporation policyholders, assessable insurers or their

1933

policyholders, or assessable insureds exceeds the amount of the

1934

deficits, such excess amounts shall be remitted to and retained

1935

by the corporation in a reserve to be used by the corporation, as

1936

determined by the board of governors and approved by the office,

1937

to pay claims or reduce any past, present, or future plan-year

1938

deficits or to reduce outstanding debt. The board of governors

1939

shall maintain separate accounting records that consolidate data

1940

for nonhomestead properties, including, but not limited to,

1941

number of policies, insured values, premiums written, and losses.

1942

The board of governors shall annually report to the office and

1943

the Legislature a summary of such data.

1944

     (c)  The plan of operation of the corporation:

1945

     1.  Must provide for adoption of residential property and

1946

casualty insurance policy forms and commercial residential and

1947

nonresidential property insurance forms, which forms must be

1948

approved by the office prior to use. The corporation shall adopt

1949

the following policy forms:

1950

     a.  Standard personal lines policy forms that are

1951

comprehensive multiperil policies providing full coverage of a

1952

residential property equivalent to the coverage provided in the

1953

private insurance market under an HO-3, HO-4, or HO-6 policy.

1954

     b.  Basic personal lines policy forms that are policies

1955

similar to an HO-8 policy or a dwelling fire policy that provide

1956

coverage meeting the requirements of the secondary mortgage

1957

market, but which coverage is more limited than the coverage

1958

under a standard policy.

1959

     c.  Commercial lines residential and nonresidential policy

1960

forms that are generally similar to the basic perils of full

1961

coverage obtainable for commercial residential structures and

1962

commercial nonresidential structures in the admitted voluntary

1963

market.

1964

     d.  Personal lines and commercial lines residential property

1965

insurance forms that cover the peril of wind only. The forms are

1966

applicable only to residential properties located in areas

1967

eligible for coverage under the high-risk account referred to in

1968

sub-subparagraph (b)2.a.

1969

     e.  Commercial lines nonresidential property insurance forms

1970

that cover the peril of wind only. The forms are applicable only

1971

to nonresidential properties located in areas eligible for

1972

coverage under the high-risk account referred to in sub-

1973

subparagraph (b)2.a.

1974

     f.  The corporation may adopt variations of the policy forms

1975

listed in sub-subparagraphs a.-e. that contain more restrictive

1976

coverage.

1977

     2.a.  Must provide that the corporation adopt a program in

1978

which the corporation and authorized insurers enter into quota

1979

share primary insurance agreements for hurricane coverage, as

1980

defined in s. 627.4025(2)(a), for eligible risks, and adopt

1981

property insurance forms for eligible risks which cover the peril

1982

of wind only. As used in this subsection, the term:

1983

     (I)  "Quota share primary insurance" means an arrangement in

1984

which the primary hurricane coverage of an eligible risk is

1985

provided in specified percentages by the corporation and an

1986

authorized insurer. The corporation and authorized insurer are

1987

each solely responsible for a specified percentage of hurricane

1988

coverage of an eligible risk as set forth in a quota share

1989

primary insurance agreement between the corporation and an

1990

authorized insurer and the insurance contract. The responsibility

1991

of the corporation or authorized insurer to pay its specified

1992

percentage of hurricane losses of an eligible risk, as set forth

1993

in the quota share primary insurance agreement, may not be

1994

altered by the inability of the other party to the agreement to

1995

pay its specified percentage of hurricane losses. Eligible risks

1996

that are provided hurricane coverage through a quota share

1997

primary insurance arrangement must be provided policy forms that

1998

set forth the obligations of the corporation and authorized

1999

insurer under the arrangement, clearly specify the percentages of

2000

quota share primary insurance provided by the corporation and

2001

authorized insurer, and conspicuously and clearly state that

2002

neither the authorized insurer nor the corporation may be held

2003

responsible beyond its specified percentage of coverage of

2004

hurricane losses.

2005

     (II)  "Eligible risks" means personal lines residential and

2006

commercial lines residential risks that meet the underwriting

2007

criteria of the corporation and are located in areas that were

2008

eligible for coverage by the Florida Windstorm Underwriting

2009

Association on January 1, 2002.

2010

     b.  The corporation may enter into quota share primary

2011

insurance agreements with authorized insurers at corporation

2012

coverage levels of 90 percent and 50 percent.

2013

     c.  If the corporation determines that additional coverage

2014

levels are necessary to maximize participation in quota share

2015

primary insurance agreements by authorized insurers, the

2016

corporation may establish additional coverage levels. However,

2017

the corporation's quota share primary insurance coverage level

2018

may not exceed 90 percent.

2019

     d.  Any quota share primary insurance agreement entered into

2020

between an authorized insurer and the corporation must provide

2021

for a uniform specified percentage of coverage of hurricane

2022

losses, by county or territory as set forth by the corporation

2023

board, for all eligible risks of the authorized insurer covered

2024

under the quota share primary insurance agreement.

2025

     e.  Any quota share primary insurance agreement entered into

2026

between an authorized insurer and the corporation is subject to

2027

review and approval by the office. However, such agreement shall

2028

be authorized only as to insurance contracts entered into between

2029

an authorized insurer and an insured who is already insured by

2030

the corporation for wind coverage.

2031

     f.  For all eligible risks covered under quota share primary

2032

insurance agreements, the exposure and coverage levels for both

2033

the corporation and authorized insurers shall be reported by the

2034

corporation to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. For all

2035

policies of eligible risks covered under quota share primary

2036

insurance agreements, the corporation and the authorized insurer

2037

shall maintain complete and accurate records for the purpose of

2038

exposure and loss reimbursement audits as required by Florida

2039

Hurricane Catastrophe Fund rules. The corporation and the

2040

authorized insurer shall each maintain duplicate copies of policy

2041

declaration pages and supporting claims documents.

2042

     g.  The corporation board shall establish in its plan of

2043

operation standards for quota share agreements which ensure that

2044

there is no discriminatory application among insurers as to the

2045

terms of quota share agreements, pricing of quota share

2046

agreements, incentive provisions if any, and consideration paid

2047

for servicing policies or adjusting claims.

2048

     h.  The quota share primary insurance agreement between the

2049

corporation and an authorized insurer must set forth the specific

2050

terms under which coverage is provided, including, but not

2051

limited to, the sale and servicing of policies issued under the

2052

agreement by the insurance agent of the authorized insurer

2053

producing the business, the reporting of information concerning

2054

eligible risks, the payment of premium to the corporation, and

2055

arrangements for the adjustment and payment of hurricane claims

2056

incurred on eligible risks by the claims adjuster and personnel

2057

of the authorized insurer. Entering into a quota sharing

2058

insurance agreement between the corporation and an authorized

2059

insurer shall be voluntary and at the discretion of the

2060

authorized insurer.

2061

     3.  May provide that the corporation may employ or otherwise

2062

contract with individuals or other entities to provide

2063

administrative or professional services that may be appropriate

2064

to effectuate the plan. The corporation shall have the power to

2065

borrow funds, by issuing bonds or by incurring other

2066

indebtedness, and shall have other powers reasonably necessary to

2067

effectuate the requirements of this subsection, including,

2068

without limitation, the power to issue bonds and incur other

2069

indebtedness in order to refinance outstanding bonds or other

2070

indebtedness. The corporation may, but is not required to, seek

2071

judicial validation of its bonds or other indebtedness under

2072

chapter 75. The corporation may issue bonds or incur other

2073

indebtedness, or have bonds issued on its behalf by a unit of

2074

local government pursuant to subparagraph (p)2., in the absence

2075

of a hurricane or other weather-related event, upon a

2076

determination by the corporation, subject to approval by the

2077

office, that such action would enable it to efficiently meet the

2078

financial obligations of the corporation and that such financings

2079

are reasonably necessary to effectuate the requirements of this

2080

subsection. The corporation is authorized to take all actions

2081

needed to facilitate tax-free status for any such bonds or

2082

indebtedness, including formation of trusts or other affiliated

2083

entities. The corporation shall have the authority to pledge

2084

assessments, projected recoveries from the Florida Hurricane

2085

Catastrophe Fund, other reinsurance recoverables, market

2086

equalization and other surcharges, and other funds available to

2087

the corporation as security for bonds or other indebtedness. In

2088

recognition of s. 10, Art. I of the State Constitution,

2089

prohibiting the impairment of obligations of contracts, it is the

2090

intent of the Legislature that no action be taken whose purpose

2091

is to impair any bond indenture or financing agreement or any

2092

revenue source committed by contract to such bond or other

2093

indebtedness.

2094

     4.a.  Must require that the corporation operate subject to

2095

the supervision and approval of a board of governors consisting

2096

of eight individuals who are residents of this state, from

2097

different geographical areas of this state. The Governor, the

2098

Chief Financial Officer, the President of the Senate, and the

2099

Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each appoint two

2100

members of the board. At least one of the two members appointed

2101

by each appointing officer must have demonstrated expertise in

2102

insurance. The Chief Financial Officer shall designate one of the

2103

appointees as chair. All board members serve at the pleasure of

2104

the appointing officer. All members of the board of governors are

2105

subject to removal at will by the officers who appointed them.

2106

All board members, including the chair, must be appointed to

2107

serve for 3-year terms beginning annually on a date designated by

2108

the plan. Any board vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired

2109

term by the appointing officer. The Chief Financial Officer shall

2110

appoint a technical advisory group to provide information and

2111

advice to the board of governors in connection with the board's

2112

duties under this subsection. The executive director and senior

2113

managers of the corporation shall be engaged by the board and

2114

serve at the pleasure of the board. Any executive director

2115

appointed on or after July 1, 2006, is subject to confirmation by

2116

the Senate. The executive director is responsible for employing

2117

other staff as the corporation may require, subject to review and

2118

concurrence by the board.

2119

     b.  The board shall create a Market Accountability Advisory

2120

Committee to assist the corporation in developing awareness of

2121

its rates and its customer and agent service levels in

2122

relationship to the voluntary market insurers writing similar

2123

coverage. The members of the advisory committee shall consist of

2124

the following 11 persons, one of whom must be elected chair by

2125

the members of the committee: four representatives, one appointed

2126

by the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, one by the

2127

Florida Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, one by

2128

the Professional Insurance Agents of Florida, and one by the

2129

Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies; three

2130

representatives appointed by the insurers with the three highest

2131

voluntary market share of residential property insurance business

2132

in the state; one representative from the Office of Insurance

2133

Regulation; one consumer appointed by the board who is insured by

2134

the corporation at the time of appointment to the committee; one

2135

representative appointed by the Florida Association of Realtors;

2136

and one representative appointed by the Florida Bankers

2137

Association. All members must serve for 3-year terms and may

2138

serve for consecutive terms. The committee shall report to the

2139

corporation at each board meeting on insurance market issues

2140

which may include rates and rate competition with the voluntary

2141

market; service, including policy issuance, claims processing,

2142

and general responsiveness to policyholders, applicants, and

2143

agents; and matters relating to depopulation.

2144

     5.  Must provide a procedure for determining the eligibility

2145

of a risk for coverage, as follows:

2146

     a.  Subject to the provisions of s. 627.3517, with respect

2147

to personal lines residential risks, if the risk is offered

2148

coverage from an authorized insurer at the insurer's approved

2149

rate under either a standard policy including wind coverage or,

2150

if consistent with the insurer's underwriting rules as filed with

2151

the office, a basic policy including wind coverage, for a new

2152

application to the corporation for coverage, the risk is not

2153

eligible for any policy issued by the corporation unless the

2154

premium for coverage from the authorized insurer is more than 15

2155

percent greater than the premium for comparable coverage from the

2156

corporation. If the risk is not able to obtain any such offer,

2157

the risk is eligible for either a standard policy including wind

2158

coverage or a basic policy including wind coverage issued by the

2159

corporation; however, if the risk could not be insured under a

2160

standard policy including wind coverage regardless of market

2161

conditions, the risk shall be eligible for a basic policy

2162

including wind coverage unless rejected under subparagraph 9.

2163

However, with regard to a policyholder of the corporation or a

2164

policyholder removed from the corporation through an assumption

2165

agreement until the end of the assumption period, the

2166

policyholder remains eligible for coverage from the corporation

2167

regardless of any offer of coverage from an authorized insurer or

2168

surplus lines insurer. The corporation shall determine the type

2169

of policy to be provided on the basis of objective standards

2170

specified in the underwriting manual and based on generally

2171

accepted underwriting practices.

2172

     (I)  If the risk accepts an offer of coverage through the

2173

market assistance plan or an offer of coverage through a

2174

mechanism established by the corporation before a policy is

2175

issued to the risk by the corporation or during the first 30 days

2176

of coverage by the corporation, and the producing agent who

2177

submitted the application to the plan or to the corporation is

2178

not currently appointed by the insurer, the insurer shall:

2179

     (A)  Pay to the producing agent of record of the policy, for

2180

the first year, an amount that is the greater of the insurer's

2181

usual and customary commission for the type of policy written or

2182

a fee equal to the usual and customary commission of the

2183

corporation; or

2184

     (B)  Offer to allow the producing agent of record of the

2185

policy to continue servicing the policy for a period of not less

2186

than 1 year and offer to pay the agent the greater of the

2187

insurer's or the corporation's usual and customary commission for

2188

the type of policy written.

2189

2190

If the producing agent is unwilling or unable to accept

2191

appointment, the new insurer shall pay the agent in accordance

2192

with sub-sub-sub-subparagraph (A).

2193

     (II)  When the corporation enters into a contractual

2194

agreement for a take-out plan, the producing agent of record of

2195

the corporation policy is entitled to retain any unearned

2196

commission on the policy, and the insurer shall:

2197

     (A)  Pay to the producing agent of record of the corporation

2198

policy, for the first year, an amount that is the greater of the

2199

insurer's usual and customary commission for the type of policy

2200

written or a fee equal to the usual and customary commission of

2201

the corporation; or

2202

     (B)  Offer to allow the producing agent of record of the

2203

corporation policy to continue servicing the policy for a period

2204

of not less than 1 year and offer to pay the agent the greater of

2205

the insurer's or the corporation's usual and customary commission

2206

for the type of policy written.

2207

2208

If the producing agent is unwilling or unable to accept

2209

appointment, the new insurer shall pay the agent in accordance

2210

with sub-sub-sub-subparagraph (A).

2211

     b.  With respect to commercial lines residential risks, for

2212

a new application to the corporation for coverage, if the risk is

2213

offered coverage under a policy including wind coverage from an

2214

authorized insurer at its approved rate, the risk is not eligible

2215

for any policy issued by the corporation unless the premium for

2216

coverage from the authorized insurer is more than 15 percent

2217

greater than the premium for comparable coverage from the

2218

corporation. If the risk is not able to obtain any such offer,

2219

the risk is eligible for a policy including wind coverage issued

2220

by the corporation. However, with regard to a policyholder of the

2221

corporation or a policyholder removed from the corporation

2222

through an assumption agreement until the end of the assumption

2223

period, the policyholder remains eligible for coverage from the

2224

corporation regardless of any offer of coverage from an

2225

authorized insurer or surplus lines insurer.

2226

     (I)  If the risk accepts an offer of coverage through the

2227

market assistance plan or an offer of coverage through a

2228

mechanism established by the corporation before a policy is

2229

issued to the risk by the corporation or during the first 30 days

2230

of coverage by the corporation, and the producing agent who

2231

submitted the application to the plan or the corporation is not

2232

currently appointed by the insurer, the insurer shall:

2233

     (A)  Pay to the producing agent of record of the policy, for

2234

the first year, an amount that is the greater of the insurer's

2235

usual and customary commission for the type of policy written or

2236

a fee equal to the usual and customary commission of the

2237

corporation; or

2238

     (B)  Offer to allow the producing agent of record of the

2239

policy to continue servicing the policy for a period of not less

2240

than 1 year and offer to pay the agent the greater of the

2241

insurer's or the corporation's usual and customary commission for

2242

the type of policy written.

2243

2244

If the producing agent is unwilling or unable to accept

2245

appointment, the new insurer shall pay the agent in accordance

2246

with sub-sub-sub-subparagraph (A).

2247

     (II)  When the corporation enters into a contractual

2248

agreement for a take-out plan, the producing agent of record of

2249

the corporation policy is entitled to retain any unearned

2250

commission on the policy, and the insurer shall:

2251

     (A)  Pay to the producing agent of record of the corporation

2252

policy, for the first year, an amount that is the greater of the

2253

insurer's usual and customary commission for the type of policy

2254

written or a fee equal to the usual and customary commission of

2255

the corporation; or

2256

     (B)  Offer to allow the producing agent of record of the

2257

corporation policy to continue servicing the policy for a period

2258

of not less than 1 year and offer to pay the agent the greater of

2259

the insurer's or the corporation's usual and customary commission

2260

for the type of policy written.

2261

2262

If the producing agent is unwilling or unable to accept

2263

appointment, the new insurer shall pay the agent in accordance

2264

with sub-sub-sub-subparagraph (A).

2265

     c.  For purposes of determining comparable coverage under

2266

sub-subparagraphs a. and b., the comparison shall be based on

2267

those forms and coverages that are reasonably comparable. The

2268

corporation may rely on a determination of comparable coverage

2269

and premium made by the producing agent who submits the

2270

application to the corporation, made in the agent's capacity as

2271

the corporation's agent. A comparison may be made solely of the

2272

premium with respect to the main building or structure only on

2273

the following basis: the same coverage A or other building

2274

limits; the same percentage hurricane deductible that applies on

2275

an annual basis or that applies to each hurricane for commercial

2276

residential property; the same percentage of ordinance and law

2277

coverage, if the same limit is offered by both the corporation

2278

and the authorized insurer; the same mitigation credits, to the

2279

extent the same types of credits are offered both by the

2280

corporation and the authorized insurer; the same method for loss

2281

payment, such as replacement cost or actual cash value, if the

2282

same method is offered both by the corporation and the authorized

2283

insurer in accordance with underwriting rules; and any other form

2284

or coverage that is reasonably comparable as determined by the

2285

board. If an application is submitted to the corporation for

2286

wind-only coverage in the high-risk account, the premium for the

2287

corporation's wind-only policy plus the premium for the ex-wind

2288

policy that is offered by an authorized insurer to the applicant

2289

shall be compared to the premium for multiperil coverage offered

2290

by an authorized insurer, subject to the standards for comparison

2291

specified in this subparagraph. If the corporation or the

2292

applicant requests from the authorized insurer a breakdown of the

2293

premium of the offer by types of coverage so that a comparison

2294

may be made by the corporation or its agent and the authorized

2295

insurer refuses or is unable to provide such information, the

2296

corporation may treat the offer as not being an offer of coverage

2297

from an authorized insurer at the insurer's approved rate.

2298

     6.  Must include rules for classifications of risks and

2299

rates therefor.

2300

     7.  Must provide that if premium and investment income for

2301

an account attributable to a particular calendar year are in

2302

excess of projected losses and expenses for the account

2303

attributable to that year, such excess shall be held in surplus

2304

in the account. Such surplus shall be available to defray

2305

deficits in that account as to future years and shall be used for

2306

that purpose prior to assessing assessable insurers and

2307

assessable insureds as to any calendar year.

2308

     8.  Must provide objective criteria and procedures to be

2309

uniformly applied for all applicants in determining whether an

2310

individual risk is so hazardous as to be uninsurable. In making

2311

this determination and in establishing the criteria and

2312

procedures, the following shall be considered:

2313

     a.  Whether the likelihood of a loss for the individual risk

2314

is substantially higher than for other risks of the same class;

2315

and

2316

     b.  Whether the uncertainty associated with the individual

2317

risk is such that an appropriate premium cannot be determined.

2318

2319

The acceptance or rejection of a risk by the corporation shall be

2320

construed as the private placement of insurance, and the

2321

provisions of chapter 120 shall not apply.

2322

     9.  Must provide that the corporation shall make its best

2323

efforts to procure catastrophe reinsurance at reasonable rates,

2324

to cover its projected 100-year probable maximum loss as

2325

determined by the board of governors.

2326

     10. Must provide that in the event of regular deficit

2327

assessments under sub-subparagraph (b)3.a. or sub-subparagraph

2328

(b)3.b., in the personal lines account, the commercial lines

2329

residential account, or the high-risk account, the corporation

2330

shall levy upon corporation policyholders in its next rate

2331

filing, or by a separate rate filing solely for this purpose, a

2332

Citizens policyholder surcharge arising from a regular assessment

2333

in such account in a percentage equal to the total amount of such

2334

regular assessments divided by the aggregate statewide direct

2335

written premium for subject lines of business for the prior

2336

calendar year. For purposes of calculating the Citizens

2337

policyholder surcharge to be levied under this subparagraph, the

2338

total amount of the regular assessment to which this surcharge is

2339

related shall be determined as set forth in subparagraph (b)3.,

2340

without deducting the estimated Citizens policyholder surcharge.

2341

Citizens policyholder surcharges under this subparagraph are not

2342

considered premium and are not subject to commissions, fees, or

2343

premium taxes; however, failure to pay a market equalization

2344

surcharge shall be treated as failure to pay premium.

2345

     10.11. The policies issued by the corporation must provide

2346

that, if the corporation or the market assistance plan obtains an

2347

offer from an authorized insurer to cover the risk at its

2348

approved rates, the risk is no longer eligible for renewal

2349

through the corporation, except as otherwise provided in this

2350

subsection.

2351

     11.12. Corporation policies and applications must include a

2352

notice that the corporation policy could, under this section, be

2353

replaced with a policy issued by an authorized insurer that does

2354

not provide coverage identical to the coverage provided by the

2355

corporation. The notice shall also specify that acceptance of

2356

corporation coverage creates a conclusive presumption that the

2357

applicant or policyholder is aware of this potential.

2358

     12.13. May establish, subject to approval by the office,

2359

different eligibility requirements and operational procedures for

2360

any line or type of coverage for any specified county or area if

2361

the board determines that such changes to the eligibility

2362

requirements and operational procedures are justified due to the

2363

voluntary market being sufficiently stable and competitive in

2364

such area or for such line or type of coverage and that consumers

2365

who, in good faith, are unable to obtain insurance through the

2366

voluntary market through ordinary methods would continue to have

2367

access to coverage from the corporation. When coverage is sought

2368

in connection with a real property transfer, such requirements

2369

and procedures shall not provide for an effective date of

2370

coverage later than the date of the closing of the transfer as

2371

established by the transferor, the transferee, and, if

2372

applicable, the lender.

2373

     13.14. Must provide that, with respect to the high-risk

2374

account, any assessable insurer with a surplus as to

2375

policyholders of $25 million or less writing 25 percent or more

2376

of its total countrywide property insurance premiums in this

2377

state may petition the office, within the first 90 days of each

2378

calendar year, to qualify as a limited apportionment company. A

2379

regular assessment levied by the corporation on a limited

2380

apportionment company for a deficit incurred by the corporation

2381

for the high-risk account in 2006 or thereafter may be paid to

2382

the corporation on a monthly basis as the assessments are

2383

collected by the limited apportionment company from its insureds

2384

pursuant to s. 627.3512, but the regular assessment must be paid

2385

in full within 12 months after being levied by the corporation. A

2386

limited apportionment company shall collect from its

2387

policyholders any emergency assessment imposed under sub-

2388

subparagraph (b)3.d. The plan shall provide that, if the office

2389

determines that any regular assessment will result in an

2390

impairment of the surplus of a limited apportionment company, the

2391

office may direct that all or part of such assessment be deferred

2392

as provided in subparagraph (p)4. However, there shall be no

2393

limitation or deferment of an emergency assessment to be

2394

collected from policyholders under sub-subparagraph (b)3.d.

2395

     14.15. Must provide that the corporation appoint as its

2396

licensed agents only those agents who also hold an appointment as

2397

defined in s. 626.015(3) with an insurer who at the time of the

2398

agent's initial appointment by the corporation is authorized to

2399

write and is actually writing personal lines residential property

2400

coverage, commercial residential property coverage, or commercial

2401

nonresidential property coverage within the state.

2402

     15.16. Must provide, by July 1, 2007, a premium payment

2403

plan option to its policyholders which allows at a minimum for

2404

quarterly and semiannual payment of premiums. A monthly payment

2405

plan may, but is not required to, be offered.

2406

     16.17. Must limit coverage on mobile homes or manufactured

2407

homes built prior to 1994 to actual cash value of the dwelling

2408

rather than replacement costs of the dwelling.

2409

     17.18. May provide such limits of coverage as the board

2410

determines, consistent with the requirements of this subsection.

2411

     18.19. May require commercial property to meet specified

2412

hurricane mitigation construction features as a condition of

2413

eligibility for coverage.

2414

     (d)1.  All prospective employees for senior management

2415

positions, as defined by the plan of operation, are subject to

2416

background checks as a prerequisite for employment. The office

2417

shall conduct background checks on such prospective employees

2418

pursuant to ss. 624.34, 624.404(3), and 628.261.

2419

     2.  On or before July 1 of each year, employees of the

2420

corporation are required to sign and submit a statement attesting

2421

that they do not have a conflict of interest, as defined in part

2422

III of chapter 112. As a condition of employment, all prospective

2423

employees are required to sign and submit to the corporation a

2424

conflict-of-interest statement.

2425

     3.  Senior managers and members of the board of governors

2426

are subject to the provisions of part III of chapter 112,

2427

including, but not limited to, the code of ethics and public

2428

disclosure and reporting of financial interests, pursuant to s.

2429

112.3145. Senior managers and board members are also required to

2430

file such disclosures with the Commission on Ethics and the

2431

Office of Insurance Regulation. The executive director of the

2432

corporation or his or her designee shall notify each newly

2433

appointed and existing appointed member of the board of governors

2434

and senior managers of their duty to comply with the reporting

2435

requirements of part III of chapter 112. At least quarterly, the

2436

executive director or his or her designee shall submit to the

2437

Commission on Ethics a list of names of the senior managers and

2438

members of the board of governors who are subject to the public

2439

disclosure requirements under s. 112.3145.

2440

     4.  Notwithstanding s. 112.3148 or s. 112.3149, or any other

2441

provision of law, an employee or board member may not knowingly

2442

accept, directly or indirectly, any gift or expenditure from a

2443

person or entity, or an employee or representative of such person

2444

or entity, that has a contractual relationship with the

2445

corporation or who is under consideration for a contract. An

2446

employee or board member who fails to comply with subparagraph 3.

2447

or this subparagraph is subject to penalties provided under ss.

2448

112.317 and 112.3173.

2449

     5.  Any senior manager of the corporation who is employed on

2450

or after January 1, 2007, regardless of the date of hire, who

2451

subsequently retires or terminates employment is prohibited from

2452

representing another person or entity before the corporation for

2453

2 years after retirement or termination of employment from the

2454

corporation.

2455

     6.  Any senior manager of the corporation who is employed on

2456

or after January 1, 2007, regardless of the date of hire, who

2457

subsequently retires or terminates employment is prohibited from

2458

having any employment or contractual relationship for 2 years

2459

with an insurer that has entered into a take-out bonus agreement

2460

with the corporation.

2461

     (e)  Purchases that equal or exceed $2,500, but are less

2462

than $25,000, shall be made by receipt of written quotes, written

2463

record of telephone quotes, or informal bids, whenever practical.

2464

The procurement of goods or services valued at or over $25,000

2465

shall be subject to competitive solicitation, except in

2466

situations where the goods or services are provided by a sole

2467

source or are deemed an emergency purchase; the services are

2468

exempted from competitive solicitation requirements under s.

2469

287.057(5)(f); or the procurement of services is subject to s.

2470

627.3513. Justification for the sole-sourcing or emergency

2471

procurement must be documented. Contracts for goods or services

2472

valued at or over $100,000 are subject to approval by the board.

2473

     (f)  The board shall determine whether it is more cost-

2474

effective and in the best interests of the corporation to use

2475

legal services provided by in-house attorneys employed by the

2476

corporation rather than contracting with outside counsel. In

2477

making such determination, the board shall document its findings

2478

and shall consider: the expertise needed; whether time

2479

commitments exceed in-house staff resources; whether local

2480

representation is needed; the travel, lodging and other costs

2481

associated with in-house representation; and such other factors

2482

that the board determines are relevant.

2483

     (g)  The corporation may not retain a lobbyist to represent

2484

it before the legislative branch or executive branch. However,

2485

full-time employees of the corporation may register as lobbyists

2486

and represent the corporation before the legislative branch or

2487

executive branch.

2488

     (h)1.  The Office of the Internal Auditor is established

2489

within the corporation to provide a central point for

2490

coordination of and responsibility for activities that promote

2491

accountability, integrity, and efficiency to the policyholders

2492

and to the taxpayers of this state. The internal auditor shall be

2493

appointed by the board of governors, shall report to and be under

2494

the general supervision of the board of governors, and is not

2495

subject to supervision by any employee of the corporation.

2496

Administrative staff and support shall be provided by the

2497

corporation. The internal auditor shall be appointed without

2498

regard to political affiliation. It is the duty and

2499

responsibility of the internal auditor to:

2500

     a.  Provide direction for, supervise, conduct, and

2501

coordinate audits, investigations, and management reviews

2502

relating to the programs and operations of the corporation.

2503

     b.  Conduct, supervise, or coordinate other activities

2504

carried out or financed by the corporation for the purpose of

2505

promoting efficiency in the administration of, or preventing and

2506

detecting fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in, its programs and

2507

operations.

2508

     c.  Submit final audit reports, reviews, or investigative

2509

reports to the board of governors, the executive director, the

2510

members of the Financial Services Commission, and the President

2511

of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

2512

     d.  Keep the board of governors informed concerning fraud,

2513

abuses, and internal control deficiencies relating to programs

2514

and operations administered or financed by the corporation,

2515

recommend corrective action, and report on the progress made in

2516

implementing corrective action.

2517

     e.  Report expeditiously to the Department of Law

2518

Enforcement or other law enforcement agencies, as appropriate,

2519

whenever the internal auditor has reasonable grounds to believe

2520

there has been a violation of criminal law.

2521

     2.  On or before February 15, the internal auditor shall

2522

prepare an annual report evaluating the effectiveness of the

2523

internal controls of the corporation and providing

2524

recommendations for corrective action, if necessary, and

2525

summarizing the audits, reviews, and investigations conducted by

2526

the office during the preceding fiscal year. The final report

2527

shall be furnished to the board of governors and the executive

2528

director, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House

2529

of Representatives, and the Financial Services Commission.

2530

     (i)  All records of the corporation, except as otherwise

2531

provided by law, are subject to the record retention requirements

2532

of s. 119.021.

2533

     (j)1.  The corporation shall establish and maintain a unit

2534

or division to investigate possible fraudulent claims by insureds

2535

or by persons making claims for services or repairs against

2536

policies held by insureds; or it may contract with others to

2537

investigate possible fraudulent claims for services or repairs

2538

against policies held by the corporation pursuant to s. 626.9891.

2539

The corporation must comply with reporting requirements of s.

2540

626.9891. An employee of the corporation shall notify the

2541

corporation's Office of the Internal Auditor and the Division of

2542

Insurance Fraud within 48 hours after having information that

2543

would lead a reasonable person to suspect that fraud may have

2544

been committed by any employee of the corporation.

2545

     2.  The corporation shall establish a unit or division

2546

responsible for receiving and responding to consumer complaints,

2547

which unit or division is the sole responsibility of a senior

2548

manager of the corporation.

2549

     (k)  The office shall conduct a comprehensive market conduct

2550

examination of the corporation every 2 years to determine

2551

compliance with its plan of operation and internal operations

2552

procedures. The first market conduct examination report shall be

2553

submitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the

2554

House of Representatives no later than February 1, 2009.

2555

Subsequent reports shall be submitted on or before February 1

2556

every 2 years thereafter.

2557

     (l)  The Auditor General shall conduct an operational audit

2558

of the corporation every 3 years to evaluate management's

2559

performance in administering laws, policies, and procedures

2560

governing the operations of the corporation in an efficient and

2561

effective manner. The scope of the review shall include, but is

2562

not limited to, evaluating claims handling, customer service,

2563

take-out programs and bonuses, financing arrangements,

2564

procurement of goods and services, internal controls, and the

2565

internal audit function. The initial audit must be completed by

2566

February 1, 2009.

2567

     (m)1.  Rates for coverage provided by the corporation shall

2568

be actuarially sound and subject to the requirements of s.

2569

627.062, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph. The

2570

corporation shall file its recommended rates with the office at

2571

least annually. The corporation shall provide any additional

2572

information regarding the rates which the office requires. The

2573

office shall consider the recommendations of the board and issue

2574

a final order establishing the rates for the corporation within

2575

45 days after the recommended rates are filed. The corporation

2576

may not pursue an administrative challenge or judicial review of

2577

the final order of the office.

2578

     2.  In addition to the rates otherwise determined pursuant

2579

to this paragraph, the corporation shall impose and collect an

2580

amount equal to the premium tax provided for in s. 624.509 to

2581

augment the financial resources of the corporation.

2582

     3.  After the public hurricane loss-projection model under

2583

s. 627.06281 has been found to be accurate and reliable by the

2584

Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, that

2585

model shall serve as the minimum benchmark for determining the

2586

windstorm portion of the corporation's rates. This subparagraph

2587

does not require or allow the corporation to adopt rates lower

2588

than the rates otherwise required or allowed by this paragraph.

2589

     4.  The rate filings for the corporation which were approved

2590

by the office and which took effect January 1, 2007, are

2591

rescinded, except for those rates that were lowered. As soon as

2592

possible, the corporation shall begin using the lower rates that

2593

were in effect on December 31, 2006, and shall provide refunds to

2594

policyholders who have paid higher rates as a result of that rate

2595

filing. The rates in effect on December 31, 2006, shall remain in

2596

effect for the 2007, and 2008, and 2009 calendar years except for

2597

any rate change that results in a lower rate. The next rate

2598

change that may increase rates shall take effect no earlier than

2599

January 1, 2010 January 1, 2009, pursuant to a new rate filing

2600

recommended by the corporation and established by the office,

2601

subject to the requirements of this paragraph.

2602

     5. The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest

2603

to ensure that increased rates for coverage by the corporation be

2604

implemented incrementally in order to provide rate stability and

2605

predictability to its policyholders.

2606

     a. Beginning on or after January 1, 2010, the corporation

2607

must make an annual filing for each personal and commercial line

2608

of business it writes.

2609

     b. For the years 2010 through 2012, rates established by

2610

the office for the corporation for its personal residential

2611

multiperil policies, its commercial residential multiperil

2612

policies, and its commercial nonresidential multiperil policies

2613

may not result in any year in an overall average statewide

2614

premium increase of more than 10 percent or an increase for any

2615

single policyholder of more than 10 percent, excluding coverage

2616

changes and surcharges.

2617

     c. For the years 2010 through 2012, rates established by

2618

the office for the corporation for its personal residential wind-

2619

only policies, its commercial residential wind-only policies, and

2620

its commercial nonresidential wind-only policies may not result

2621

in any year in an overall average statewide premium increase of

2622

more than 15 percent or an increase for any single policyholder

2623

of more than 15 percent, excluding coverage changes and

2624

surcharges.

2625

     (n)  If coverage in an account is deactivated pursuant to

2626

paragraph (o), coverage through the corporation shall be

2627

reactivated by order of the office only under one of the

2628

following circumstances:

2629

     1.  If the market assistance plan receives a minimum of 100

2630

applications for coverage within a 3-month period, or 200

2631

applications for coverage within a 1-year period or less for

2632

residential coverage, unless the market assistance plan provides

2633

a quotation from admitted carriers at their filed rates for at

2634

least 90 percent of such applicants. Any market assistance plan

2635

application that is rejected because an individual risk is so

2636

hazardous as to be uninsurable using the criteria specified in

2637

subparagraph (c)9. shall not be included in the minimum

2638

percentage calculation provided herein. In the event that there

2639

is a legal or administrative challenge to a determination by the

2640

office that the conditions of this subparagraph have been met for

2641

eligibility for coverage in the corporation, any eligible risk

2642

may obtain coverage during the pendency of such challenge.

2643

     2.  In response to a state of emergency declared by the

2644

Governor under s. 252.36, the office may activate coverage by

2645

order for the period of the emergency upon a finding by the

2646

office that the emergency significantly affects the availability

2647

of residential property insurance.

2648

     (o)1.  The corporation shall file with the office quarterly

2649

statements of financial condition, an annual statement of

2650

financial condition, and audited financial statements in the

2651

manner prescribed by law. In addition, the corporation shall

2652

report to the office monthly on the types, premium, exposure, and

2653

distribution by county of its policies in force, and shall submit

2654

other reports as the office requires to carry out its oversight

2655

of the corporation.

2656

     2.  The activities of the corporation shall be reviewed at

2657

least annually by the office to determine whether coverage shall

2658

be deactivated in an account on the basis that the conditions

2659

giving rise to its activation no longer exist.

2660

     (p)1.  The corporation shall certify to the office its needs

2661

for annual assessments as to a particular calendar year, and for

2662

any interim assessments that it deems to be necessary to sustain

2663

operations as to a particular year pending the receipt of annual

2664

assessments. Upon verification, the office shall approve such

2665

certification, and the corporation shall levy such annual or

2666

interim assessments. Such assessments shall be prorated as

2667

provided in paragraph (b). The corporation shall take all

2668

reasonable and prudent steps necessary to collect the amount of

2669

assessment due from each assessable insurer, including, if

2670

prudent, filing suit to collect such assessment. If the

2671

corporation is unable to collect an assessment from any

2672

assessable insurer, the uncollected assessments shall be levied

2673

as an additional assessment against the assessable insurers and

2674

any assessable insurer required to pay an additional assessment

2675

as a result of such failure to pay shall have a cause of action

2676

against such nonpaying assessable insurer. Assessments shall be

2677

included as an appropriate factor in the making of rates. The

2678

failure of a surplus lines agent to collect and remit any regular

2679

or emergency assessment levied by the corporation is considered

2680

to be a violation of s. 626.936 and subjects the surplus lines

2681

agent to the penalties provided in that section.

2682

     2.  The governing body of any unit of local government, any

2683

residents of which are insured by the corporation, may issue

2684

bonds as defined in s. 125.013 or s. 166.101 from time to time to

2685

fund an assistance program, in conjunction with the corporation,

2686

for the purpose of defraying deficits of the corporation. In

2687

order to avoid needless and indiscriminate proliferation,

2688

duplication, and fragmentation of such assistance programs, any

2689

unit of local government, any residents of which are insured by

2690

the corporation, may provide for the payment of losses,

2691

regardless of whether or not the losses occurred within or

2692

outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the local government.

2693

Revenue bonds under this subparagraph may not be issued until

2694

validated pursuant to chapter 75, unless a state of emergency is

2695

declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor

2696

pursuant to s. 252.36 making such findings as are necessary to

2697

determine that it is in the best interests of, and necessary for,

2698

the protection of the public health, safety, and general welfare

2699

of residents of this state and declaring it an essential public

2700

purpose to permit certain municipalities or counties to issue

2701

such bonds as will permit relief to claimants and policyholders

2702

of the corporation. Any such unit of local government may enter

2703

into such contracts with the corporation and with any other

2704

entity created pursuant to this subsection as are necessary to

2705

carry out this paragraph. Any bonds issued under this

2706

subparagraph shall be payable from and secured by moneys received

2707

by the corporation from emergency assessments under sub-

2708

subparagraph (b)3.d., and assigned and pledged to or on behalf of

2709

the unit of local government for the benefit of the holders of

2710

such bonds. The funds, credit, property, and taxing power of the

2711

state or of the unit of local government shall not be pledged for

2712

the payment of such bonds. If any of the bonds remain unsold 60

2713

days after issuance, the office shall require all insurers

2714

subject to assessment to purchase the bonds, which shall be

2715

treated as admitted assets; each insurer shall be required to

2716

purchase that percentage of the unsold portion of the bond issue

2717

that equals the insurer's relative share of assessment liability

2718

under this subsection. An insurer shall not be required to

2719

purchase the bonds to the extent that the office determines that

2720

the purchase would endanger or impair the solvency of the

2721

insurer.

2722

     3.a.  The corporation shall adopt one or more programs

2723

subject to approval by the office for the reduction of both new

2724

and renewal writings in the corporation. Beginning January 1,

2725

2008, any program the corporation adopts for the payment of

2726

bonuses to an insurer for each risk the insurer removes from the

2727

corporation shall comply with s. 627.3511(2) and may not exceed

2728

the amount referenced in s. 627.3511(2) for each risk removed.

2729

The corporation may consider any prudent and not unfairly

2730

discriminatory approach to reducing corporation writings, and may

2731

adopt a credit against assessment liability or other liability

2732

that provides an incentive for insurers to take risks out of the

2733

corporation and to keep risks out of the corporation by

2734

maintaining or increasing voluntary writings in counties or areas

2735

in which corporation risks are highly concentrated and a program

2736

to provide a formula under which an insurer voluntarily taking

2737

risks out of the corporation by maintaining or increasing

2738

voluntary writings will be relieved wholly or partially from

2739

assessments under sub-subparagraphs (b)3.a. and b. However, any

2740

"take-out bonus" or payment to an insurer must be conditioned on

2741

the property being insured for at least 5 years by the insurer,

2742

unless canceled or nonrenewed by the policyholder. If the policy

2743

is canceled or nonrenewed by the policyholder before the end of

2744

the 5-year period, the amount of the take-out bonus must be

2745

prorated for the time period the policy was insured. When the

2746

corporation enters into a contractual agreement for a take-out

2747

plan, the producing agent of record of the corporation policy is

2748

entitled to retain any unearned commission on such policy, and

2749

the insurer shall either:

2750

     (I)  Pay to the producing agent of record of the policy, for

2751

the first year, an amount which is the greater of the insurer's

2752

usual and customary commission for the type of policy written or

2753

a policy fee equal to the usual and customary commission of the

2754

corporation; or

2755

     (II)  Offer to allow the producing agent of record of the

2756

policy to continue servicing the policy for a period of not less

2757

than 1 year and offer to pay the agent the insurer's usual and

2758

customary commission for the type of policy written. If the

2759

producing agent is unwilling or unable to accept appointment by

2760

the new insurer, the new insurer shall pay the agent in

2761

accordance with sub-sub-subparagraph (I).

2762

     b.  Any credit or exemption from regular assessments adopted

2763

under this subparagraph shall last no longer than the 3 years

2764

following the cancellation or expiration of the policy by the

2765

corporation. With the approval of the office, the board may

2766

extend such credits for an additional year if the insurer

2767

guarantees an additional year of renewability for all policies

2768

removed from the corporation, or for 2 additional years if the

2769

insurer guarantees 2 additional years of renewability for all

2770

policies so removed.

2771

     c.  There shall be no credit, limitation, exemption, or

2772

deferment from emergency assessments to be collected from

2773

policyholders pursuant to sub-subparagraph (b)3.d.

2774

     d. Subject to the execution of the confidentiality

2775

agreement required by paragraph (w), the corporation shall make

2776

its database of policies available to prospective take-out

2777

insurers considering underwriting a risk insured by the

2778

corporation, without categorically eliminating policies from

2779

eligibility for removal. The corporation may not instruct or

2780

encourage prospective take-out insurers to avoid the selection of

2781

policies for which the agent has disapproved policy removals. The

2782

corporation must require agents to accept or decline appointment

2783

for any policy selected and, in the case of a declination, must

2784

notify the policyholder that an insurer, identified by name,

2785

selected his or her policy for a take-out offer, but that the

2786

policyholder's agent refused to be appointed by the insurer. The

2787

notice must also provide the policyholder with the take-out

2788

insurer's contact information so that the policyholder may

2789

contact the company directly and make his or her own

2790

determination of whether to seek coverage from the take-out

2791

insurer.

2792

     4.  The plan shall provide for the deferment, in whole or in

2793

part, of the assessment of an assessable insurer, other than an

2794

emergency assessment collected from policyholders pursuant to

2795

sub-subparagraph (b)3.d., if the office finds that payment of the

2796

assessment would endanger or impair the solvency of the insurer.

2797

In the event an assessment against an assessable insurer is

2798

deferred in whole or in part, the amount by which such assessment

2799

is deferred may be assessed against the other assessable insurers

2800

in a manner consistent with the basis for assessments set forth

2801

in paragraph (b).

2802

     5.  Effective July 1, 2007, in order to evaluate the costs

2803

and benefits of approved take-out plans, if the corporation pays

2804

a bonus or other payment to an insurer for an approved take-out

2805

plan, it shall maintain a record of the address or such other

2806

identifying information on the property or risk removed in order

2807

to track if and when the property or risk is later insured by the

2808

corporation.

2809

     6.  Any policy taken out, assumed, or removed from the

2810

corporation is, as of the effective date of the take-out,

2811

assumption, or removal, direct insurance issued by the insurer

2812

and not by the corporation, even if the corporation continues to

2813

service the policies. This subparagraph applies to policies of

2814

the corporation and not policies taken out, assumed, or removed

2815

from any other entity.

2816

     (q)  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to

2817

preclude the issuance of residential property insurance coverage

2818

pursuant to part VIII of chapter 626.

2819

     (r)1.  There shall be no liability on the part of, and no

2820

cause of action of any nature shall arise against, any assessable

2821

insurer or its agents or employees, the corporation or its agents

2822

or employees, members of the board of governors or their

2823

respective designees at a board meeting, corporation committee

2824

members, or the office or its representatives, for any action

2825

taken by them in the performance of their duties or

2826

responsibilities under this subsection. Such immunity does not

2827

apply to:

2828

     a.  Any of the foregoing persons or entities for any willful

2829

tort;

2830

     b.  The corporation or its producing agents for breach of

2831

any contract or agreement pertaining to insurance coverage;

2832

     c.  The corporation with respect to issuance or payment of

2833

debt;

2834

     d.  Any assessable insurer with respect to any action to

2835

enforce an assessable insurer's obligations to the corporation

2836

under this subsection; or

2837

     e.  The corporation in any pending or future action for

2838

breach of contract or for benefits under a policy issued by the

2839

corporation; in any such action, the corporation shall be liable

2840

to the policyholders and beneficiaries for attorney's fees under

2841

s. 627.428.

2842

     2.  The corporation shall manage its claim employees,

2843

independent adjusters, and others who handle claims to ensure

2844

they carry out the corporation's duty to its policyholders to

2845

handle claims carefully, timely, diligently, and in good faith,

2846

balanced against the corporation's duty to the state to manage

2847

its assets responsibly to minimize its assessment potential.

2848

     (s)  For the purposes of s. 199.183(1), the corporation

2849

shall be considered a political subdivision of the state and

2850

shall be exempt from the corporate income tax. The premiums,

2851

assessments, investment income, and other revenue of the

2852

corporation are funds received for providing property insurance

2853

coverage as required by this subsection, paying claims for

2854

Florida citizens insured by the corporation, securing and

2855

repaying debt obligations issued by the corporation, and

2856

conducting all other activities of the corporation, and shall not

2857

be considered taxes, fees, licenses, or charges for services

2858

imposed by the Legislature on individuals, businesses, or

2859

agencies outside state government. Bonds and other debt

2860

obligations issued by or on behalf of the corporation are not to

2861

be considered "state bonds" within the meaning of s. 215.58(8).

2862

The corporation is not subject to the procurement provisions of

2863

chapter 287, and policies and decisions of the corporation

2864

relating to incurring debt, levying of assessments and the sale,

2865

issuance, continuation, terms and claims under corporation

2866

policies, and all services relating thereto, are not subject to

2867

the provisions of chapter 120. The corporation is not required to

2868

obtain or to hold a certificate of authority issued by the

2869

office, nor is it required to participate as a member insurer of

2870

the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association. However, the

2871

corporation is required to pay, in the same manner as an

2872

authorized insurer, assessments levied by the Florida Insurance

2873

Guaranty Association. It is the intent of the Legislature that

2874

the tax exemptions provided in this paragraph will augment the

2875

financial resources of the corporation to better enable the

2876

corporation to fulfill its public purposes. Any debt obligations

2877

issued by the corporation, their transfer, and the income

2878

therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall

2879

at all times be free from taxation of every kind by the state and

2880

any political subdivision or local unit or other instrumentality

2881

thereof; however, this exemption does not apply to any tax

2882

imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or profits on debt

2883

obligations owned by corporations other than the corporation.

2884

     (t)  Upon a determination by the office that the conditions

2885

giving rise to the establishment and activation of the

2886

corporation no longer exist, the corporation is dissolved. Upon

2887

dissolution, the assets of the corporation shall be applied first

2888

to pay all debts, liabilities, and obligations of the

2889

corporation, including the establishment of reasonable reserves

2890

for any contingent liabilities or obligations, and all remaining

2891

assets of the corporation shall become property of the state and

2892

shall be deposited in the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

2893

However, no dissolution shall take effect as long as the

2894

corporation has bonds or other financial obligations outstanding

2895

unless adequate provision has been made for the payment of the

2896

bonds or other financial obligations pursuant to the documents

2897

authorizing the issuance of the bonds or other financial

2898

obligations.

2899

     (u)1.  Effective July 1, 2002, policies of the Residential

2900

Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association shall become

2901

policies of the corporation. All obligations, rights, assets and

2902

liabilities of the Residential Property and Casualty Joint

2903

Underwriting Association, including bonds, note and debt

2904

obligations, and the financing documents pertaining to them

2905

become those of the corporation as of July 1, 2002. The

2906

corporation is not required to issue endorsements or certificates

2907

of assumption to insureds during the remaining term of in-force

2908

transferred policies.

2909

     2.  Effective July 1, 2002, policies of the Florida

2910

Windstorm Underwriting Association are transferred to the

2911

corporation and shall become policies of the corporation. All

2912

obligations, rights, assets, and liabilities of the Florida

2913

Windstorm Underwriting Association, including bonds, note and

2914

debt obligations, and the financing documents pertaining to them

2915

are transferred to and assumed by the corporation on July 1,

2916

2002. The corporation is not required to issue endorsements or

2917

certificates of assumption to insureds during the remaining term

2918

of in-force transferred policies.

2919

     3.  The Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association and the

2920

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association

2921

shall take all actions as may be proper to further evidence the

2922

transfers and shall provide the documents and instruments of

2923

further assurance as may reasonably be requested by the

2924

corporation for that purpose. The corporation shall execute

2925

assumptions and instruments as the trustees or other parties to

2926

the financing documents of the Florida Windstorm Underwriting

2927

Association or the Residential Property and Casualty Joint

2928

Underwriting Association may reasonably request to further

2929

evidence the transfers and assumptions, which transfers and

2930

assumptions, however, are effective on the date provided under

2931

this paragraph whether or not, and regardless of the date on

2932

which, the assumptions or instruments are executed by the

2933

corporation. Subject to the relevant financing documents

2934

pertaining to their outstanding bonds, notes, indebtedness, or

2935

other financing obligations, the moneys, investments,

2936

receivables, choses in action, and other intangibles of the

2937

Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association shall be credited to

2938

the high-risk account of the corporation, and those of the

2939

personal lines residential coverage account and the commercial

2940

lines residential coverage account of the Residential Property

2941

and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association shall be credited to

2942

the personal lines account and the commercial lines account,

2943

respectively, of the corporation.

2944

     4.  Effective July 1, 2002, a new applicant for property

2945

insurance coverage who would otherwise have been eligible for

2946

coverage in the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association is

2947

eligible for coverage from the corporation as provided in this

2948

subsection.

2949

     5.  The transfer of all policies, obligations, rights,

2950

assets, and liabilities from the Florida Windstorm Underwriting

2951

Association to the corporation and the renaming of the

2952

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association

2953

as the corporation shall in no way affect the coverage with

2954

respect to covered policies as defined in s. 215.555(2)(c)

2955

provided to these entities by the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe

2956

Fund. The coverage provided by the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe

2957

Fund to the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association based on

2958

its exposures as of June 30, 2002, and each June 30 thereafter

2959

shall be redesignated as coverage for the high-risk account of

2960

the corporation. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the

2961

coverage provided by the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund to

2962

the Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting

2963

Association based on its exposures as of June 30, 2002, and each

2964

June 30 thereafter shall be transferred to the personal lines

2965

account and the commercial lines account of the corporation.

2966

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the high-risk account

2967

shall be treated, for all Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

2968

purposes, as if it were a separate participating insurer with its

2969

own exposures, reimbursement premium, and loss reimbursement.

2970

Likewise, the personal lines and commercial lines accounts shall

2971

be viewed together, for all Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

2972

purposes, as if the two accounts were one and represent a single,

2973

separate participating insurer with its own exposures,

2974

reimbursement premium, and loss reimbursement. The coverage

2975

provided by the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund to the

2976

corporation shall constitute and operate as a full transfer of

2977

coverage from the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association and

2978

Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting to the

2979

corporation.

2980

     (v)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law:

2981

     1.  The pledge or sale of, the lien upon, and the security

2982

interest in any rights, revenues, or other assets of the

2983

corporation created or purported to be created pursuant to any

2984

financing documents to secure any bonds or other indebtedness of

2985

the corporation shall be and remain valid and enforceable,

2986

notwithstanding the commencement of and during the continuation

2987

of, and after, any rehabilitation, insolvency, liquidation,

2988

bankruptcy, receivership, conservatorship, reorganization, or

2989

similar proceeding against the corporation under the laws of this

2990

state.

2991

     2.  No such proceeding shall relieve the corporation of its

2992

obligation, or otherwise affect its ability to perform its

2993

obligation, to continue to collect, or levy and collect,

2994

assessments, market equalization or other surcharges under

2995

subparagraph (c)11., or any other rights, revenues, or other

2996

assets of the corporation pledged pursuant to any financing

2997

documents.

2998

     3.  Each such pledge or sale of, lien upon, and security

2999

interest in, including the priority of such pledge, lien, or

3000

security interest, any such assessments, market equalization or

3001

other surcharges, or other rights, revenues, or other assets

3002

which are collected, or levied and collected, after the

3003

commencement of and during the pendency of, or after, any such

3004

proceeding shall continue unaffected by such proceeding. As used

3005

in this subsection, the term "financing documents" means any

3006

agreement or agreements, instrument or instruments, or other

3007

document or documents now existing or hereafter created

3008

evidencing any bonds or other indebtedness of the corporation or

3009

pursuant to which any such bonds or other indebtedness has been

3010

or may be issued and pursuant to which any rights, revenues, or

3011

other assets of the corporation are pledged or sold to secure the

3012

repayment of such bonds or indebtedness, together with the

3013

payment of interest on such bonds or such indebtedness, or the

3014

payment of any other obligation or financial product, as defined

3015

in the plan of operation of the corporation related to such bonds

3016

or indebtedness.

3017

     4.  Any such pledge or sale of assessments, revenues,

3018

contract rights, or other rights or assets of the corporation

3019

shall constitute a lien and security interest, or sale, as the

3020

case may be, that is immediately effective and attaches to such

3021

assessments, revenues, or contract rights or other rights or

3022

assets, whether or not imposed or collected at the time the

3023

pledge or sale is made. Any such pledge or sale is effective,

3024

valid, binding, and enforceable against the corporation or other

3025

entity making such pledge or sale, and valid and binding against

3026

and superior to any competing claims or obligations owed to any

3027

other person or entity, including policyholders in this state,

3028

asserting rights in any such assessments, revenues, or contract

3029

rights or other rights or assets to the extent set forth in and

3030

in accordance with the terms of the pledge or sale contained in

3031

the applicable financing documents, whether or not any such

3032

person or entity has notice of such pledge or sale and without

3033

the need for any physical delivery, recordation, filing, or other

3034

action.

3035

     5.  As long as the corporation has any bonds outstanding,

3036

the corporation may not file a voluntary petition under chapter 9

3037

of the federal Bankruptcy Code or such corresponding chapter or

3038

sections as may be in effect, from time to time, and a public

3039

officer or any organization, entity, or other person may not

3040

authorize the corporation to be or become a debtor under chapter

3041

9 of the federal Bankruptcy Code or such corresponding chapter or

3042

sections as may be in effect, from time to time, during any such

3043

period.

3044

     6.  If ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, the

3045

corporation may assume policies or otherwise provide coverage for

3046

policyholders of an insurer placed in liquidation under chapter

3047

631, under such forms, rates, terms, and conditions as the

3048

corporation deems appropriate, subject to approval by the office.

3049

     (w)1.  The following records of the corporation are

3050

confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and

3051

s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:

3052

     a.  Underwriting files, except that a policyholder or an

3053

applicant shall have access to his or her own underwriting files.

3054

     b.  Claims files, until termination of all litigation and

3055

settlement of all claims arising out of the same incident,

3056

although portions of the claims files may remain exempt, as

3057

otherwise provided by law. Confidential and exempt claims file

3058

records may be released to other governmental agencies upon

3059

written request and demonstration of need; such records held by

3060

the receiving agency remain confidential and exempt as provided

3061

for herein.

3062

     c.  Records obtained or generated by an internal auditor

3063

pursuant to a routine audit, until the audit is completed, or if

3064

the audit is conducted as part of an investigation, until the

3065

investigation is closed or ceases to be active. An investigation

3066

is considered "active" while the investigation is being conducted

3067

with a reasonable, good faith belief that it could lead to the

3068

filing of administrative, civil, or criminal proceedings.

3069

     d.  Matters reasonably encompassed in privileged attorney-

3070

client communications.

3071

     e.  Proprietary information licensed to the corporation

3072

under contract and the contract provides for the confidentiality

3073

of such proprietary information.

3074

     f.  All information relating to the medical condition or

3075

medical status of a corporation employee which is not relevant to

3076

the employee's capacity to perform his or her duties, except as

3077

otherwise provided in this paragraph. Information which is exempt

3078

shall include, but is not limited to, information relating to

3079

workers' compensation, insurance benefits, and retirement or

3080

disability benefits.

3081

     g.  Upon an employee's entrance into the employee assistance

3082

program, a program to assist any employee who has a behavioral or

3083

medical disorder, substance abuse problem, or emotional

3084

difficulty which affects the employee's job performance, all

3085

records relative to that participation shall be confidential and

3086

exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I

3087

of the State Constitution, except as otherwise provided in s.

3088

112.0455(11).

3089

     h.  Information relating to negotiations for financing,

3090

reinsurance, depopulation, or contractual services, until the

3091

conclusion of the negotiations.

3092

     i.  Minutes of closed meetings regarding underwriting files,

3093

and minutes of closed meetings regarding an open claims file

3094

until termination of all litigation and settlement of all claims

3095

with regard to that claim, except that information otherwise

3096

confidential or exempt by law will be redacted.

3097

3098

When an authorized insurer is considering underwriting a risk

3099

insured by the corporation, relevant underwriting files and

3100

confidential claims files may be released to the insurer provided

3101

the insurer agrees in writing, notarized and under oath, to

3102

maintain the confidentiality of such files. When a file is

3103

transferred to an insurer that file is no longer a public record

3104

because it is not held by an agency subject to the provisions of

3105

the public records law. Underwriting files and confidential

3106

claims files may also be released to staff of and the board of

3107

governors of the market assistance plan established pursuant to

3108

s. 627.3515, who must retain the confidentiality of such files,

3109

except such files may be released to authorized insurers that are

3110

considering assuming the risks to which the files apply, provided

3111

the insurer agrees in writing, notarized and under oath, to

3112

maintain the confidentiality of such files. Finally, the

3113

corporation or the board or staff of the market assistance plan

3114

may make the following information obtained from underwriting

3115

files and confidential claims files available to licensed general

3116

lines insurance agents: name, address, and telephone number of

3117

the residential property owner or insured; location of the risk;

3118

rating information; loss history; and policy type. The receiving

3119

licensed general lines insurance agent must retain the

3120

confidentiality of the information received.

3121

     2.  Portions of meetings of the corporation are exempt from

3122

the provisions of s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State

3123

Constitution wherein confidential underwriting files or

3124

confidential open claims files are discussed. All portions of

3125

corporation meetings which are closed to the public shall be

3126

recorded by a court reporter. The court reporter shall record the

3127

times of commencement and termination of the meeting, all

3128

discussion and proceedings, the names of all persons present at

3129

any time, and the names of all persons speaking. No portion of

3130

any closed meeting shall be off the record. Subject to the

3131

provisions hereof and s. 119.07(1)(e)-(g), the court reporter's

3132

notes of any closed meeting shall be retained by the corporation

3133

for a minimum of 5 years. A copy of the transcript, less any

3134

exempt matters, of any closed meeting wherein claims are

3135

discussed shall become public as to individual claims after

3136

settlement of the claim.

3137

     (x)  It is the intent of the Legislature that the amendments

3138

to this subsection enacted in 2002 should, over time, reduce the

3139

probable maximum windstorm losses in the residual markets and

3140

should reduce the potential assessments to be levied on property

3141

insurers and policyholders statewide. In furtherance of this

3142

intent:

3143

     1.  The board shall, on or before February 1 of each year,

3144

provide a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker

3145

of the House of Representatives showing the reduction or increase

3146

in the 100-year probable maximum loss attributable to wind-only

3147

coverages and the quota share program under this subsection

3148

combined, as compared to the benchmark 100-year probable maximum

3149

loss of the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association. For

3150

purposes of this paragraph, the benchmark 100-year probable

3151

maximum loss of the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association

3152

shall be the calculation dated February 2001 and based on

3153

November 30, 2000, exposures. In order to ensure comparability of

3154

data, the board shall use the same methods for calculating its

3155

probable maximum loss as were used to calculate the benchmark

3156

probable maximum loss.

3157

     2.  Beginning February 1, 2010, if the report under

3158

subparagraph 1. for any year indicates that the 100-year probable

3159

maximum loss attributable to wind-only coverages and the quota

3160

share program combined does not reflect a reduction of at least

3161

25 percent from the benchmark, the board shall reduce the

3162

boundaries of the high-risk area eligible for wind-only coverages

3163

under this subsection in a manner calculated to reduce such

3164

probable maximum loss to an amount at least 25 percent below the

3165

benchmark.

3166

     3.  Beginning February 1, 2015, if the report under

3167

subparagraph 1. for any year indicates that the 100-year probable

3168

maximum loss attributable to wind-only coverages and the quota

3169

share program combined does not reflect a reduction of at least

3170

50 percent from the benchmark, the boundaries of the high-risk

3171

area eligible for wind-only coverages under this subsection shall

3172

be reduced by the elimination of any area that is not seaward of

3173

a line 1,000 feet inland from the Intracoastal Waterway.

3174

     (y)  In enacting the provisions of this section, the

3175

Legislature recognizes that both the Florida Windstorm

3176

Underwriting Association and the Residential Property and

3177

Casualty Joint Underwriting Association have entered into

3178

financing arrangements that obligate each entity to service its

3179

debts and maintain the capacity to repay funds secured under

3180

these financing arrangements. It is the intent of the Legislature

3181

that nothing in this section be construed to compromise,

3182

diminish, or interfere with the rights of creditors under such

3183

financing arrangements. It is further the intent of the

3184

Legislature to preserve the obligations of the Florida Windstorm

3185

Underwriting Association and Residential Property and Casualty

3186

Joint Underwriting Association with regard to outstanding

3187

financing arrangements, with such obligations passing entirely

3188

and unchanged to the corporation and, specifically, to the

3189

applicable account of the corporation. So long as any bonds,

3190

notes, indebtedness, or other financing obligations of the

3191

Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association or the Residential

3192

Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association are

3193

outstanding, under the terms of the financing documents

3194

pertaining to them, the governing board of the corporation shall

3195

have and shall exercise the authority to levy, charge, collect,

3196

and receive all premiums, assessments, surcharges, charges,

3197

revenues, and receipts that the associations had authority to

3198

levy, charge, collect, or receive under the provisions of

3199

subsection (2) and this subsection, respectively, as they existed

3200

on January 1, 2002, to provide moneys, without exercise of the

3201

authority provided by this subsection, in at least the amounts,

3202

and by the times, as would be provided under those former

3203

provisions of subsection (2) or this subsection, respectively, so

3204

that the value, amount, and collectability of any assets,

3205

revenues, or revenue source pledged or committed to, or any lien

3206

thereon securing such outstanding bonds, notes, indebtedness, or

3207

other financing obligations will not be diminished, impaired, or

3208

adversely affected by the amendments made by this act and to

3209

permit compliance with all provisions of financing documents

3210

pertaining to such bonds, notes, indebtedness, or other financing

3211

obligations, or the security or credit enhancement for them, and

3212

any reference in this subsection to bonds, notes, indebtedness,

3213

financing obligations, or similar obligations, of the corporation

3214

shall include like instruments or contracts of the Florida

3215

Windstorm Underwriting Association and the Residential Property

3216

and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association to the extent not

3217

inconsistent with the provisions of the financing documents

3218

pertaining to them.

3219

     (z)  The corporation shall not require the securing of flood

3220

insurance as a condition of coverage if the insured or applicant

3221

executes a form approved by the office affirming that flood

3222

insurance is not provided by the corporation and that if flood

3223

insurance is not secured by the applicant or insured in addition

3224

to coverage by the corporation, the risk will not be covered for

3225

flood damage. A corporation policyholder electing not to secure

3226

flood insurance and executing a form as provided herein making a

3227

claim for water damage against the corporation shall have the

3228

burden of proving the damage was not caused by flooding.

3229

Notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection, the

3230

corporation may deny coverage to an applicant or insured who

3231

refuses to execute the form described herein.

3232

     (aa)  A salaried employee of the corporation who performs

3233

policy administration services subsequent to the effectuation of

3234

a corporation policy is not required to be licensed as an agent

3235

under the provisions of s. 626.112.

3236

     (bb)  By February 1, 2007, the corporation shall submit a

3237

report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House

3238

of Representatives, the minority party leaders of the Senate and

3239

the House of Representatives, and the chairs of the standing

3240

committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives having

3241

jurisdiction over matters relating to property and casualty

3242

insurance. In preparing the report, the corporation shall consult

3243

with the Office of Insurance Regulation, the Department of

3244

Financial Services, and any other party the corporation

3245

determines appropriate. The report must include all findings and

3246

recommendations on the feasibility of requiring authorized

3247

insurers that issue and service personal and commercial

3248

residential policies and commercial nonresidential policies that

3249

provide coverage for basic property perils except for the peril

3250

of wind to issue and service for a fee personal and commercial

3251

residential policies and commercial nonresidential policies

3252

providing coverage for the peril of wind issued by the

3253

corporation. The report must include:

3254

     1.  The expense savings to the corporation of issuing and

3255

servicing such policies as determined by a cost-benefit analysis.

3256

     2.  The expenses and liability to authorized insurers

3257

associated with issuing and servicing such policies.

3258

     3.  The effect on service to policyholders of the

3259

corporation relating to issuing and servicing such policies.

3260

     4.  The effect on the producing agent of the corporation of

3261

issuing and servicing such policies.

3262

     5.  Recommendations as to the amount of the fee which should

3263

be paid to authorized insurers for issuing and servicing such

3264

policies.

3265

     6.  The effect that issuing and servicing such policies will

3266

have on the corporation's number of policies, total insured

3267

value, and probable maximum loss.

3268

     (cc)  There shall be no liability on the part of, and no

3269

cause of action of any nature shall arise against, producing

3270

agents of record of the corporation or employees of such agents

3271

for insolvency of any take-out insurer.

3272

     (dd)1. For policies subject to nonrenewal as a result of

3273

the risk being no longer eligible for coverage due to being

3274

valued at $1 million or more, the corporation shall, directly or

3275

through the market assistance plan, make information from

3276

confidential underwriting and claims files of policyholders

3277

available only to licensed general lines agents who register with

3278

the corporation to receive such information according to the

3279

following procedures:

3280

     2. By August 1, 2006, the corporation shall provide such

3281

policyholders who are not eligible for renewal the opportunity to

3282

request in writing, within 30 days after the notification is

3283

sent, that information from their confidential underwriting and

3284

claims files not be released to licensed general lines agents

3285

registered pursuant to this paragraph.

3286

     3. By August 1, 2006, the corporation shall make available

3287

to licensed general lines agents the registration procedures to

3288

be used to obtain confidential information from underwriting and

3289

claims files for such policies not eligible for renewal. As a

3290

condition of registration, the corporation shall require the

3291

licensed general lines agent to attest that the agent has the

3292

experience and relationships with authorized or surplus lines

3293

carriers to attempt to offer replacement coverage for such

3294

policies.

3295

     4. By September 1, 2006, the corporation shall make

3296

available through a secured website to licensed general lines

3297

agents registered pursuant to this paragraph application, rating,

3298

loss history, mitigation, and policy type information relating to

3299

such policies not eligible for renewal and for which the

3300

policyholder has not requested the corporation withhold such

3301

information. The registered licensed general lines agent may use

3302

such information to contact and assist the policyholder in

3303

securing replacement policies, and the agent may disclose to the

3304

policyholder that such information was obtained from the

3305

corporation.

3306

     (dd)(ee) The assets of the corporation may be invested and

3307

managed by the State Board of Administration.

3308

     (ee)(ff) The office may establish a pilot program to offer

3309

optional sinkhole coverage in one or more counties or other

3310

territories of the corporation for the purpose of implementing s.

3311

627.706, as amended by s. 30, chapter 2007-1, Laws of Florida.

3312

Under the pilot program, the corporation is not required to issue

3313

a notice of nonrenewal to exclude sinkhole coverage upon the

3314

renewal of existing policies, but may exclude such coverage using

3315

a notice of coverage change.

3316

     Section 16.  Effective October 1, 2008, and applicable to

3317

policies issued or renewed on or after that date, section

3318

627.714, Florida Statutes, is created to read:

3319

     627.714 Guaranteed renewability for mitigated homes.--A

3320

personal lines residential insurance policy shall be guaranteed

3321

renewable for at least 3 years if the dwelling has been built or

3322

retrofitted to meet the wind-borne-debris protection requirements

3323

of Florida Building Code which apply to the wind-borne-debris

3324

region as defined in the Florida Building Code.

3325

     Section 17.  Effective January 1, 2011, section 689.262,

3326

Florida Statutes, is created to read:

3327

     689.262 Sale of residential property; disclosure of

3328

windstorm mitigation rating.--A purchaser of residential property

3329

must be informed of the windstorm mitigation rating of the

3330

structure, based on the uniform home grading scale adopted

3331

pursuant to s. 215.55865. The rating must be included in the

3332

contract for sale or as a separate document attached to the

3333

contract for sale. The Financial Services Commission may adopt

3334

rules, consistent with other state laws, to administer this

3335

section, including the form of the disclosure and the

3336

requirements for the windstorm mitigation inspection or report

3337

that is required for purposes of determining the rating.

3338

     Section 18. Effective October 1, 2008, section 817.2341,

3339

Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

3340

     817.2341  False or misleading statements or supporting

3341

documents; corrupt obstruction of the lawful regulation of

3342

insurance; penalty.--

3343

     (1)  Any person who willfully files with the department or

3344

office, or who willfully signs for filing with the department or

3345

office, a materially false or materially misleading financial

3346

statement or document in support of such statement required by

3347

law or rule, or a materially false or materially misleading rate

3348

filing, with intent to deceive and with knowledge that the

3349

statement or document is materially false or materially

3350

misleading, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as

3351

provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

3352

     (2)(a)  Any person who makes a false entry of a material

3353

fact in any book, report, or statement relating to a transaction

3354

of an insurer or entity organized pursuant to chapter 624 or

3355

chapter 641, intending to deceive any person about the financial

3356

condition or solvency of the insurer or entity, commits a felony

3357

of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.

3358

775.083, or s. 775.084.

3359

     (b)  If the false entry of a material fact is made with the

3360

intent to deceive any person as to the impairment of capital, as

3361

defined in s. 631.011(12), of the insurer or entity or is the

3362

significant cause of the insurer or entity being placed in

3363

conservation, rehabilitation, or liquidation by a court, the

3364

person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as

3365

provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

3366

     (3)(a)  Any person who knowingly makes a material false

3367

statement or report to the department or office or any agent of

3368

the department or office, or knowingly and materially overvalues

3369

any property in any document or report prepared to be presented

3370

to the department or office or any agent of the department or

3371

office, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as

3372

provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

3373

     (b)  If the material false statement or report or the

3374

material overvaluation is made with the intent to deceive any

3375

person as to the impairment of capital, as defined in s.

3376

631.011(12), of an insurer or entity organized pursuant to

3377

chapter 624 or chapter 641, or is the significant cause of the

3378

insurer or entity being placed in receivership by a court, the

3379

person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as

3380

provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

3381

     (4) Any person who attempts to corruptly influence,

3382

obstruct, or impede the lawful regulation of the business of

3383

insurance by the department or office, or by any agent or

3384

examiner appointed by the department or office, commits a felony

3385

of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.

3386

775.083, or s. 775.084.

3387

     Section 19.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in this

3388

act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

Site Map
Session:   Bills ·   Calendars ·   Bound Journals ·   Citator ·   Search ·   Appropriations ·   Redistricting ·   Bill Information Reports
Committee Publications
Historical Information
Statutes:   Introduction ·   View Statutes ·   Search Statutes
Flsenate.gov
Disclaimer: The information on this system is unverified. The journals or printed bills of the respective chambers should be consulted for official purposes.    Copyright © 2000-2019 State of Florida.     Privacy Statement     Contact Us     Get Acrobat Reader