June 02, 2020
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Senate Bill 2994

Senate Bill sb2994e2

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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to the Department of Financial

  3         Services; creating s. 17.0416, F.S.;

  4         authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to

  5         provide certain services on a fee basis under

  6         certain circumstances; requiring the Department

  7         of Financial Services to deposit fees collected

  8         into the General Revenue Fund; authorizing the

  9         department to recover expenses by a budget

10         amendment; authorizing the department to adopt

11         rules; amending s. 17.16, F.S.; providing that

12         the office of the Chief Financial Officer may

13         have an official seal; amending s. 17.57, F.S.;

14         authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to use

15         reverse repurchase agreements in investment

16         transactions; amending s. 17.59, F.S.; revising

17         collateral safekeeping requirements; amending

18         s. 17.61, F.S.; authorizing entities created

19         under the State Constitution to invest funds;

20         amending s. 20.121, F.S.; providing that the

21         Chief Financial Officer may be referred to as

22         the "Treasurer"; providing that the Department

23         of Financial Services, rather than the Office

24         of Insurance Regulation, is responsible for

25         regulation of insurance adjusters; providing

26         that the Director of the Office of Insurance

27         Regulation may be known as the Commissioner of

28         Insurance Regulation; providing that the

29         Director of the Office of Financial Regulation

30         may be known as the Commissioner of Financial

31         Regulation; amending s. 110.1227, F.S.;


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         providing that the Director of the Office of

 2         Insurance Regulation, rather than the Chief

 3         Financial Officer, shall appoint an actuary to

 4         the Florida Employee Long-Term-Care Plan Board

 5         of Directors; amending s. 112.215, F.S.;

 6         redefining the term "employee" to include any

 7         state university board of trustees; providing

 8         for the Government Employees' Deferred

 9         Compensation Plan to be funded indirectly from

10         fees charged by investment providers to plan

11         participants; replacing the term "plan

12         provider" with the term "investment option

13         provider"; amending s. 215.95, F.S.; revising

14         the membership of the Florida Financial

15         Management Information Board; amending s.

16         215.96, F.S.; revising the membership of the

17         coordinating council to the Florida Financial

18         Management Information Board; extending the

19         date of future repeal of the law requiring the

20         board to facilitate the integration of certain

21         administrative and financial management systems

22         and establishing the Enterprise Resource

23         Planning Integration Task Force; amending s.

24         287.064, F.S.; authorizing the financing of a

25         guaranteed energy performance savings contract

26         pursuant to a master equipment financing

27         agreement; providing certain terms and

28         restrictions; amending s. 408.05, F.S.;

29         providing that the Director of the Office of

30         Insurance Regulation, rather than the Chief

31         Financial Officer, shall appoint an employee to


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         the State Comprehensive Health Information

 2         System Advisory Council; amending s. 501.212,

 3         F.S.; specifying persons, causes of action, or

 4         activities that are exempt from part II of

 5         chapter 501, F.S., the Deceptive and Unfair

 6         Trade Practice Act; amending s. 516.35, F.S.;

 7         correcting a reference to the agency that

 8         licenses the sale of credit insurance; amending

 9         s. 624.4622, F.S.; providing that a local

10         government self-insurance fund must initially

11         be organized as a commercial self-insurance

12         fund or a group self-insurance fund and, for a

13         specified period, must comply with the

14         requirements for such a fund; providing that a

15         local government self-insurance fund comply

16         with specified provisions relating to financial

17         statements; amending ss. 624.313, 624.317,

18         624.501, 626.016, 626.112, 626.161, 626.171,

19         626.181, 626.191, 626.211, 626.221, 626.231,

20         626.241, 626.251, 626.261, 626.266, 626.271,

21         626.281, 626.2817, 626.291, 626.301, 626.371,

22         626.381, 626.431, 626.461, 626.471, 626.521,

23         626.541, 626.551, 626.611, 626.621, 626.631,

24         626.641, 626.661, 626.681, 626.691, 626.692,

25         626.8582, 626.8584, 626.859, 626.863, 626.865,

26         626.866, 626.867, 626.869, 626.8695, 626.8696,

27         626.8697, 626.8698, 626.870, 626.871, 626.872,

28         626.873, 626.8732, 626.8734, 626.8736,

29         626.8738, 626.874, 626.878, F.S.; transferring

30         and renumbering s. 627.7012, F.S., as s.

31         626.879, F.S., and amending such section;


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         making conforming changes to authorize the

 2         Department of Financial Services, rather than

 3         the Office of Insurance Regulation, to regulate

 4         insurance adjusters; amending s. 626.9543,

 5         F.S.; specifying that the Department of

 6         Financial Services, rather than the former

 7         Department of Insurance, administers the

 8         Holocaust Victims Insurance Act; amending s.

 9         626.989, F.S.; correcting references to the

10         Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud

11         with regard to the required annual report of

12         the Department of Financial Services related to

13         workers' compensation fraud; amending s.

14         627.0628, F.S.; providing that the Director of

15         the Office of Insurance, rather than the Chief

16         Financial Officer, shall appoint an employee of

17         the office who is an actuary to the Florida

18         Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection

19         Methodology; amending s. 627.6699, F.S.;

20         providing that the Director of the Office of

21         Insurance Regulation, rather than the Chief

22         Financial Officer, shall be a member of the

23         board of the Small Employer Health Reinsurance

24         Program; providing that the transfer of the

25         regulation of adjusters from the Office of

26         Insurance Regulation to the Department of

27         Financial Services does not affect any

28         administrative or judicial action prior to or

29         pending on the effective date of the act;

30         providing that any action approved or

31         authorized by the Financial Services Commission


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         or the Office of Insurance Regulation continues

 2         to be effective until the Department of

 3         Financial Services otherwise prescribes;

 4         providing that the rules of the Financial

 5         Services Commission related to adjusters shall

 6         become rules of the Department of Financial

 7         Services; amending s. 626.99245, F.S.;

 8         providing that the regulation of certain

 9         viatical settlement agreements and providers is

10         within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Office

11         of Insurance Regulation under part X of ch.

12         626; amending s. 494.0025, F.S.; prohibiting

13         the use of the name or logo of a financial

14         institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries

15         under certain circumstances without written

16         consent; amending s. 516.07, F.S.; providing

17         that the use of the name or logo of a financial

18         institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries

19         under certain circumstances without written

20         consent is grounds for denial of license or for

21         disciplinary action; amending s. 520.995, F.S.;

22         providing that the use of the name or logo of a

23         financial institution or its affiliates or

24         subsidiaries under certain circumstances

25         without written consent is grounds for

26         disciplinary action; amending s. 626.9541,

27         F.S.; providing that the deceptive use of a

28         name is an unfair method of competition and an

29         unfair or deceptive act or practice; amending

30         s. 655.005, F.S.; revising certain definitions

31         relating to financial institutions to include


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         the term "international branch"; amending s.

 2         655.0322, F.S.; revising the definition of the

 3         term "financial institution" to include an

 4         international branch; amending s. 655.0385,

 5         F.S.; clarifying requirements for notification

 6         of the appointment of an executive director or

 7         equivalent by state financial institutions;

 8         requiring a nonrefundable fee to accompany

 9         notification; amending s. 655.045, F.S.;

10         providing an exemption from audit requirements;

11         amending s. 655.059, F.S.; providing for the

12         inspection and examination of financial

13         institution records and books pursuant to

14         subpoena; providing for reimbursement of

15         reasonable costs and fees for compliance;

16         providing for setting the reimbursement amount

17         when charges are contested; amending s.

18         655.921, F.S.; prohibiting certain out-of-state

19         financial institutions from locating branch

20         offices in the state in order to qualify for

21         certain exempt transactions; deleting

22         provisions relating to authorization of offices

23         in the state; amending s. 655.922, F.S.;

24         clarifying provisions authorizing financial

25         institutions under another state's financial

26         codes to transact business in this state;

27         expanding the names or titles under which only

28         a financial institution may transact business;

29         prohibiting the use of the name or logo of a

30         financial institution or its affiliates or

31         subsidiaries under certain circumstances


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         without written consent; requiring the

 2         Financial Services Commission to adopt rules;

 3         amending s. 655.94, F.S.; deleting a

 4         prohibition against certain notary publics

 5         being involved in opening safety deposit boxes

 6         for nonpayment of rent; requiring use of

 7         certified mail instead of registered mail;

 8         amending. s. 658.16, F.S.; providing criteria

 9         for a bank or trust company chartered as a

10         limited liability company to be considered

11         "incorporated" under the financial institutions

12         codes; providing definitions; amending s.

13         658.23, F.S.; correcting terminology; deleting

14         a requirement for a current copy of the bylaws

15         of a bank or trust company to be on file with

16         the Office of Financial Regulation; amending s.

17         658.26, F.S.; providing for state banks to

18         relocate offices upon approval; providing that

19         certain financial institutions may establish or

20         relocate an office upon written notification;

21         providing requirements for notification and a

22         fee; requiring an application for relocation of

23         a main office outside the state; exempting

24         applications from publication in the Florida

25         Administrative Weekly; modifying requirements

26         for applications for branch offices by a bank

27         ineligible for branch notification; deleting a

28         requirement that such applications be published

29         in the Florida Administrative Weekly and be

30         subject to ch. 120, F.S.; requiring a

31         relocation application to be filed with the


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         Office of Financial Regulation; providing for a

 2         filing fee, investigations, and restrictions

 3         relating to such applications; amending s.

 4         658.33, F.S.; adding to the list of persons who

 5         must meet certain qualification levels;

 6         providing for a waiver of qualification

 7         requirements; amending s. 658.37, F.S.;

 8         prohibiting an imminently insolvent bank from

 9         paying dividends; amending s. 658.48, F.S.;

10         specifying limitations on making loans and

11         extending credit by a bank declared to be

12         imminently insolvent; amending s. 658.67, F.S.;

13         providing multiple dates for the assessment of

14         the value of property acquisition as security;

15         amending s. 658.73, F.S.; delineating which

16         entities or individuals must pay a fee for a

17         certificate of good standing; amending s.

18         663.16, F.S.; revising definitions to include

19         the term "branch" and to reduce the percentage

20         of voting stock necessary for consideration as

21         control; amending s. 663.304, F.S.; deleting a

22         requirement for reservation of a proposed

23         corporate name with the Department of State;

24         amending s. 665.034, F.S.; revising a

25         percentage designating control of an

26         association; amending s. 674.406, F.S.;

27         reducing the time that banks must retain

28         receipts of items; reducing the time within

29         which one must report unauthorized signatures;

30         providing a time limitation within which to

31         assert claims against a bank for an


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         unauthorized endorsement; repealing s. 658.68,

 2         F.S., relating to liquidity requirements for a

 3         state bank; amending s. 627.4133, F.S.;

 4         providing for an effective date of certain

 5         policy cancellations by insureds; amending s.

 6         717.101, F.S.; providing definitions; amending

 7         ss. 717.106, 717.107, 717.109, and 717.116,

 8         F.S.; revising criteria for presuming as

 9         unclaimed certain bank deposits and funds in

10         financial organizations, funds owing under life

11         insurance policies, funds held by business

12         associations, and property held in a

13         safe-deposit box or other safekeeping

14         repository, respectively; amending s. 717.117,

15         F.S.; revising reporting requirements for

16         unclaimed property; presuming certain accounts

17         as unclaimed under certain circumstances;

18         providing that certain intangible property is

19         exempt from being reported as unclaimed

20         property under certain conditions; amending s.

21         717.118, F.S.; providing requirements for

22         notification of apparent owners of unclaimed

23         property; amending s. 717.119, F.S.; revising

24         requirements for delivery of certain unclaimed

25         property; providing penalties for late

26         deliveries; amending s. 717.1201, F.S.;

27         revising certain holder payment and repayment

28         requirements; amending s. 717.122, F.S.;

29         revising certain public sale requirements;

30         authorizing the Department of Financial

31         Services to deduct certain auction fees, costs,


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         and expenses; prohibiting actions or

 2         proceedings against the department for certain

 3         decisions relating to auctions of unclaimed

 4         property; specifying that certain sales of

 5         unclaimed property are not subject to the sales

 6         tax; amending s. 717.123, F.S.; increasing a

 7         maximum amount of funds the department may

 8         retain from certain funds received; amending s.

 9         717.124, F.S.; providing additional

10         requirements for filing unclaimed property

11         claims; providing for the return or withdrawal

12         of certain claims under certain circumstances;

13         specifying a time period for department

14         determination of claims; authorizing the

15         department to deny claims under certain

16         circumstances; specifying an exclusive remedy

17         for subsequent claimants; revising requirements

18         for a power of attorney; requiring direct

19         delivery of safe-deposit boxes under certain

20         circumstances; revising payment of fees and

21         costs requirements; creating s. 717.12403,

22         F.S.; providing presumptions for certain

23         unclaimed demand, savings, or checking accounts

24         in financial institutions with more than one

25         beneficiary; creating s. 717.12404, F.S.;

26         providing requirements for claims for property

27         reported in the name of an active or dissolved

28         corporation for which the last annual report is

29         unavailable; creating s. 717.12405, F.S.;

30         providing requirements; for claims by estates;

31         amending s. 717.1241, F.S.; revising


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         requirements for remittance of property subject

 2         to conflicting claims; amending s. 717.1242,

 3         F.S.; clarifying legislative intent relating to

 4         filing certain claims; creating s. 717.1244,

 5         F.S.; providing criteria for department

 6         determinations of claims; amending s. 717.126,

 7         F.S.; providing a criterion for proof of

 8         entitlement; specifying venue in certain

 9         unclaimed property actions; creating s.

10         717.1261, F.S.; requiring a death certificate

11         in claiming entitlement to certain unclaimed

12         property; creating s. 717.1262, F.S.; requiring

13         certain court documents in claiming entitlement

14         to certain unclaimed property; amending s.

15         717.1301, F.S.; revising certain fee and

16         expense requirements for investigations or

17         examinations; providing for interest on such

18         amounts under certain circumstances; amending

19         s. 717.1315, F.S.; clarifying a record

20         retention requirement for owner

21         representatives; amending s. 717.132, F.S.;

22         specifying criteria for certain corrective

23         actions; creating s. 717.1322, F.S.; specifying

24         grounds for certain disciplinary actions;

25         providing for certain disciplinary actions;

26         providing penalties; authorizing the department

27         to adopt rules with regard to disciplinary

28         guidelines; creating s. 717.1331, F.S.;

29         providing for department actions against

30         certain lienholders under certain

31         circumstances; creating s. 717.1333, F.S.;


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         providing for admitting certain documents into

 2         evidence in certain actions; amending s.

 3         717.134, F.S.; authorizing the department to

 4         impose and collect penalties for failing to

 5         report certain information; authorizing the

 6         department waive such penalties under certain

 7         circumstances; creating s. 717.1341, F.S.;

 8         prohibiting receipt of unentitled unclaimed

 9         property; providing for liability for such

10         property under certain circumstances;

11         authorizing the department to maintain certain

12         civil or administrative actions; providing for

13         fines, costs, and attorney fees; prohibiting

14         filing claims for unentitled unclaimed

15         property; providing criminal penalties;

16         amending s. 717.135, F.S.; revising

17         requirements for agreements to recover certain

18         property; providing an agreement form; creating

19         s. 717.1351, F.S.; providing requirements for

20         acquisition of unclaimed property by certain

21         persons; providing certain contract

22         requirements; providing a contract form;

23         creating s. 717.1400, F.S.; requiring certain

24         licensed persons to register with the

25         department for certain purposes; providing

26         registration requirements; providing for denial

27         of registration under certain circumstances;

28         providing registration limitations; amending s.

29         212.02, F.S.; revising a definition to conform;

30         amending ss. 322.142 and 395.3025, F.S.;

31         providing for disclosure of certain


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         confidential information to the department

 2         under certain circumstances; amending s.

 3         723.103, F.S.; authorizing the court, under

 4         specified conditions, to extend the right of

 5         succession to surviving heirs when the decent's

 6         lineage cannot be fully documented because it

 7         includes a Holocaust victim; limiting the

 8         application of statutes of limitation under

 9         certain circumstances; defining the term

10         "Holocaust victim"; creating s. 627.4554, F.S.;

11         providing a purpose; providing application;

12         providing definitions; specifying duties of

13         insurers and insurance agents relating to

14         making annuity investment recommendations to

15         senior consumers; providing requirements;

16         limiting responsibility of insurers or

17         insurance agents under certain circumstances;

18         requiring a system of compliance and

19         supervision; providing for enforcement by the

20         Office of Insurance Regulation and the

21         Department of Financial Services; authorizing

22         the office and the department to issue orders

23         to mitigate certain responsibilities of

24         insurers or insurance agents; providing for

25         reduction or elimination of certain penalties

26         under certain circumstances; providing

27         recordkeeping requirements; providing an

28         exemption from application for variable

29         annuities; amending s. 20.121, F.S.; requiring

30         the Division of Consumer Services of the

31         Department of Financial Services to designate


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         an employee as primary contact for consumers on

 2         issues involving sinkholes; authorizing the

 3         department to issue an order of conditional

 4         release from a stop-work order if an employer

 5         complies with coverage requirements and a

 6         penalty payment agreement; amending s. 501.137,

 7         F.S.; requiring an insurer to reinstate, under

 8         certain circumstances, an insurance policy that

 9         is cancelled due to failure of the lender to

10         pay a premium for which sufficient escrow funds

11         are on deposit; requiring that the lender

12         reimburse the property owner for any penalties

13         or fees paid for purposes of reinstating the

14         policy; requiring the lender to pay the

15         increased cost of insurance premiums for a

16         specified period of time under certain

17         conditions; amending s. 624.610, F.S.; revising

18         the requirements of a trust fund for a single

19         assuming insurer; amending s. 625.081, F.S.;

20         providing an exception for credit disability

21         insurance from a health insurance active life

22         reserve requirement; amending s. 625.121, F.S.;

23         providing for valuation of life insurance

24         policies; amending s. 626.321, F.S.; limiting

25         the types of business that may be transacted by

26         personal lines agents; creating s. 626.9743,

27         F.S., relating to claim settlement practices

28         for motor vehicle insurance; prescribing

29         standards to be followed by insurers; creating

30         s. 626.9744, F.S., relating to claim settlement

31         practices for homeowners' insurance;


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         prescribing standards to be followed by

 2         insurers; amending s. 627.311, F.S.; allowing

 3         the automobile insurance joint underwriting

 4         plan to require additional proof from insureds

 5         regarding cancellation of coverage; allowing

 6         additional time for the investigation of claims

 7         against the plan; providing for expiration of

 8         the provision; amending s. 627.4091, F.S.;

 9         providing additional disclosure requirements

10         with respect to a refusal to insure; amending

11         s. 627.4133, F.S.; requiring property insurers

12         to reinstate a canceled policy as required by

13         s. 501.137, F.S.; restricting the use of

14         certain claims as a cause for cancellation or

15         nonrenewal; amending s. 627.476, F.S.;

16         authorizing the use of certain mortality tables

17         for purposes of the Standard Nonforfeiture Law

18         for Life Insurance; creating s. 627.7077, F.S.;

19         providing for a feasibility study for a

20         proposed Florida Sinkhole Insurance Facility;

21         amending s. 627.838, F.S.; deleting a filing

22         fee; amending s. 627.848, F.S.; specifying

23         provisions for cancellation of insurance

24         contracts; amending s. 627.849, F.S., to

25         conform to the elimination of a filing fee;

26         providing for a study and report by the Florida

27         State University College of Business on

28         personal lines property and casualty insurance;

29         repealing s. 625.131, F.S., relating to credit

30         life and disability policies; providing for

31  


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1         construction of the act; providing effective

 2         dates.

 3  

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

 5  

 6         Section 1.  Section 17.0416, Florida Statutes, is

 7  created to read:

 8         17.0416  Authority to provide services on a fee

 9  basis.--

10         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer, through the

11  Department of Financial Services, may provide accounting and

12  payroll services on a fee basis under contractual agreement

13  with eligible entities, including, but not limited to, state

14  universities, community colleges, units of local government,

15  constitutional officers, and any other person or entity having

16  received any property, funds, or moneys from the state. All

17  funds collected by the department under these contracts shall

18  be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

19         (2)  The Department of Financial Services may adopt

20  rules necessary to administer this section.

21         Section 2.  Section 17.16, Florida Statutes, is amended

22  to read:

23         17.16  Seal.--The seal of office of the Chief Financial

24  Officer shall have an official seal by which its proceedings

25  are authenticated be the same as the seal heretofore used for

26  that purpose.

27         Section 3.  Subsection (2) of section 17.57, Florida

28  Statutes, is amended to read:

29         17.57  Deposits and investments of state money.--

30         (2)  The Chief Financial Officer shall make funds

31  available to meet the disbursement needs of the state. Funds


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1  which are not needed for this purpose shall be placed in

 2  qualified public depositories that will pay rates established

 3  by the Chief Financial Officer at levels not less than the

 4  prevailing rate for United States Treasury securities with a

 5  corresponding maturity. In the event money is available for

 6  interest-bearing time deposits or savings accounts as provided

 7  herein and qualified public depositories are unwilling to

 8  accept such money and pay thereon the rates established above,

 9  then such money which qualified public depositories are

10  unwilling to accept shall be invested in:

11         (a)  Direct United States Treasury obligations.

12         (b)  Obligations of the Federal Farm Credit Banks.

13         (c)  Obligations of the Federal Home Loan Bank and its

14  district banks.

15         (d)  Obligations of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage

16  Corporation, including participation certificates.

17         (e)  Obligations guaranteed by the Government National

18  Mortgage Association.

19         (f)  Obligations of the Federal National Mortgage

20  Association.

21         (g)  Commercial paper of prime quality of the highest

22  letter and numerical rating as provided for by at least one

23  nationally recognized rating service.

24         (h)  Time drafts or bills of exchange drawn on and

25  accepted by a commercial bank, otherwise known as "bankers

26  acceptances," which are accepted by a member bank of the

27  Federal Reserve System having total deposits of not less than

28  $400 million or which are accepted by a commercial bank which

29  is not a member of the Federal Reserve System with deposits of

30  not less than $400 million and which is licensed by a state

31  government or the Federal Government, and whose senior debt


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1  issues are rated in one of the two highest rating categories

 2  by a nationally recognized rating service and which are held

 3  in custody by a domestic bank which is a member of the Federal

 4  Reserve System.

 5         (i)  Corporate obligations or corporate master notes of

 6  any corporation within the United States, if the long-term

 7  obligations of such corporation are rated by at least two

 8  nationally recognized rating services in any one of the four

 9  highest classifications. However, if such obligations are

10  rated by only one nationally recognized rating service, then

11  the obligations shall be rated in any one of the two highest

12  classifications.

13         (j)  Obligations of the Student Loan Marketing

14  Association.

15         (k)  Obligations of the Resolution Funding Corporation.

16         (l)  Asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities of the

17  highest credit quality.

18         (m)  Any obligations not previously listed which are

19  guaranteed as to principal and interest by the full faith and

20  credit of the United States Government or are obligations of

21  United States agencies or instrumentalities which are rated in

22  the highest category by a nationally recognized rating

23  service.

24         (n)  Commingled no-load investment funds or no-load

25  mutual funds in which all securities held by the funds are

26  authorized in this subsection.

27         (o)  Money market mutual funds as defined and regulated

28  by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

29         (p)  Obligations of state and local governments rated

30  in any of the four highest classifications by at least two

31  nationally recognized rating services. However, if such


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1  obligations are rated by only one nationally recognized rating

 2  service, then the obligations shall be rated in any one of the

 3  two highest classifications.

 4         (q)  Derivatives of investment instruments authorized

 5  in paragraphs (a)-(m).

 6         (r)  Covered put and call options on investment

 7  instruments authorized in this subsection for the purpose of

 8  hedging transactions by investment managers to mitigate risk

 9  or to facilitate portfolio management.

10         (s)  Negotiable certificates of deposit issued by

11  financial institutions whose long-term debt is rated in one of

12  the three highest categories by at least two nationally

13  recognized rating services, the investment in which shall not

14  be prohibited by any provision of chapter 280.

15         (t)  Foreign bonds denominated in United States dollars

16  and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for

17  sale in the United States, if the long-term obligations of

18  such issuers are rated by at least two nationally recognized

19  rating services in any one of the four highest

20  classifications. However, if such obligations are rated by

21  only one nationally recognized rating service, the obligations

22  shall be rated in any one of the two highest classifications.

23         (u)  Convertible debt obligations of any corporation

24  domiciled within the United States, if the convertible debt

25  issue is rated by at least two nationally recognized rating

26  services in any one of the four highest classifications.

27  However, if such obligations are rated by only one nationally

28  recognized rating service, then the obligations shall be rated

29  in any one of the two highest classifications.

30         (v)  Securities not otherwise described in this

31  subsection. However, not more than 3 percent of the funds


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 1  under the control of the Chief Financial Officer shall be

 2  invested in securities described in this paragraph.

 3  

 4  These investments may be in varying maturities and may be in

 5  book-entry form. Investments made pursuant to this subsection

 6  may be under repurchase agreement or reverse repurchase

 7  agreement. The Chief Financial Officer may hire registered

 8  investment advisers and other consultants to assist in

 9  investment management and to pay fees directly from investment

10  earnings. Investment securities, proprietary investment

11  services related to contracts, performance evaluation

12  services, investment-related equipment or software used

13  directly to assist investment trading or investment accounting

14  operations including bond calculators, telerates, Bloombergs,

15  special program calculators, intercom systems, and software

16  used in accounting, communications, and trading, and advisory

17  and consulting contracts made under this section are exempt

18  from the provisions of chapter 287.

19         Section 4.  Section 17.59, Florida Statutes, is amended

20  to read:

21         17.59  Safekeeping services.--

22         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer shall administer a

23  collateral management service for all may accept for

24  safekeeping purposes, deposits of cash, securities, and other

25  documents or articles of value from any state agencies agency

26  as defined in s. 216.011, or any county, city, or political

27  subdivision thereof, or other public authority that requires

28  by statute, rule, or contract the deposit or pledge of

29  collateral.

30  

31  


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 1         (2)  Eligible collateral listed in s. 17.57 may be

 2  deposited or pledged using the following collateral

 3  arrangements as approved by the Chief Financial Officer:

 4         (a)  Collateral deposited and held by a custodian of

 5  the Chief Financial Officer.

 6         (b)  Collateral pledged to the Chief Financial Officer.

 7         (c)  Securities and articles of value deposited and

 8  held by the Chief Financial Officer.

 9         (d)  Cash deposited in the Treasury Cash Deposit Trust

10  Fund and the Public Deposit Security Trust Fund.

11         (e)  Cash deposited with the Chief Financial Officer as

12  escrow agent.

13         (3)  The Chief Financial Officer may adopt rules for

14  the proper management and maintenance of the collateral

15  management service.

16         (4)(2)  The Chief Financial Officer may, in his or her

17  discretion, establish a fee for processing, servicing, and

18  safekeeping deposits and other documents or articles of value

19  maintained by held in the Chief Financial Officer Officer's

20  vaults as requested by the various entities according to a

21  service-level agreement or as provided for by law. Such fee

22  shall be equivalent to the fee charged by financial

23  institutions for processing, servicing, and safekeeping the

24  same types of deposits and other documents or articles of

25  value.

26         (5)(3)  The Chief Financial Officer shall collect in

27  advance, and persons so served shall pay to the Chief

28  Financial Officer in advance, the miscellaneous charges as

29  described in a service-level agreement. follows:

30         (a)  For copies of documents or records on file with

31  the Chief Financial Officer, per page....................$.50.


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 1         (b)  For each certificate of the Chief Financial

 2  Officer, certified or under the Chief Financial Officer's

 3  seal, authenticating any document or other instrument...$5.00.

 4         (6)(4)  All fees collected for the services described

 5  in this section shall be deposited in the Treasury

 6  Administrative and Investment Trust Fund.

 7         Section 5.  Subsection (1) of section 17.61, Florida

 8  Statutes, is amended to read:

 9         17.61  Chief Financial Officer; powers and duties in

10  the investment of certain funds.--

11         (1)  The Chief Financial Officer shall invest all

12  general revenue funds and all the trust funds and all agency

13  funds of each state agency, and of the judicial branch, as

14  defined in s. 216.011, and may, upon request, invest funds of

15  any statutorily created board, association, or entity created

16  by the State Constitution or by law, except for the funds

17  required to be invested pursuant to ss. 215.44-215.53, by the

18  procedure and in the authorized securities prescribed in s.

19  17.57; for this purpose, the Chief Financial Officer may open

20  and maintain one or more demand and safekeeping accounts in

21  any bank or savings association for the investment and

22  reinvestment and the purchase, sale, and exchange of funds and

23  securities in the accounts. Funds in such accounts used solely

24  for investments and reinvestments shall be considered

25  investment funds and not funds on deposit, and such funds

26  shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 280. In

27  addition, the securities or investments purchased or held

28  under the provisions of this section and s. 17.57 may be

29  loaned to securities dealers and banks and may be registered

30  by the Chief Financial Officer in the name of a third-party

31  nominee in order to facilitate such loans, provided the loan


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 1  is collateralized by cash or United States government

 2  securities having a market value of at least 100 percent of

 3  the market value of the securities loaned. The Chief Financial

 4  Officer shall keep a separate account, designated by name and

 5  number, of each fund. Individual transactions and totals of

 6  all investments, or the share belonging to each fund, shall be

 7  recorded in the accounts.

 8         Section 6.  Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of

 9  subsection (3) of section 20.121, Florida Statutes, are

10  amended to read:

11         20.121  Department of Financial Services.--There is

12  created a Department of Financial Services.

13         (1)  DEPARTMENT HEAD.--The head of the Department of

14  Financial Services is the Chief Financial Officer who may also

15  be known as the Treasurer.

16         (3)  FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION.--Effective January

17  7, 2003, there is created within the Department of Financial

18  Services the Financial Services Commission, composed of the

19  Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer,

20  and the Commissioner of Agriculture, which shall for purposes

21  of this section be referred to as the commission.  Commission

22  members shall serve as agency head of the Financial Services

23  Commission.  The commission shall be a separate budget entity

24  and shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 20.052.

25  Commission action shall be by majority vote consisting of at

26  least three affirmative votes.  The commission shall not be

27  subject to control, supervision, or direction by the

28  Department of Financial Services in any manner, including

29  purchasing, transactions involving real or personal property,

30  personnel, or budgetary matters.

31  


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 1         (a)  Structure.--The major structural unit of the

 2  commission is the office. Each office shall be headed by a

 3  director. The following offices are established:

 4         1.  The Office of Insurance Regulation, which shall be

 5  responsible for all activities concerning insurers and other

 6  risk bearing entities, including licensing, rates, policy

 7  forms, market conduct, claims, adjusters, issuance of

 8  certificates of authority, solvency, viatical settlements,

 9  premium financing, and administrative supervision, as provided

10  under the insurance code or chapter 636. The head of the

11  Office of Insurance Regulation is the Director of the Office

12  of Insurance Regulation, who may also be known as the

13  Commissioner of Insurance Regulation.

14         2.  The Office of Financial Regulation, which shall be

15  responsible for all activities of the Financial Services

16  Commission relating to the regulation of banks, credit unions,

17  other financial institutions, finance companies, and the

18  securities industry.  The head of the office is the Director

19  of the Office of Financial Regulation, who may also be known

20  as the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. The Office of

21  Financial Regulation shall include a Bureau of Financial

22  Investigations, which shall function as a criminal justice

23  agency for purposes of ss. 943.045-943.08 and shall have a

24  separate budget.  The bureau may conduct investigations within

25  or outside this state as the bureau deems necessary to aid in

26  the enforcement of this section. If, during an investigation,

27  the office has reason to believe that any criminal law of this

28  state has or may have been violated, the office shall refer

29  any records tending to show such violation to state or federal

30  law enforcement or prosecutorial agencies and shall provide

31  investigative assistance to those agencies as required.


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 1         Section 7.  Subsection (6) of section 110.1227, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         110.1227  Florida Employee Long-Term-Care Plan Act.--

 4         (6)  A Florida Employee Long-Term-Care Plan Board of

 5  Directors is created, composed of nine members who shall serve

 6  2-year terms, to be appointed after May 1, 1999, as follows:

 7         (a)  The secretary of the Department of Elderly Affairs

 8  shall appoint a member who is a plan participant.

 9         (b)  The Director of the Office of Insurance Regulation

10  Chief Financial Officer shall appoint an actuary.

11         (c)  The Attorney General shall appoint an attorney

12  licensed to practice law in this state.

13         (d)  The Governor shall appoint three members from a

14  broad cross-section of the residents of this state.

15         (e)  The Department of Management Services shall

16  appoint a member.

17         (f)  The President of the Senate shall appoint a member

18  of the Senate.

19         (g)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall

20  appoint a member of the House of Representatives.

21         Section 8.  Subsection (2) of section 112.215, Florida

22  Statutes, as amended by section 8 of chapter 2003-399, Laws of

23  Florida, is amended, paragraph (e) is added to subsection (4)

24  of that section and subsection (11) of that section is

25  amended, to read:

26         112.215  Government employees; deferred compensation

27  program.--

28         (2)  For the purposes of this section, the term

29  "employee" means any person, whether appointed, elected, or

30  under contract, providing services for the state; any state

31  agency or county or other political subdivision of the state;


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 1  any municipality; any state university board of trustees; or

 2  any constitutional county officer under s. 1(d), Art. VIII of

 3  the State Constitution for which compensation or statutory

 4  fees are paid.

 5         (4)

 6         (e)  The administrative costs of the deferred

 7  compensation plan must be wholly or partially self-funded.

 8  Fees for such self-funding of the plan shall be paid by

 9  investment providers and may be recouped from their respective

10  plan participants. Such fees shall be deposited in the

11  Deferred Compensation Trust Fund.

12         (11)  With respect to any funds held pursuant to a

13  deferred compensation plan, any investment option plan

14  provider that which is a bank or savings association and that

15  which provides time deposit accounts and certificates of

16  deposit as an investment product to the plan participants may,

17  with the approval of the State Board of Administration for

18  providers in the state plan, or with the approval of the

19  appropriate official or body designated under subsection (5)

20  for a plan of a county, municipality, other political

21  subdivision, or constitutional county officer, be exempt from

22  the provisions of chapter 280 requiring it to be a qualified

23  public depository, provided:

24         (a)  The bank or savings association shall, to the

25  extent that the time deposit accounts or certificates of

26  deposit are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance

27  Corporation, deposit or issue collateral with the Chief

28  Financial Officer for all state funds held by it under a

29  deferred compensation plan, or with such other appropriate

30  official for all public funds held by it under a deferred

31  compensation plan of a county, municipality, other political


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    CS for CS for SB 2994                         Second Engrossed



 1  subdivision, or constitutional county officer, in an amount

 2  which equals at least 150 percent of all uninsured deferred

 3  compensation funds then held.

 4         (b)  Said collateral shall be of the kind permitted by

 5  s. 280.13 and shall be pledged in the manner provided for by

 6  the applicable provisions of chapter 280.

 7  

 8  The Chief Financial Officer shall have all the applicable

 9  powers provided in ss. 280.04, 280.05, and 280.08 relating to

10  the sale or other disposition of the pledged collateral.

11         Section 9.  Subsection (1) of section 215.95, Florida

12  Statutes, is amended to read:

13         215.95  Financial Management Information Board.--

14         (1)  There is created, as part of the Administration

15  Commission, the Financial Management Information Board.  The

16  board shall be composed of the Governor, the Chief Financial

17  Officer, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Attorney

18  General.  The Governor shall be chair of the board.  The

19  Governor or the Chief Financial Officer may call a meeting of

20  the board at any time the need arises.

21         Section 10.  Subsections (2) and (4) of section 215.96,

22  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

23         215.96  Coordinating council and design and

24  coordination staff.--

25         (2)  The coordinating council shall consist of the

26  Chief Financial Officer; the Commissioner of Agriculture; the

27  secretary of the Department of Management Services; the

28  Attorney General; and the Director of Planning and Budgeting,

29  Executive Office of the Governor, or their designees. The

30  Chief Financial Officer, or his or her designee, shall be

31  chair of the coordinating council, and the design and


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 1  coordination staff shall provide administrative and clerical

 2  support to the council and the board. The design and

 3  coordination staff shall maintain the minutes of each meeting

 4  and shall make such minutes available to any interested

 5  person. The Auditor General, the State Courts Administrator,

 6  an executive officer of the Florida Association of State

 7  Agency Administrative Services Directors, and an executive

 8  officer of the Florida Association of State Budget Officers,

 9  or their designees, shall serve without voting rights as ex

10  officio members on the coordinating council. The chair may

11  call meetings of the coordinating council as often as

12  necessary to transact business; however, the coordinating

13  council shall meet at least once a year.  Action of the

14  coordinating council shall be by motion, duly made, seconded

15  and passed by a majority of the coordinating council voting in

16  the affirmative for approval of items that are to be

17  recommended for approval to the Financial Management

18  Information Board.

19         (4)  The Financial Management Information Board,

20  through the coordinating council, shall provide the necessary

21  planning, implementation, and integration policies,

22  coordination procedures, and reporting processes to facilitate

23  the successful and efficient integration of the central

24  administrative and financial management information systems,

25  including the Florida Accounting Information Resource system

26  (FLAIR), Cash Management System (CMS), and FLAIR/CMS

27  replacement project, the payroll system in the Department of

28  Financial Services, the Legislative Appropriations

29  System/Planning and Budgeting Subsystem (LAS/PBS), the State

30  Purchasing System (SPURS) and MyFlorida Marketplace project,

31  the Cooperative Personnel Employment Subsystem (COPES) and the


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 1  PeopleFirst Outsourcing project, and the State Unified Tax

 2  system (SUNTAX).

 3         (a)  To fulfill this role, the coordinating council

 4  shall establish an Enterprise Resource Planning Integration

 5  Task Force, which shall consist of the coordinating council

 6  members plus the Chief Information Officer in the State

 7  Technology Office and the Executive Director or designee in

 8  the Department of Revenue, who shall serve with voting rights

 9  on the task force. The nonvoting ex officio members of the

10  coordinating council shall be nonvoting members of the task

11  force.

12         (b)  The task force shall be established by August 1,

13  2003, and shall remain in existence until the integration

14  goals have been achieved among the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

15  project, SPURS and MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and

16  PeopleFirst project, payroll system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX

17  system, or until June 30, 2005, whichever is later. The task

18  force shall hold its initial meeting no later than September

19  1, 2003, and shall meet at the call of the chair or at least

20  once every 60 days. In its initial meeting, task force members

21  shall:

22         1.  Adopt a task force charter that identifies major

23  objectives, activities, milestones and deliverables,

24  significant assumptions, and constraints on the task force

25  functions and major stakeholder groups interested in the

26  outcome of the task force.

27         2.  Consider and adopt processes by which information

28  will be collected and business process and technical

29  integration issues will be raised for analysis and

30  recommendation by the task force.

31  


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 1         3.  Elect a member to serve as vice chair. Any vacancy

 2  in the vice chair position shall be filled by similar election

 3  within 30 days after the date the vacancy is effective.

 4         (c)  The coordinating council shall provide

 5  administrative and technical support to the task force as is

 6  reasonably necessary for the task force to effectively and

 7  timely carry out its duties and responsibilities. The cost of

 8  providing such support may be paid from funds appropriated for

 9  the operation of the council or the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

10  project. The task force also may contract for services to

11  obtain specific expertise to analyze, facilitate, and

12  formulate recommendations to address process and technical

13  integration problems that need to be resolved.

14         (d)  Using information and input from project teams and

15  stakeholders responsible for the FLAIR/CMS Replacement

16  project, SPURS and MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and

17  PeopleFirst project, payroll system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX

18  system, the responsibilities of the task force shall include,

19  but not be limited to:

20         1.  Identifying and documenting central administrative

21  and financial management policies, procedures, and processes

22  that need to be integrated and recommending steps for

23  implementation.

24         2.  Collecting information from the subsystem owners

25  and project teams and developing and publishing a consolidated

26  list of enterprise resource planning functional and technical

27  integration requirements.

28         3.  Publishing integration plans and timelines based on

29  information collected from task force members.

30         4.  Forming committees, workgroups, and teams as

31  provided in subsection (3).


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 1         5.  Developing recommendations for the Financial

 2  Management Information Board which clearly describe any

 3  business or technical problems that need to be addressed, the

 4  options for resolving the problem, and the recommended

 5  actions.

 6         6.  Developing and implementing plans for reporting

 7  status of integration efforts.

 8         (e)  The task force shall provide recommendations to

 9  the Financial Management Information Board for review and

10  approval regarding the technical, procedural, policy, and

11  process requirements and changes that are needed to

12  successfully integrate, implement, and realize the benefits of

13  the enterprise resource planning initiatives associated with

14  the FLAIR/CMS Replacement project, SPURS and MyFlorida

15  Marketplace project, COPES and PeopleFirst project, payroll

16  system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX system. The first of these reports

17  should be provided no later than October 3, 2003.

18         (f)  The task force shall monitor, review, and evaluate

19  the progress of the FLAIR/CMS Replacement project, SPURS and

20  MyFlorida Marketplace project, COPES and PeopleFirst project,

21  payroll system, LAS/PBS, and SUNTAX system, in implementing

22  the process and technical integration requirements and changes

23  approved by the Financial Management Information Board and in

24  achieving the necessary integration among the central

25  administrative and financial management information systems

26  represented on the task force. The task force shall prepare

27  and submit quarterly reports to the Executive Office of the

28  Governor, the chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee

29  and the House Appropriations Committee, and the Financial

30  Management Information Board. Each quarterly report shall

31  identify and describe the technical, procedural, policy, and


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 1  process requirements and changes proposed and adopted by the

 2  board and shall describe the status of the implementation of

 3  these integration efforts, identify any problems, issues, or

 4  risks that require executive-level action, and report actual

 5  costs related to the Enterprise Resource Planning Integration

 6  Task Force.

 7         (g)  By January 15, 2004, and annually thereafter,

 8  until it is disbanded, the Enterprise Resource Planning

 9  Integration Task Force shall report to the Financial

10  Management Information Board, the Speaker of the House of

11  Representatives, and the President of the Senate the results

12  of the task force's monitoring, review, and evaluation of

13  enterprise resource planning integration activities and

14  requirements, and any recommendations for statutory changes to

15  be considered by the Legislature.

16         (h)  This subsection expires July 1, 2008 July 1, 2004.

17         Section 11.  Subsection (10) is added to section

18  287.064, Florida Statutes, to read:

19         287.064  Consolidated financing of deferred-payment

20  purchases.--

21         (10)  Costs incurred pursuant to a guaranteed energy

22  performance savings contract, including the cost of energy

23  conservation measures, each as defined in s. 489.145, may be

24  financed pursuant to a master equipment financing agreement;

25  however, the costs of training, operation, and maintenance may

26  not be financed. The period of time for repayment of the funds

27  drawn pursuant to the master equipment financing agreement

28  under this subsection may exceed 5 years but may not exceed 10

29  years.

30         Section 12.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section

31  408.05, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:


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 1         408.05  State Center for Health Statistics.--

 2         (8)  STATE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM

 3  ADVISORY COUNCIL.--

 4         (a)  There is established in the agency the State

 5  Comprehensive Health Information System Advisory Council to

 6  assist the center in reviewing the comprehensive health

 7  information system and to recommend improvements for such

 8  system. The council shall consist of the following members:

 9         1.  An employee of the Executive Office of the

10  Governor, to be appointed by the Governor.

11         2.  An employee of the Office of Insurance Regulation

12  Department of Financial Services, to be appointed by the

13  director of the office Chief Financial Officer.

14         3.  An employee of the Department of Education, to be

15  appointed by the Commissioner of Education.

16         4.  Ten persons, to be appointed by the Secretary of

17  Health Care Administration, representing other state and local

18  agencies, state universities, the Florida Association of

19  Business/Health Coalitions, local health councils,

20  professional health-care-related associations, consumers, and

21  purchasers.

22         Section 13.  Subsection (4) of section 501.212, Florida

23  Statutes, is amended and subsection (7) is added to that

24  section, to read:

25         501.212  Application.--This part does not apply to:

26         (4)  Any person or activity regulated under laws

27  administered by:

28         (a)  The Department of Financial Services or the Office

29  of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission;

30  or

31  


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 1         (b)  Banks and savings and loan associations regulated

 2  by the Office of Financial Regulation of the Financial

 3  Services Commission; or

 4         (c)  Banks or savings and loan associations regulated

 5  by federal agencies; or.

 6         (d)  Any person or activity regulated under the laws

 7  administered by the former Department of Insurance which are

 8  now administered by the Department of Financial Services.

 9         (7)(a)  Causes of action pertaining to commercial real

10  property located in this state if the parties to the action

11  executed a written lease or contract that expressly provides

12  for the process of resolution of any dispute and the award of

13  damages, attorney's fees, and costs, if any; or

14         (b)  Causes of action concerning failure to maintain

15  real property if the Florida Statutes:

16         1.  Require the owner to comply with applicable

17  building, housing, and health codes;

18         2.  Require the owner to maintain buildings and

19  improvements in common areas in a good state of repair and

20  maintenance and maintain the common areas in a good state of

21  appearance, safety, and cleanliness; and

22         3.  Provide a cause of action for failure to maintain

23  the real property and provide legal or equitable remedies,

24  including the award of attorney's fees.

25  

26  However, this subsection does not affect any action or remedy

27  concerning residential tenancies covered under part II of

28  chapter 83, nor does it prohibit the enforcing authority from

29  maintaining exclusive jurisdiction to bring any cause of

30  action authorized under part II of chapter 501.

31  


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 1         Section 14.  Subsection (1) of section 516.35, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         516.35  Credit insurance must comply with credit

 4  insurance act.--

 5         (1)  Tangible property offered as security may be

 6  reasonably insured against loss for a reasonable term,

 7  considering the circumstances of the loan. If such insurance

 8  is sold at standard rates through a person duly licensed by

 9  the Department of Financial Services Office of Insurance

10  Regulation of the Financial Services Commission and if the

11  policy is payable to the borrower or any member of her or his

12  family, it shall not be deemed to be a collateral sale,

13  purchase, or agreement even though a customary mortgagee

14  clause is attached or the licensee is a coassured.

15         Section 15.  Subsection (2) of section 624.313, Florida

16  Statutes, is amended to read:

17         624.313  Publications.--

18         (2)(a)  The department may prepare and have printed and

19  published in pamphlet or book form the following:

20         (a)1.  As needed, questions and answers for the use of

21  persons applying for an examination for licensing as agents

22  for property, casualty, surety, health, and miscellaneous

23  insurers.

24         (b)2.  As needed, questions and answers for the use of

25  persons applying for an examination for licensing as agents

26  for life and health insurers.

27         (c)(b)  The office may prepare and have printed and

28  published in pamphlet or book form, As needed, questions and

29  answers for the use of persons applying for an examination for

30  licensing as adjusters.

31  


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 1         Section 16.  Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of

 2  subsection (2) of section 624.317, Florida Statutes, are

 3  amended to read:

 4         624.317  Investigation of agents, adjusters,

 5  administrators, service companies, and others.--If it has

 6  reason to believe that any person has violated or is violating

 7  any provision of this code, or upon the written complaint

 8  signed by any interested person indicating that any such

 9  violation may exist:

10         (1)  The department shall conduct such investigation as

11  it deems necessary of the accounts, records, documents, and

12  transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs

13  of any general agent, surplus line agent, adjuster, managing

14  general agent, insurance agent, customer representative,

15  service representative, or other person subject to its

16  jurisdiction, subject to the requirements of s. 626.601.

17         (2)  The office shall conduct such investigation as it

18  deems necessary of the accounts, records, documents, and

19  transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs

20  of any:

21         (a)  Adjuster, Administrator, service company, or other

22  person subject to its jurisdiction.

23         Section 17.  Subsections (3) and (4) are added to

24  section 624.4622, Florida Statutes, to read:

25         624.4622  Local government self-insurance funds.--

26         (3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), a local government

27  self-insurance fund created under this section after October

28  1, 2004, shall initially be subject to the requirements of a

29  commercial fund under s. 624.4621 and, for the first 5 years

30  of its existence, shall be subject to all the requirements

31  


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 1  applied to commercial self-insurance funds or to group

 2  self-insurance funds, respectively.

 3         (4)(a)  A local government self-insurance fund formed

 4  after January 1, 2005, shall, for its first 5 fiscal years,

 5  file with the office full and true statements of its financial

 6  condition, transactions, and affairs. An annual statement

 7  covering the preceding fiscal year shall be filed within 60

 8  days after the end of the fund's fiscal year and quarterly

 9  statements shall be filed within 45 days after each such date.

10  The office may, for good cause, grant an extension of time for

11  filing an annual or quarterly statement. The statements shall

12  contain information generally included in insurers' financial

13  statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted

14  insurance accounting principles and practices and in a form

15  generally used by insurers for financial statements, sworn to

16  by at least two executive officers of the self-insurance fund.

17  The form for financial statements shall be the form currently

18  approved by the National Association of Insurance

19  Commissioners for use by property and casualty insurers.

20         (b)  Each annual statement shall contain a statement of

21  opinion on loss and loss adjustment expense reserves made by a

22  member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Workpapers in

23  support of the statement of opinion must be provided to the

24  office upon request.

25         Section 18.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (12) of

26  section 624.501, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

27         624.501  Filing, license, appointment, and

28  miscellaneous fees.--The department, commission, or office, as

29  appropriate, shall collect in advance, and persons so served

30  shall pay to it in advance, fees, licenses, and miscellaneous

31  charges as follows:


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 1         (12)  Adjusters:

 2         (d)  Fee to cover actual cost of credit report, when

 3  such report must be secured by department office.

 4         Section 19.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

 5  626.016, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 6         626.016  Powers and duties of department, commission,

 7  and office.--

 8         (1)  The powers and duties of the Chief Financial

 9  Officer and the department specified in this part apply only

10  with respect to insurance agents, managing general agents,

11  insurance adjusters, reinsurance intermediaries, viatical

12  settlement brokers, customer representatives, service

13  representatives, and agencies.

14         (2)  The powers and duties of the commission and office

15  specified in this part apply only with respect to insurance

16  adjusters, service companies, administrators, and viatical

17  settlement providers and contracts.

18         Section 20.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section

19  626.112, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

20         626.112  License and appointment required; agents,

21  customer representatives, adjusters, insurance agencies,

22  service representatives, managing general agents.--

23         (1)(a)  No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold

24  himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance

25  adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is

26  currently licensed by the department and appointed by an

27  appropriate appointing entity or person one or more insurers.

28  No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold himself or

29  herself out to be an insurance adjuster unless he or she is

30  currently licensed by the office and appointed by one or more

31  insurers.


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 1         Section 21.  Section 626.161, Florida Statutes, is

 2  amended to read:

 3         626.161  Licensing forms.--The department shall

 4  prescribe and furnish all printed forms required in connection

 5  with the application for issuance of and termination of all

 6  licenses and appointments, except that, with respect to

 7  adjusters, the commission shall prescribe and the office shall

 8  furnish such forms.

 9         Section 22.  Subsection (1), paragraph (f) of

10  subsection (2), and subsection (5) of section 626.171, Florida

11  Statutes, are amended to read:

12         626.171  Application for license.--

13         (1)  The department or office shall not issue a license

14  as agent, customer representative, adjuster, insurance agency,

15  service representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance

16  intermediary to any person except upon written application

17  therefor filed with it, qualification therefor, and payment in

18  advance of all applicable fees. Any such application shall be

19  made under the oath of the applicant and be signed by the

20  applicant. Beginning November 1, 2002, the department shall

21  accept the uniform application for nonresident agent

22  licensing. The department may adopt revised versions of the

23  uniform application by rule.

24         (2)  In the application, the applicant shall set forth:

25         (f)  Such other or additional information as the

26  department or office may deem proper to enable it to determine

27  the character, experience, ability, and other qualifications

28  of the applicant to hold himself or herself out to the public

29  as an insurance representative.

30         (5)  An application for a license as an agent, customer

31  representative, adjuster, insurance agency, service


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 1  representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance

 2  intermediary must be accompanied by a set of the individual

 3  applicant's fingerprints, or, if the applicant is not an

 4  individual, by a set of the fingerprints of the sole

 5  proprietor, majority owner, partners, officers, and directors,

 6  on a form adopted by rule of the department or commission and

 7  accompanied by the fingerprint processing fee set forth in s.

 8  624.501. Fingerprints shall be used to investigate the

 9  applicant's qualifications pursuant to s. 626.201. The

10  fingerprints shall be taken by a law enforcement agency or

11  other department-approved entity.

12         Section 23.  Section 626.181, Florida Statutes, is

13  amended to read:

14         626.181  Number of applications for licensure

15  required.--After a license as agent, customer representative,

16  or adjuster has been issued to an individual, the same

17  individual shall not be required to take another examination

18  for a similar license, regardless, in the case of an agent, of

19  the number of insurers to be represented by him or her as

20  agent, unless:

21         (1)  Specifically ordered by the department or office

22  to complete a new application for license; or

23         (2)  During any period of 48 months since the filing of

24  the original license application, such individual was not

25  appointed as an agent, customer representative, or adjuster,

26  unless the failure to be so appointed was due to military

27  service, in which event the period within which a new

28  application is not required may, in the discretion of the

29  department or office, be extended to 12 months following the

30  date of discharge from military service if the military

31  service does not exceed 3 years, but in no event to extend


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 1  under this clause for a period of more than 6 years from the

 2  date of filing of the original application for license.

 3         Section 24.  Section 626.191, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         626.191  Repeated applications.--The failure of an

 6  applicant to secure a license upon an application shall not

 7  preclude him or her from applying again as many times as

 8  desired, but the department or office shall not give

 9  consideration to or accept any further application by the same

10  individual for a similar license dated or filed within 30 days

11  subsequent to the date the department or office denied the

12  last application, except as provided in s. 626.281.

13         Section 25.  Section 626.211, Florida Statutes, is

14  amended to read:

15         626.211  Approval, disapproval of application.--

16         (1)  If upon the basis of a completed application for

17  license and such further inquiry or investigation as the

18  department or office may make concerning an applicant the

19  department or office is satisfied that, subject to any

20  examination required to be taken and passed by the applicant

21  for a license, the applicant is qualified for the license

22  applied for and that all pertinent fees have been paid, it

23  shall approve the application.  The department or office shall

24  not deny, delay, or withhold approval of an application due to

25  the fact that it has not received a criminal history report

26  based on the applicant's fingerprints.

27         (2)  Upon approval of an applicant for license as

28  agent, customer representative, or adjuster who is subject to

29  written examination, the department or office shall notify the

30  applicant when and where he or she may take the required

31  examination.


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 1         (3)  Upon approval of an applicant for license who is

 2  not subject to examination, the department or office shall

 3  promptly issue the license.

 4         (4)  If upon the basis of the completed application and

 5  such further inquiry or investigation the department or office

 6  deems the applicant to be lacking in any one or more of the

 7  required qualifications for the license applied for, the

 8  department or office shall disapprove the application and

 9  notify the applicant, stating the grounds of disapproval.

10         Section 26.  Subsection (1) and paragraphs (a), (c),

11  (d), (f), (g), and (l) of subsection (2) of section 626.221,

12  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

13         626.221  Examination requirement; exemptions.--

14         (1)  The department or office shall not issue any

15  license as agent, customer representative, or adjuster to any

16  individual who has not qualified for, taken, and passed to the

17  satisfaction of the department or office a written examination

18  of the scope prescribed in s. 626.241.

19         (2)  However, no such examination shall be necessary in

20  any of the following cases:

21         (a)  An applicant for renewal of appointment as an

22  agent, customer representative, or adjuster, unless the

23  department or office determines that an examination is

24  necessary to establish the competence or trustworthiness of

25  such applicant.

26         (c)  In the discretion of the department or office, an

27  applicant for reinstatement of license or appointment as an

28  agent, customer representative, or adjuster whose license has

29  been suspended within 2 years prior to the date of application

30  or written request for reinstatement.

31  


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 1         (d)  An applicant who, within 2 years prior to

 2  application for license and appointment as an agent, customer

 3  representative, or adjuster, was a full-time salaried employee

 4  of the department or office and had continuously been such an

 5  employee with responsible insurance duties for not less than 2

 6  years and who had been a licensee within 2 years prior to

 7  employment by the department or office with the same class of

 8  license as that being applied for.

 9         (f)  A person who has been licensed and appointed as a

10  public adjuster or independent adjuster, or licensed and

11  appointed either as an agent or company adjuster as to all

12  property, casualty, and surety insurances, may be licensed and

13  appointed as a company adjuster as to any of such insurances,

14  or as an independent adjuster or public adjuster, without

15  additional written examination if an application for

16  appointment is filed with the department office within 48

17  months following the date of cancellation or expiration of the

18  prior appointment.

19         (g)  A person who has been licensed as an adjuster for

20  motor vehicle, property and casualty, workers' compensation,

21  and health insurance may be licensed as such an adjuster

22  without additional written examination if his or her

23  application for appointment is filed with the department

24  office within 48 months after cancellation or expiration of

25  the prior license.

26         (l)  An applicant for license as an adjuster who has

27  the designation of Accredited Claims Adjuster (ACA) from a

28  regionally accredited postsecondary institution in this state,

29  or the designation of Professional Claims Adjuster (PCA) from

30  the Professional Career Institute, whose curriculum has been

31  approved by the department office and whose curriculum


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 1  includes comprehensive analysis of basic property and casualty

 2  lines of insurance and testing at least equal to that of

 3  standard department office testing for the all-lines adjuster

 4  license. The department commission shall adopt rules

 5  establishing standards for the approval of curriculum.

 6         Section 27.  Section 626.231, Florida Statutes, is

 7  amended to read:

 8         626.231  Eligibility for examination.--No person shall

 9  be permitted to take an examination for license until his or

10  her application for the license has been approved and the

11  required fees have been received by the department or office

12  or a person designated by the department or office to

13  administer the examination.

14         Section 28.  Subsection (1) of section 626.241, Florida

15  Statutes, is amended to read:

16         626.241  Scope of examination.--

17         (1)  Each examination for a license as agent, customer

18  representative, or adjuster shall be of such scope as is

19  deemed by the department or office to be reasonably necessary

20  to test the applicant's ability and competence and knowledge

21  of the kinds of insurance and transactions to be handled under

22  the license applied for, of the duties and responsibilities of

23  such a licensee, and of the pertinent provisions of the laws

24  of this state.

25         Section 29.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

26  626.251, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

27         626.251  Time and place of examination; notice.--

28         (1)  The department or office or a person designated by

29  the department or office shall mail written notice of the time

30  and place of the examination to each applicant for license

31  required to take an examination who will be eligible to take


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 1  the examination as of the examination date.  The notice shall

 2  be so mailed, postage prepaid, and addressed to the applicant

 3  at his or her address shown on the application for license or

 4  at such other address as requested by the applicant in writing

 5  filed with the department or office prior to the mailing of

 6  the notice. Notice shall be deemed given when so mailed.

 7         (3)  The department or office shall make an examination

 8  available to the applicant, to be taken as soon as reasonably

 9  possible after the applicant is eligible therefor.  Any

10  examination required under this part shall be available in

11  this state at a designated examination center.

12         Section 30.  Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section

13  626.261, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

14         626.261  Conduct of examination.--

15         (1)  The applicant for license shall appear in person

16  and personally take the examination for license at the time

17  and place specified by the department or office or by a person

18  designated by the department or office.

19         (2)  The examination shall be conducted by an employee

20  of the department or office or a person designated by the

21  department or office for that purpose.

22         (3)  The questions propounded shall be as prepared by

23  the department or office, or by a person designated by the

24  department or office for that purpose, consistent with the

25  applicable provisions of this code.

26         Section 31.  Section 626.266, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         626.266  Printing of examinations or related materials

29  to preserve examination security.--A contract let for the

30  development, administration, or grading of examinations or

31  related materials by the department or office pursuant to the


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 1  various agent, customer representative, or adjuster licensing

 2  and examination provisions of this code may include the

 3  printing or furnishing of these examinations or related

 4  materials in order to preserve security. Any such contract

 5  shall be let as a contract for a contractual service pursuant

 6  to s. 287.057.

 7         Section 32.  Subsection (1) of section 626.271, Florida

 8  Statutes, is amended to read:

 9         626.271  Examination fee; determination, refund.--

10         (1)  Prior to being permitted to take an examination,

11  each applicant who is subject to examination shall pay to the

12  department or office or a person designated by the department

13  or office an examination fee.  A separate and additional

14  examination fee shall be payable for each separate class of

15  license applied for, notwithstanding that all such

16  examinations are taken on the same date and at the same place.

17         Section 33.  Section 626.281, Florida Statutes, is

18  amended to read:

19         626.281  Reexamination.--

20         (1)  Any applicant for license who has either:

21         (a)  Taken an examination and failed to make a passing

22  grade, or

23         (b)  Failed to appear for the examination or to take or

24  complete the examination at the time and place specified in

25  the notice of the department or office,

26  

27  may take additional examinations, after filing with the

28  department or office an application for reexamination together

29  with applicable fees.  The failure of an applicant to pass an

30  examination or the failure to appear for the examination or to

31  


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 1  take or complete the examination does not preclude the

 2  applicant from taking subsequent examinations.

 3         (2)  The department or office may require any

 4  individual whose license as an agent, customer representative,

 5  or adjuster has expired or has been suspended to pass an

 6  examination prior to reinstating or relicensing the individual

 7  as to any class of license.  The examination fee shall be paid

 8  as to each examination.

 9         Section 34.  Section 626.2817, Florida Statutes, is

10  amended to read:

11         626.2817  Regulation of course providers, instructors,

12  school officials, and monitor groups involved in prelicensure

13  education for insurance agents and other licensees.--

14         (1)  Any course provider, instructor, school official,

15  or monitor group must be approved by and registered with the

16  department or office before offering prelicensure education

17  courses for insurance agents and other licensees.

18         (2)  The department or commission shall adopt rules

19  establishing standards for the approval, registration,

20  discipline, or removal from registration of course providers,

21  instructors, school officials, and monitor groups. The

22  standards must be designed to ensure that such persons have

23  the knowledge, competence, and integrity to fulfill the

24  educational objectives of the prelicensure requirements of

25  this chapter and chapter 648 and to assure that insurance

26  agents and licensees are competent to engage in the activities

27  authorized under the license.

28         (3)  The department or commission shall adopt rules to

29  establish a process for determining compliance with the

30  prelicensure requirements of this chapter and chapter 648. The

31  


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 1  department or commission shall adopt rules prescribing the

 2  forms necessary to administer the prelicensure requirements.

 3         Section 35.  Section 626.291, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         626.291  Denial, issuance of license.--

 6         (1)  Within 30 days after the applicant has completed

 7  any examination required under s. 626.221, the department or

 8  office or its designee shall provide a score report; and, if

 9  it finds that the applicant has received a passing grade, the

10  department or office shall within such period notify the

11  applicant and issue and transmit the license to which such

12  examination related.  If it finds that the applicant did not

13  make a passing grade on the examination for a particular

14  license, the department or office or its designee shall within

15  this period provide notice to the applicant to that effect and

16  of its denial of the license.

17         (2)  As to an applicant for a license for which no

18  examination is required, the department or office shall

19  promptly issue the license applied for as soon as it has

20  approved the application.

21         (3)  The department or office shall not deny, delay, or

22  withhold issuance of a license due to the fact that it has not

23  received a criminal history report based on the applicant's

24  fingerprints.

25         Section 36.  Section 626.301, Florida Statutes, is

26  amended to read:

27         626.301  Form and contents of licenses, in

28  general.--Each license issued by the department or office

29  shall be in such form as the department or commission may

30  designate and contain the licensee's name, lines of authority

31  the licensee is authorized to transact, the licensee's


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 1  personal identification number, the date of issuance, and any

 2  other information the department or commission deems necessary

 3  to fully identify the licensee and the authority being

 4  granted. The department or commission may by rule require

 5  photographs of applicants as a part of the licensing process.

 6         Section 37.  Subsection (2) of section 626.371, Florida

 7  Statutes, is amended to read:

 8         626.371  Payment of fees, taxes for appointment period

 9  without appointment.--

10         (2)  If, upon application and qualification for an

11  initial or renewal appointment and such investigation as the

12  department or office may make, it appears to the department or

13  office that an individual who was formerly licensed or is

14  currently licensed but not properly appointed to represent an

15  insurer or employer and who has been actively engaged or is

16  currently actively engaged as such an appointee, but without

17  being appointed as required, the department or office may, if

18  it finds that such failure to be appointed was an inadvertent

19  error on the part of the insurer or employer so represented,

20  nevertheless issue or authorize the issuance of the

21  appointment as applied for but subject to the condition that,

22  before the appointment is issued, all fees and taxes which

23  would have been due had the applicant been so appointed during

24  such current and prior periods, with applicable fees pursuant

25  to s. 624.501 for such current and prior periods of

26  appointment, shall be paid to the department or office.

27         Section 38.  Subsections (2), (3), and (4) of section

28  626.381, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

29         626.381  Renewal, continuation, reinstatement, or

30  termination of appointment.--

31  


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 1         (2)  Each appointing entity shall file with the

 2  department or office the lists, statements, and information as

 3  to appointees whose appointments are being renewed or

 4  terminated, accompanied by payment of the applicable renewal

 5  fees and taxes as prescribed in s. 624.501, by a date set

 6  forth by the department or office following the month during

 7  which the appointments will expire.

 8         (3)  Renewal of an appointment which is received by the

 9  department or office or person designated by the department to

10  administer the appointment process prior to the expiration of

11  an appointment in the licensee's birth month or license issue

12  date, whichever applies, may be renewed by the department or

13  office without penalty and shall be effective as of the first

14  day of the month succeeding the month in which the appointment

15  would have expired.

16         (4)  Renewal of an appointment which is received by the

17  department or office or person designated by the department to

18  administer the appointment process after the renewal date may

19  be accepted and effectuated by the department or office in its

20  discretion if the appointment, late filing, continuation, and

21  reinstatement fee accompanies the renewal request pursuant to

22  s. 624.501. Late filing fees shall be paid by the appointing

23  entity and may not be charged to the appointee.

24         Section 39.  Subsection (2) of section 626.431, Florida

25  Statutes, is amended to read:

26         626.431  Effect of expiration of license and

27  appointment.--

28         (2)  When a licensee's last appointment for a

29  particular class of insurance has been terminated or not

30  renewed, the department or office must notify the licensee

31  that his or her eligibility for appointment as such an


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 1  appointee will expire unless he or she is appointed prior to

 2  expiration of the 48-month period referred to in subsection

 3  (3).

 4         Section 40.  Section 626.461, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         626.461  Continuation of appointment of agent or other

 7  representative.--Subject to renewal or continuation by the

 8  appointing entity, the appointment of the agent, adjuster,

 9  service representative, customer representative, or managing

10  general agent shall continue in effect until the person's

11  license is revoked or otherwise terminated, unless written

12  notice of earlier termination of the appointment is filed with

13  the department or office or person designated by the

14  department to administer the appointment process by either the

15  appointing entity or the appointee.

16         Section 41.  Subsections (2), (3), (4), and (5) of

17  section 626.471, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

18         626.471  Termination of appointment.--

19         (2)  As soon as possible and at all events within 30

20  days after terminating the appointment of an appointee, other

21  than as to an appointment terminated by the appointing

22  entity's failure to continue or renew it, the appointing

23  entity shall file written notice thereof with the department

24  or office, together with a statement that it has given the

25  appointee notice thereof as provided in subsection (1) and

26  shall file with the department or office the reasons and facts

27  involved in such termination as required under s. 626.511.

28         (3)  Upon termination of the appointment of an

29  appointee, whether by failure to renew or continue the

30  appointment, the appointing entity shall:

31  


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 1         (a)  File with the department or office the information

 2  required under s. 626.511.

 3         (b)  Subject to the exceptions provided under

 4  subsection (1), continue the outstanding contracts transacted

 5  by an agent until the expiration date or anniversary date when

 6  the policy is a continuous policy with no expiration date.

 7  This paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the

 8  cancellation of such contracts when not otherwise prohibited

 9  by law.

10         (4)  An appointee may terminate the appointment at any

11  time by giving written or electronic notice thereof to the

12  appointing entity, department or office, or person designated

13  by the department to administer the appointment process. The

14  department shall immediately terminate the appointment and

15  notify the appointing entity of such termination. Such

16  termination shall be subject to the appointee's contract

17  rights, if any.

18         (5)  Upon receiving notice of termination, the

19  department or office or person designated by the department to

20  administer the appointment process shall terminate the

21  appointment.

22         Section 42.  Subsections (2), (3), and (5) of section

23  626.521, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

24         626.521  Character, credit reports.--

25         (2)  If requested by the department or office, the

26  insurer, manager, general agent, general lines agent, or

27  employer, as the case may be, shall furnish to the department

28  or office on a form adopted and furnished by the department or

29  commission and furnished by the department or office, such

30  information as it may reasonably requires require relative to

31  such individual and investigation.


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 1         (3)  As to an applicant for an adjuster's or

 2  reinsurance intermediary's license who is to be self-employed,

 3  the department or office may secure, at the cost of the

 4  applicant, a full detailed credit and character report made by

 5  an established and reputable independent reporting service

 6  relative to the applicant.

 7         (5)  Information contained in credit or character

 8  reports furnished to or secured by the department or office

 9  under this section is confidential and exempt from the

10  provisions of s. 119.07(1).

11         Section 43.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

12  626.541, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

13         626.541  Firm, corporate, and business names; officers;

14  associates; notice of changes.--

15         (1)  Any licensed agent or adjuster doing business

16  under a firm or corporate name or under any business name

17  other than his or her own individual name shall, within 30

18  days after the initial transaction of insurance under such

19  business name, file with the department or office, on forms

20  adopted and furnished by the department or commission and

21  furnished by the department or office, a written statement of

22  the firm, corporate, or business name being so used, the

23  address of any office or offices or places of business making

24  use of such name, and the name and social security number of

25  each officer and director of the corporation and of each

26  individual associated in such firm or corporation as to the

27  insurance transactions thereof or in the use of such business

28  name.

29         (2)  In the event of any change of such name, or of any

30  of the officers and directors, or of any of such addresses, or

31  in the personnel so associated, written notice of such change


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 1  must be filed with the department or office within 30 days by

 2  or on behalf of those licensees terminating any such firm,

 3  corporate, or business name or continuing to operate

 4  thereunder.

 5         Section 44.  Section 626.551, Florida Statutes, is

 6  amended to read:

 7         626.551  Notice of change of address, name.--Every

 8  licensee shall notify the department or office in writing

 9  within 60 days after a change of name, residence address,

10  principal business street address, or mailing address. Any

11  licensed agent who has moved his or her residence from this

12  state shall have his or her license and all appointments

13  immediately terminated by the department or office. Failure to

14  notify the department or office within the required time

15  period shall result in a fine not to exceed $250 for the first

16  offense and, for subsequent offenses, a fine of not less than

17  $500 or suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to s.

18  626.611 or s. 626.621.

19         Section 45.  Section 626.611, Florida Statutes, is

20  amended to read:

21         626.611  Grounds for compulsory refusal, suspension, or

22  revocation of agent's, title agency's, adjuster's, customer

23  representative's, service representative's, or managing

24  general agent's license or appointment.--The department or

25  office shall deny an application for, suspend, revoke, or

26  refuse to renew or continue the license or appointment of any

27  applicant, agent, title agency, adjuster, customer

28  representative, service representative, or managing general

29  agent, and it shall suspend or revoke the eligibility to hold

30  a license or appointment of any such person, if it finds that

31  


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 1  as to the applicant, licensee, or appointee any one or more of

 2  the following applicable grounds exist:

 3         (1)  Lack of one or more of the qualifications for the

 4  license or appointment as specified in this code.

 5         (2)  Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud

 6  in obtaining the license or appointment or in attempting to

 7  obtain the license or appointment.

 8         (3)  Failure to pass to the satisfaction of the

 9  department or office any examination required under this code.

10         (4)  If the license or appointment is willfully used,

11  or to be used, to circumvent any of the requirements or

12  prohibitions of this code.

13         (5)  Willful misrepresentation of any insurance policy

14  or annuity contract or willful deception with regard to any

15  such policy or contract, done either in person or by any form

16  of dissemination of information or advertising.

17         (6)  If, as an adjuster, or agent licensed and

18  appointed to adjust claims under this code, he or she has

19  materially misrepresented to an insured or other interested

20  party the terms and coverage of an insurance contract with

21  intent and for the purpose of effecting settlement of claim

22  for loss or damage or benefit under such contract on less

23  favorable terms than those provided in and contemplated by the

24  contract.

25         (7)  Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to

26  engage in the business of insurance.

27         (8)  Demonstrated lack of reasonably adequate knowledge

28  and technical competence to engage in the transactions

29  authorized by the license or appointment.

30         (9)  Fraudulent or dishonest practices in the conduct

31  of business under the license or appointment.


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 1         (10)  Misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful

 2  withholding of moneys belonging to insurers or insureds or

 3  beneficiaries or to others and received in conduct of business

 4  under the license or appointment.

 5         (11)  Unlawfully rebating, attempting to unlawfully

 6  rebate, or unlawfully dividing or offering to divide his or

 7  her commission with another.

 8         (12)  Having obtained or attempted to obtain, or having

 9  used or using, a license or appointment as agent or customer

10  representative for the purpose of soliciting or handling

11  "controlled business" as defined in s. 626.730 with respect to

12  general lines agents, s. 626.784 with respect to life agents,

13  and s. 626.830 with respect to health agents.

14         (13)  Willful failure to comply with, or willful

15  violation of, any proper order or rule of the department,

16  commission, or office or willful violation of any provision of

17  this code.

18         (14)  Having been found guilty of or having pleaded

19  guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime punishable by

20  imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United

21  States of America or of any state thereof or under the law of

22  any other country which involves moral turpitude, without

23  regard to whether a judgment of conviction has been entered by

24  the court having jurisdiction of such cases.

25         (15)  Fraudulent or dishonest practice in submitting or

26  aiding or abetting any person in the submission of an

27  application for workers' compensation coverage under chapter

28  440 containing false or misleading information as to employee

29  payroll or classification for the purpose of avoiding or

30  reducing the amount of premium due for such coverage.

31  


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 1         (16)  Sale of an unregistered security that was

 2  required to be registered, pursuant to chapter 517.

 3         Section 46.  Section 626.621, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         626.621  Grounds for discretionary refusal, suspension,

 6  or revocation of agent's, adjuster's, customer

 7  representative's, service representative's, or managing

 8  general agent's license or appointment.--The department or

 9  office may, in its discretion, deny an application for,

10  suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew or continue the license or

11  appointment of any applicant, agent, adjuster, customer

12  representative, service representative, or managing general

13  agent, and it may suspend or revoke the eligibility to hold a

14  license or appointment of any such person, if it finds that as

15  to the applicant, licensee, or appointee any one or more of

16  the following applicable grounds exist under circumstances for

17  which such denial, suspension, revocation, or refusal is not

18  mandatory under s. 626.611:

19         (1)  Any cause for which issuance of the license or

20  appointment could have been refused had it then existed and

21  been known to the department or office.

22         (2)  Violation of any provision of this code or of any

23  other law applicable to the business of insurance in the

24  course of dealing under the license or appointment.

25         (3)  Violation of any lawful order or rule of the

26  department, commission, or office.

27         (4)  Failure or refusal, upon demand, to pay over to

28  any insurer he or she represents or has represented any money

29  coming into his or her hands belonging to the insurer.

30         (5)  Violation of the provision against twisting, as

31  defined in s. 626.9541(1)(l).


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 1         (6)  In the conduct of business under the license or

 2  appointment, engaging in unfair methods of competition or in

 3  unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as prohibited under

 4  part IX of this chapter, or having otherwise shown himself or

 5  herself to be a source of injury or loss to the public or

 6  detrimental to the public interest.

 7         (7)  Willful overinsurance of any property or health

 8  insurance risk.

 9         (8)  Having been found guilty of or having pleaded

10  guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime punishable by

11  imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United

12  States of America or of any state thereof or under the law of

13  any other country, without regard to whether a judgment of

14  conviction has been entered by the court having jurisdiction

15  of such cases.

16         (9)  If a life agent, violation of the code of ethics.

17         (10)  Cheating on an examination required for licensure

18  or violating test center or examination procedures published

19  orally, in writing, or electronically at the test site by

20  authorized representatives of the examination program

21  administrator.  Communication of test center and examination

22  procedures must be clearly established and documented.

23         (11)  Failure to inform the department or office in

24  writing within 30 days after pleading guilty or nolo

25  contendere to, or being convicted or found guilty of, any

26  felony or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more

27  under the law of the United States or of any state thereof, or

28  under the law of any other country without regard to whether a

29  judgment of conviction has been entered by the court having

30  jurisdiction of the case.

31  


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 1         (12)  Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, advising,

 2  or abetting any person in the violation of or to violate a

 3  provision of the insurance code or any order or rule of the

 4  department, commission, or office.

 5         Section 47.  Section 626.631, Florida Statutes, is

 6  amended to read:

 7         626.631  Procedure for refusal, suspension, or

 8  revocation of license.--

 9         (1)  If any licensee is convicted by a court of a

10  violation of this code or a felony, the licenses and

11  appointments of such person shall be immediately revoked by

12  the department or office. The licensee may subsequently

13  request a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, and the

14  department or office shall expedite any such requested

15  hearing. The sole issue at such hearing shall be whether the

16  revocation should be rescinded because such person was not in

17  fact convicted of a violation of this code or a felony.

18         (2)  The papers, documents, reports, or evidence of the

19  department or office relative to a hearing for revocation or

20  suspension of a license or appointment pursuant to the

21  provisions of this chapter and chapter 120 are confidential

22  and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until after the

23  same have been published at the hearing. However, such papers,

24  documents, reports, or items of evidence are subject to

25  discovery in a hearing for revocation or suspension of a

26  license or appointment.

27         Section 48.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

28  626.641, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

29         626.641  Duration of suspension or revocation.--

30         (1)  The department or office shall, in its order

31  suspending a license or appointment or in its order suspending


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 1  the eligibility of a person to hold or apply for such license

 2  or appointment, specify the period during which the suspension

 3  is to be in effect; but such period shall not exceed 2 years.

 4  The license, appointment, or eligibility shall remain

 5  suspended during the period so specified, subject, however, to

 6  any rescission or modification of the order by the department

 7  or office, or modification or reversal thereof by the court,

 8  prior to expiration of the suspension period.  A license,

 9  appointment, or eligibility which has been suspended shall not

10  be reinstated except upon request for such reinstatement; but

11  the department or office shall not grant such reinstatement if

12  it finds that the circumstance or circumstances for which the

13  license, appointment, or eligibility was suspended still exist

14  or are likely to recur.

15         (2)  No person or appointee under any license or

16  appointment revoked by the department or office, nor any

17  person whose eligibility to hold same has been revoked by the

18  department or office, shall have the right to apply for

19  another license or appointment under this code within 2 years

20  from the effective date of such revocation or, if judicial

21  review of such revocation is sought, within 2 years from the

22  date of final court order or decree affirming the revocation.

23  The department or office shall not, however, grant a new

24  license or appointment or reinstate eligibility to hold such

25  license or appointment if it finds that the circumstance or

26  circumstances for which the eligibility was revoked or for

27  which the previous license or appointment was revoked still

28  exist or are likely to recur; if an individual's license as

29  agent or customer representative or eligibility to hold same

30  has been revoked upon the ground specified in s. 626.611(12),

31  


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 1  the department or office shall refuse to grant or issue any

 2  new license or appointment so applied for.

 3         Section 49.  Subsection (2) of section 626.661, Florida

 4  Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         626.661  Surrender of license.--

 6         (2)  This section shall not be deemed to require the

 7  surrender to the department or office of any license unless

 8  such surrender has been requested by the department or office.

 9         Section 50.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

10  626.681, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

11         626.681  Administrative fine in lieu of or in addition

12  to suspension, revocation, or refusal of license, appointment,

13  or disapproval.--

14         (1)  Except as to insurance agencies, if the department

15  or office finds that one or more grounds exist for the

16  suspension, revocation, or refusal to issue, renew, or

17  continue any license or appointment issued under this chapter,

18  or disapproval of a continuing education course provider,

19  instructor, school official, or monitor groups, the department

20  or office may, in its discretion, in lieu of or in addition to

21  such suspension or revocation, or in lieu of such refusal, or

22  disapproval, and except on a second offense or when such

23  suspension, revocation, or refusal is mandatory, impose upon

24  the licensee, appointee, course provider, instructor, school

25  official, or monitor group an administrative penalty in an

26  amount up to $500 or, if the department or office has found

27  willful misconduct or willful violation on the part of the

28  licensee, appointee, course provider, instructor, school

29  official, or monitor group up to $3,500. The administrative

30  penalty may, in the discretion of the department or office, be

31  augmented by an amount equal to any commissions received by or


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 1  accruing to the credit of the licensee or appointee in

 2  connection with any transaction as to which the grounds for

 3  suspension, revocation, or refusal related.

 4         (3)  The department or office may allow the licensee,

 5  appointee, or continuing education course provider,

 6  instructor, school official, or monitor group a reasonable

 7  period, not to exceed 30 days, within which to pay to the

 8  department or office the amount of the penalty so imposed. If

 9  the licensee, appointee, course provider, instructor, school

10  official, or monitor group fails to pay the penalty in its

11  entirety to the department or office within the period so

12  allowed, the license, appointments, approval, or status of

13  that person shall stand suspended or revoked or issuance,

14  renewal, or continuation shall be refused, as the case may be,

15  upon expiration of such period.

16         Section 51.  Section 626.691, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         626.691  Probation.--

19         (1)  If the department or office finds that one or more

20  grounds exist for the suspension, revocation, or refusal to

21  renew or continue any license or appointment issued under this

22  part, the department or office may, in its discretion, except

23  when an administrative fine is not permissible under s.

24  626.681 or when such suspension, revocation, or refusal is

25  mandatory, in lieu of or in addition to such suspension or

26  revocation, or in lieu of such refusal, or in connection with

27  any administrative monetary penalty imposed under s. 626.681,

28  place the offending licensee or appointee on probation for a

29  period, not to exceed 2 years, as specified by the department

30  or office in its order.

31  


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 1         (2)  As a condition to such probation or in connection

 2  therewith, the department or office may specify in its order

 3  reasonable terms and conditions to be fulfilled by the

 4  probationer during the probation period. If during the

 5  probation period the department or office has good cause to

 6  believe that the probationer has violated a term or condition,

 7  it shall suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue, renew, or

 8  continue the license or appointment of the probationer, as

 9  upon the original grounds referred to in subsection (1).

10         Section 52.  Section 626.692, Florida Statutes, is

11  amended to read:

12         626.692  Restitution.--If any ground exists for the

13  suspension, revocation, or refusal of a license or

14  appointment, the department or office may, in addition to any

15  other penalty authorized under this chapter, order the

16  licensee to pay restitution to any person who has been

17  deprived of money by the licensee's misappropriation,

18  conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belonging to

19  insurers, insureds, beneficiaries, or others.  In no instance

20  shall the amount of restitution required to be paid under this

21  section exceed the amount of money misappropriated, converted,

22  or unlawfully withheld. Nothing in this section limits or

23  restricts a person's right to seek other remedies as provided

24  for by law.

25         Section 53.  Section 626.8582, Florida Statutes, is

26  amended to read:

27         626.8582  "Nonresident public adjuster" defined.--A

28  "nonresident public adjuster" is a person who:

29         (1)  Is not a resident of this state;

30         (2)  Is a currently licensed public adjuster in his or

31  her state of residence for the type or kinds of insurance for


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 1  which the licensee intends to adjust claims in this state or,

 2  if a resident of a state that does not license public

 3  adjusters, has passed the department's office's adjuster

 4  examination as prescribed in s. 626.8732(1)(b); and

 5         (3)  Is a self-employed public adjuster or associated

 6  with or employed by a public adjusting firm or other public

 7  adjuster.

 8         Section 54.  Section 626.8584, Florida Statutes, is

 9  amended to read:

10         626.8584  "Nonresident independent adjuster"

11  defined.--A "nonresident independent adjuster" is a person

12  who:

13         (1)  Is not a resident of this state;

14         (2)  Is a currently licensed independent adjuster in

15  his or her state of residence for the type or kinds of

16  insurance for which the licensee intends to adjust claims in

17  this state or, if a resident of a state that does not license

18  independent adjusters, has passed the department's office's

19  adjuster examination as prescribed in s. 626.8734(1)(b); and

20         (3)  Is a self-employed independent adjuster or

21  associated with or employed by an independent adjusting firm

22  or other independent adjuster.

23         Section 55.  Section 626.859, Florida Statutes, is

24  amended to read:

25         626.859  "Catastrophe" or "emergency" adjuster

26  defined.--A "catastrophe" or "emergency" adjuster is a person

27  who is not a licensed adjuster under this part, but who has

28  been designated and certified to the department office by

29  insurers as qualified to adjust claims, losses, or damages

30  under policies or contracts of insurance issued by such

31  insurer, and whom the department office may license, in the


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 1  event of a catastrophe or emergency, for the purposes and

 2  under the conditions which the department office shall fix and

 3  for the period of the emergency as the department office shall

 4  determine, to adjust claims, losses, or damages under the

 5  policies of insurance issued by the insurers.

 6         Section 56.  Subsection (2) of section 626.863, Florida

 7  Statutes, is amended to read:

 8         626.863  Licensed independent adjusters required;

 9  insurers' responsibility.--

10         (2)  Before referring any claim or loss, the insurer

11  shall ascertain from the department office whether the

12  proposed independent adjuster is currently licensed and

13  appointed as such. Having once ascertained that a particular

14  person is so licensed and appointed, the insurer may assume

15  that he or she will continue to be so licensed and appointed

16  until the insurer has knowledge, or receives information from

17  the department office, to the contrary.

18         Section 57.  Section 626.865, Florida Statutes, is

19  amended to read:

20         626.865  Public adjuster's qualifications, bond.--

21         (1)  The department office shall issue a license to an

22  applicant for a public adjuster's license upon determining

23  that the applicant has paid the applicable fees specified in

24  s. 624.501 and possesses the following qualifications:

25         (a)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

26         (b)  Is a United States citizen or legal alien who

27  possesses work authorization from the United States

28  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

29  resident of this state.

30         (c)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

31  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or


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 1  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

 2  and without detriment to the public.

 3         (d)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

 4  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

 5  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

 6  contracts, is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

 7  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

 8  contracts, and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

 9  this state relating to such contracts as to enable and qualify

10  him or her to engage in the business of insurance adjuster

11  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

12  with whom the applicant may have business as a public

13  adjuster.

14         (e)  Has passed any required written examination.

15         (2)  At the time of application for license as a public

16  adjuster, the applicant shall file with the department office

17  a bond executed and issued by a surety insurer authorized to

18  transact such business in this state, in the amount of

19  $50,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of his or

20  her duties as a public adjuster under the license applied for.

21  The bond shall be in favor of the department office and shall

22  specifically authorize recovery by the department office of

23  the damages sustained in case the licensee is guilty of fraud

24  or unfair practices in connection with his or her business as

25  public adjuster. The aggregate liability of the surety for all

26  such damages shall in no event exceed the amount of the bond.

27  Such bond shall not be terminated unless at least 30 days'

28  written notice is given to the licensee and filed with the

29  department office.

30         Section 58.  Section 626.866, Florida Statutes, is

31  amended to read:


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 1         626.866  Independent adjuster's qualifications.--The

 2  department office shall issue a license to an applicant for an

 3  independent adjuster's license upon determining that the

 4  applicable license fee specified in s. 624.501 has been paid

 5  and that the applicant possesses the following qualifications:

 6         (1)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

 7         (2)  Is a United States citizen or legal alien who

 8  possesses work authorization from the United States

 9  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

10  resident of this state.

11         (3)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

12  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

13  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

14  and without detriment to the public.

15         (4)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

16  instruction concerning the adjusting of damage or loss under

17  insurance contracts, other than life and annuity contracts, is

18  sufficiently informed as to the terms and the effects of the

19  provisions of such types of contracts, and possesses adequate

20  knowledge of the insurance laws of this state relating to such

21  contracts as to enable and qualify him or her to engage in the

22  business of insurance adjuster fairly and without injury to

23  the public or any member thereof with whom he or she may have

24  relations as an insurance adjuster and to adjust all claims in

25  accordance with the policy or contract and the insurance laws

26  of this state.

27         (5)  Has passed any required written examination.

28         Section 59.  Section 626.867, Florida Statutes, is

29  amended to read:

30         626.867  Company employee adjuster's

31  qualifications.--The department office shall issue a license


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 1  to an applicant for a company employee adjuster's license upon

 2  determining that the applicable license fee specified in s.

 3  624.501 has been paid and that the applicant possesses the

 4  following qualifications:

 5         (1)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

 6         (2)  Is a United States citizen or legal alien who

 7  possesses work authorization from the United States

 8  Immigration and Naturalization Service and a bona fide

 9  resident of this state.

10         (3)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

11  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

12  her business as insurance adjuster fairly and in good faith

13  and without detriment to the public.

14         (4)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

15  instruction concerning the adjusting of damage or loss of

16  risks described in his or her application, is sufficiently

17  informed as to the terms and the effects of the provisions of

18  insurance contracts covering such risks, and possesses

19  adequate knowledge of the insurance laws of this state

20  relating to such insurance contracts as to enable and qualify

21  him or her to engage in such business as insurance adjuster

22  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

23  with whom he or she may have relations as an insurance

24  adjuster and to adjust all claims in accordance with the

25  policy or contract and the insurance laws of this state.

26         (5)  Has passed any required written examination.

27         Section 60.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (4) of section

28  626.869, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

29         626.869  License, adjusters.--

30         (4)

31  


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 1         (c)  The department Financial Services Commission shall

 2  adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the

 3  continuing education requirements of this subsection.

 4         Section 61.  Subsections (1), (3), (5), (6), and (7) of

 5  section 626.8695, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 6         626.8695  Primary adjuster.--

 7         (1)  Each person operating an adjusting firm and each

 8  location of a multiple location adjusting firm must designate

 9  a primary adjuster for each such firm or location and must

10  file with the department office the name of such primary

11  adjuster and the address of the firm or location where he or

12  she is the primary adjuster, on a form approved by the

13  department commission. The designation of the primary adjuster

14  may be changed at the option of the adjusting firm. Any such

15  change is effective upon notification to the department

16  office. Notice of change must be sent to the department office

17  within 30 days after such change.

18         (3)  The department office may suspend or revoke the

19  license of the primary adjuster if the adjusting firm employs

20  any person who has had a license denied or any person whose

21  license is currently suspended or revoked. However, if a

22  person has been denied a license for failure to pass a

23  required examination, he or she may be employed to perform

24  clerical or administrative functions for which licensure is

25  not required.

26         (5)  The department office may suspend or revoke the

27  license of any adjuster who is employed by a person whose

28  license is currently suspended or revoked.

29         (6)  An adjusting firm location may not conduct the

30  business of insurance unless a primary adjuster is designated.

31  Failure of the person operating the adjusting firm to


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 1  designate a primary adjuster for the firm, or for each

 2  location, as applicable, on a form prescribed by the

 3  department commission within 30 days after inception of the

 4  firm or change of primary adjuster designation, constitutes

 5  grounds for requiring the adjusting firm to obtain an

 6  adjusting firm license pursuant to s. 626.8696.

 7         (7)  Any adjusting firm may request, on a form

 8  prescribed by the department commission, verification from the

 9  department office of any person's current licensure status.

10  If a request is mailed to the office within 5 working days

11  after the date an adjuster is hired, and the department office

12  subsequently notifies the adjusting firm that an employee's

13  license is currently suspended, revoked, or has been denied,

14  the license of the primary adjuster shall not be revoked or

15  suspended if the unlicensed person is immediately dismissed

16  from employment as an adjuster with the firm.

17         Section 62.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and

18  subsection (5) of section 626.8696, Florida Statutes, are

19  amended to read:

20         626.8696  Application for adjusting firm license.--

21         (1)  The application for an adjusting firm license must

22  include:

23         (e)  Any additional information that which the

24  department requires commission may require.

25         (5)  An adjusting firm required to be licensed pursuant

26  to s. 626.8695 must remain so licensed for a period of 3 years

27  from the date of licensure, unless the license is suspended or

28  revoked. The department office may suspend or revoke the

29  adjusting firm's authority to do business for activities

30  occurring during the time the firm is licensed, regardless of

31  whether the licensing period has terminated.


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 1         Section 63.  Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section

 2  626.8697, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 3         626.8697  Grounds for refusal, suspension, or

 4  revocation of adjusting firm license.--

 5         (1)  The department office shall deny, suspend, revoke,

 6  or refuse to continue the license of any adjusting firm if it

 7  finds, as to any adjusting firm or as to any majority owner,

 8  partner, manager, director, officer, or other person who

 9  manages or controls the firm, that any of the following

10  grounds exist:

11         (a)  Lack by the firm of one or more of the

12  qualifications for the license as specified in this code.

13         (b)  Material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud

14  in obtaining the license or in attempting to obtain the

15  license.

16         (2)  The department office may, in its discretion,

17  deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to continue the license of

18  any adjusting firm if it finds that any of the following

19  applicable grounds exist with respect to the firm or any

20  owner, partner, manager, director, officer, or other person

21  who is otherwise involved in the operation of the firm:

22         (a)  Any cause for which issuance of the license could

23  have been refused had it then existed and been known to the

24  department office.

25         (b)  Violation of any provision of this code or of any

26  other law applicable to the business of insurance.

27         (c)  Violation of any order or rule of the office or

28  commission.

29         (d)  An owner, partner, manager, director, officer, or

30  other person who manages or controls the firm having been

31  found guilty of or having pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to


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 1  a felony or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or

 2  more under the laws of the United States or of any state or

 3  under the laws of any other country, without regard to whether

 4  adjudication was made or withheld by the court.

 5         (e)  Failure to inform the department office in writing

 6  within 30 days after a pleading by an owner, partner, manager,

 7  director, officer, or other person managing or controlling the

 8  firm of guilty or nolo contendere to, or being convicted or

 9  found guilty of, any felony or a crime punishable by

10  imprisonment of 1 year or more under the laws of the United

11  States or of any state, or under the laws of any other

12  country, without regard to whether adjudication was made or

13  withheld by the court.

14         (f)  Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, advising,

15  or abetting any person in the violation of or to violate a

16  provision of the insurance code or any order or rule of the

17  department, office, or commission.

18         (g)  Knowingly employing any individual in a managerial

19  capacity or in a capacity dealing with the public who is under

20  an order of revocation or suspension issued by the department

21  office.

22         (h)  Committing any of the following acts with such a

23  frequency as to have made the operation of the adjusting firm

24  hazardous to the insurance-buying public or other persons:

25         1.  Misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful or

26  unreasonable withholding of moneys belonging to insurers or

27  insureds or beneficiaries or claimants or to others and

28  received in the conduct of business under the license.

29         2.  Misrepresentation or deception with regard to the

30  business of insurance, dissemination of information, or

31  advertising.


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 1         3.  Demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to

 2  engage in the business of insurance adjusting arising out of

 3  activities related to insurance adjusting or the adjusting

 4  firm.

 5         (i)  Failure to appoint a primary adjuster.

 6         (3)  In lieu of discretionary refusal, suspension, or

 7  revocation of an adjusting firm's license, the department

 8  office may impose an administrative penalty of up to $1,000

 9  for each violation or ground provided under this section, not

10  to exceed an aggregate amount of $10,000 for all violations or

11  grounds.

12         Section 64.  Section 626.8698, Florida Statutes, is

13  amended to read:

14         626.8698  Disciplinary guidelines for public

15  adjusters.--The department office may deny, suspend, or revoke

16  the license of a public adjuster, and administer a fine not to

17  exceed $5,000 per act, for any of the following:

18         (1)  Violating any provision of this chapter or a rule

19  or order of the office or commission;

20         (2)  Receiving payment or anything of value as a result

21  of an unfair or deceptive practice;

22         (3)  Receiving or accepting any fee, kickback, or other

23  thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding,

24  oral or otherwise; entering into a split-fee arrangement with

25  another person who is not a public adjuster; or being

26  otherwise paid or accepting payment for services that have not

27  been performed;

28         (4)  Violating s. 316.066 or s. 817.234;

29         (5)  Soliciting or otherwise taking advantage of a

30  person who is vulnerable, emotional, or otherwise upset as the

31  result of a trauma, accident, or other similar occurrence; or


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 1         (6)  Violating any ethical rule of the department

 2  commission.

 3         Section 65.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section

 4  626.870, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 5         626.870  Application for license.--

 6         (2)  The department commission shall so prepare the

 7  form of the application as to elicit and require from the

 8  applicant the information necessary to enable the department

 9  office to determine whether the applicant possesses the

10  qualifications prerequisite to issuance of the license to the

11  applicant.

12         (3)  The department commission may, in its discretion,

13  require that the application be supplemented by the

14  certificate or affidavit of such person or persons as it deems

15  necessary for its determination of the applicant's residence,

16  business reputation, and reputation for trustworthiness. The

17  department commission shall prescribe and the office may

18  furnish the forms for such certificates and affidavits.

19         Section 66.  Section 626.871, Florida Statutes, is

20  amended to read:

21         626.871  Reappointment after military service.--The

22  department office may, without requiring a further written

23  examination, issue an appointment as an adjuster to a formerly

24  licensed and appointed adjuster of this state who held a

25  current adjuster's appointment at the time of entering service

26  in the Armed Forces of the United States, subject to the

27  following conditions:

28         (1)  The period of military service must not have been

29  in excess of 3 years;

30         (2)  The application for the appointment must be filed

31  with the department office and the applicable fee paid, within


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 1  12 months following the date of honorable discharge of the

 2  applicant from the military service; and

 3         (3)  The new appointment will be of the same type and

 4  class as that currently effective at the time the applicant

 5  entered military service; but, if such type and class of

 6  appointment is not being currently issued under this code, the

 7  new appointment shall be of that type and class or classes

 8  most closely resembling those of the former appointment.

 9         Section 67.  Subsections (1) and (5) of section

10  626.872, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

11         626.872  Temporary license.--

12         (1)  The department office may, in its discretion,

13  issue a temporary license as an independent adjuster or as a

14  company employee adjuster, subject to the following

15  conditions:

16         (a)  The applicant must be an employee of an adjuster

17  currently licensed by the department office, an employee of an

18  authorized insurer, or an employee of an established adjusting

19  firm or corporation which is supervised by a currently

20  licensed independent adjuster.

21         (b)  The application must be accompanied by a

22  certificate of employment and a report as to the applicant's

23  integrity and moral character on a form prescribed by the

24  department commission and executed by the employer.

25         (c)  The applicant must be a natural person of at least

26  18 years of age, must be a bona fide resident of this state,

27  must be trustworthy, and must have such business reputation as

28  would reasonably assure that the applicant will conduct his or

29  her business as an adjuster fairly and in good faith and

30  without detriment to the public.

31  


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 1         (d)  The applicant's employer is responsible for the

 2  adjustment acts of any licensee under this section.

 3         (e)  The applicable license fee specified must be paid

 4  before issuance of the temporary license.

 5         (f)  The temporary license shall be effective for a

 6  period of 1 year, but subject to earlier termination at the

 7  request of the employer, or if the licensee fails to take an

 8  examination as an independent adjuster or company employee

 9  adjuster within 6 months after issuance of the temporary

10  license, or if suspended or revoked by the department office.

11         (5)  The department office shall not issue a temporary

12  license as an independent adjuster or as a company employee

13  adjuster to any individual who has ever held such a license in

14  this state.

15         Section 68.  Subsection (1) of section 626.873, Florida

16  Statutes, is amended to read:

17         626.873  Nonresident company employee adjusters.--

18         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

19  therefor, issue a license to an applicant for a nonresident

20  adjuster's license upon determining that the applicant has

21  paid the applicable license fees required under s. 624.501

22  and:

23         (a)  Is a currently licensed insurance adjuster in his

24  or her home state, if such state requires a license.

25         (b)  Is an employee of an insurer, or a wholly owned

26  subsidiary of an insurer, admitted to do business in this

27  state.

28         (c)  Has filed a certificate or letter of authorization

29  from the insurance department of his or her home state, if

30  such state requires an adjuster to be licensed, stating that

31  he or she holds a current license or authorization to adjust


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 1  insurance losses.  Such certificate or authorization must be

 2  signed by the insurance commissioner, or his or her deputy, of

 3  the adjuster's home state and must reflect whether or not the

 4  adjuster has ever had his or her license or authorization in

 5  the adjuster's home state suspended or revoked and, if such is

 6  the case, the reason for such action.

 7         Section 69.  Section 626.8732, Florida Statutes, is

 8  amended to read:

 9         626.8732  Nonresident public adjuster's qualifications,

10  bond.--

11         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

12  therefor, issue a license to an applicant for a nonresident

13  public adjuster's license upon determining that the applicant

14  has paid the applicable license fees required under s. 624.501

15  and:

16         (a)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

17         (b)  Has passed to the satisfaction of the department

18  office a written Florida public adjuster's examination of the

19  scope prescribed in s. 626.241(6); however, the requirement

20  for such an examination does not apply to any of the

21  following:

22         1.  An applicant who is licensed as a resident public

23  adjuster in his or her state of residence, when that state

24  requires the passing of a written examination in order to

25  obtain the license and a reciprocal agreement with the

26  appropriate official of that state has been entered into by

27  the department office; or

28         2.  An applicant who is licensed as a nonresident

29  public adjuster in a state other than his or her state of

30  residence when the state of licensure requires the passing of

31  a written examination in order to obtain the license and a


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 1  reciprocal agreement with the appropriate official of the

 2  state of licensure has been entered into by the department

 3  office.

 4         (c)  Is self-employed as a public adjuster or

 5  associated with or employed by a public adjusting firm or

 6  other public adjuster. Applicants licensed as nonresident

 7  public adjusters under this section must be appointed as such

 8  in accordance with the provisions of ss. 626.112 and 626.451.

 9  Appointment fees in the amount specified in s. 624.501 must be

10  paid to the department office in advance. The appointment of a

11  nonresident public adjuster shall continue in force until

12  suspended, revoked, or otherwise terminated, but subject to

13  biennial renewal or continuation by the licensee in accordance

14  with procedures prescribed in s. 626.381 for licensees in

15  general.

16         (d)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

17  would reasonably assure that he or she will conduct his or her

18  business as a nonresident public adjuster fairly and in good

19  faith and without detriment to the public.

20         (e)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

21  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

22  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

23  contracts; is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

24  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

25  contracts; and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

26  this state relating to such contracts as to enable and qualify

27  him or her to engage in the business of insurance adjuster

28  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

29  with whom he or she may have business as a public adjuster.

30         (2)  The applicant shall furnish the following with his

31  or her application:


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 1         (a)  A complete set of his or her fingerprints. The

 2  applicant's fingerprints must be certified by an authorized

 3  law enforcement officer. The department office may not

 4  authorize an applicant to take the required examination or

 5  issue a nonresident public adjuster's license to the applicant

 6  until the department office has received a report from the

 7  Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau

 8  of Investigation relative to the existence or nonexistence of

 9  a criminal history report based on the applicant's

10  fingerprints.

11         (b)  If currently licensed as a resident public

12  adjuster in the applicant's state of residence, a certificate

13  or letter of authorization from the licensing authority of the

14  applicant's state of residence, stating that the applicant

15  holds a current or comparable license to act as a public

16  adjuster. The certificate or letter of authorization must be

17  signed by the insurance commissioner or his or her deputy or

18  the appropriate licensing official and must disclose whether

19  the adjuster has ever had any license or eligibility to hold

20  any license declined, denied, suspended, revoked, or placed on

21  probation or whether an administrative fine or penalty has

22  been levied against the adjuster and, if so, the reason for

23  the action.

24         (c)  If the applicant's state of residence does not

25  require licensure as a public adjuster and the applicant has

26  been licensed as a resident insurance adjuster, agent, broker,

27  or other insurance representative in his or her state of

28  residence or any other state within the past 3 years, a

29  certificate or letter of authorization from the licensing

30  authority stating that the applicant holds or has held a

31  license to act as such an insurance adjuster, agent, or other


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 1  insurance representative. The certificate or letter of

 2  authorization must be signed by the insurance commissioner or

 3  his or her deputy or the appropriate licensing official and

 4  must disclose whether or not the adjuster, agent, or other

 5  insurance representative has ever had any license or

 6  eligibility to hold any license declined, denied, suspended,

 7  revoked, or placed on probation or whether an administrative

 8  fine or penalty has been levied against the adjuster and, if

 9  so, the reason for the action.

10         (3)  At the time of application for license as a

11  nonresident public adjuster, the applicant shall file with the

12  department office a bond executed and issued by a surety

13  insurer authorized to transact surety business in this state,

14  in the amount of $50,000, conditioned for the faithful

15  performance of his or her duties as a nonresident public

16  adjuster under the license applied for. The bond must be in

17  favor of the department office and must specifically authorize

18  recovery by the department office of the damages sustained if

19  the licensee commits fraud or unfair practices in connection

20  with his or her business as nonresident public adjuster. The

21  aggregate liability of the surety for all the damages may not

22  exceed the amount of the bond. The bond may not be terminated

23  unless at least 30 days' written notice is given to the

24  licensee and filed with the department office.

25         (4)  The usual and customary records pertaining to

26  transactions under the license of a nonresident public

27  adjuster must be retained for at least 3 years after

28  completion of the adjustment and must be made available in

29  this state to the department office upon request. The failure

30  of a nonresident public adjuster to properly maintain records

31  and make them available to the department office upon request


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 1  constitutes grounds for the immediate suspension of the

 2  license issued under this section.

 3         (5)  After licensure as a nonresident public adjuster,

 4  as a condition of doing business in this state, the licensee

 5  must annually on or before January 1, on a form prescribed by

 6  the department commission, submit an affidavit certifying that

 7  the licensee is familiar with and understands the insurance

 8  code and rules adopted thereunder and the provisions of the

 9  contracts negotiated or to be negotiated. Compliance with this

10  filing requirement is a condition precedent to the issuance,

11  continuation, reinstatement, or renewal of a nonresident

12  public adjuster's appointment.

13         Section 70.  Subsections (1), (3), and (4) of section

14  626.8734, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

15         626.8734  Nonresident independent adjuster's

16  qualifications.--

17         (1)  The department office shall, upon application

18  therefor, issue a license to an applicant for a nonresident

19  independent adjuster's license upon determining that the

20  applicant has paid the applicable license fees required under

21  s. 624.501 and:

22         (a)  Is a natural person at least 18 years of age.

23         (b)  Has passed to the satisfaction of the department

24  office a written Florida independent adjuster's examination of

25  the scope prescribed in s. 626.241(6); however, the

26  requirement for the examination does not apply to any of the

27  following:

28         1.  An applicant who is licensed as a resident

29  independent adjuster in his or her state of residence when

30  that state requires the passing of a written examination in

31  order to obtain the license and a reciprocal agreement with


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 1  the appropriate official of that state has been entered into

 2  by the department office; or

 3         2.  An applicant who is licensed as a nonresident

 4  independent adjuster in a state other than his or her state of

 5  residence when the state of licensure requires the passing of

 6  a written examination in order to obtain the license and a

 7  reciprocal agreement with the appropriate official of the

 8  state of licensure has been entered into by the department

 9  office.

10         (c)  Is self-employed or associated with or employed by

11  an independent adjusting firm or other independent adjuster.

12  Applicants licensed as nonresident independent adjusters under

13  this section must be appointed as such in accordance with the

14  provisions of ss. 626.112 and 626.451. Appointment fees in the

15  amount specified in s. 624.501 must be paid to the department

16  office in advance. The appointment of a nonresident

17  independent adjuster shall continue in force until suspended,

18  revoked, or otherwise terminated, but subject to biennial

19  renewal or continuation by the licensee in accordance with

20  procedures prescribed in s. 626.381 for licensees in general.

21         (d)  Is trustworthy and has such business reputation as

22  would reasonably assure that he or she will conduct his or her

23  business as a nonresident independent adjuster fairly and in

24  good faith and without detriment to the public.

25         (e)  Has had sufficient experience, training, or

26  instruction concerning the adjusting of damages or losses

27  under insurance contracts, other than life and annuity

28  contracts; is sufficiently informed as to the terms and

29  effects of the provisions of those types of insurance

30  contracts; and possesses adequate knowledge of the laws of

31  this state relating to such contracts as to enable and qualify


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 1  him or her to engage in the business of insurance adjuster

 2  fairly and without injury to the public or any member thereof

 3  with whom he or she may have business as an independent

 4  adjuster.

 5         (3)  The usual and customary records pertaining to

 6  transactions under the license of a nonresident independent

 7  adjuster must be retained for at least 3 years after

 8  completion of the adjustment and must be made available in

 9  this state to the department office upon request. The failure

10  of a nonresident independent adjuster to properly maintain

11  records and make them available to the department office upon

12  request constitutes grounds for the immediate suspension of

13  the license issued under this section.

14         (4)  After licensure as a nonresident independent

15  adjuster, as a condition of doing business in this state, the

16  licensee must annually on or before January 1, on a form

17  prescribed by the department commission, submit an affidavit

18  certifying that the licensee is familiar with and understands

19  the insurance laws and administrative rules of this state and

20  the provisions of the contracts negotiated or to be

21  negotiated. Compliance with this filing requirement is a

22  condition precedent to the issuance, continuation,

23  reinstatement, or renewal of a nonresident independent

24  adjuster's appointment.

25         Section 71.  Subsection (4) of section 626.8736,

26  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

27         626.8736  Nonresident independent or public adjusters;

28  service of process.--

29         (4)  Upon receiving the service, the Chief Financial

30  Officer shall forthwith send one of the copies of the process,

31  by registered mail with return receipt requested, to the


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 1  defendant nonresident independent or public adjuster at his or

 2  her last address of record with the department office.

 3         Section 72.  Section 626.8738, is amended to read:

 4         626.8738  Penalty for violation.--In addition to any

 5  other remedy imposed pursuant to this code, any person who

 6  acts as a resident or nonresident public adjuster or holds

 7  himself or herself out to be a public adjuster to adjust

 8  claims in this state, without being licensed by the department

 9  office as a public adjuster and appointed as a public

10  adjuster, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as

11  provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each act in

12  violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

13         Section 73.  Section 626.874, Florida Statutes, is

14  amended to read:

15         626.874  Catastrophe or emergency adjusters.--

16         (1)  In the event of a catastrophe or emergency, the

17  department office may issue a license, for the purposes and

18  under the conditions which it shall fix and for the period of

19  emergency as it shall determine, to persons who are residents

20  or nonresidents of this state, who are at least 18 years of

21  age, who are United States citizens or legal aliens who

22  possess work authorization from the United States Immigration

23  and Naturalization Service, and who are not licensed adjusters

24  under this part but who have been designated and certified to

25  it as qualified to act as adjusters by independent resident

26  adjusters or by an authorized insurer or by a licensed general

27  lines agent to adjust claims, losses, or damages under

28  policies or contracts of insurance issued by such insurers.

29  The fee for the license shall be as provided in s.

30  624.501(12)(c).

31  


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 1         (2)  If any person not a licensed adjuster who has been

 2  permitted to adjust such losses, claims, or damages under the

 3  conditions and circumstances set forth in subsection (1),

 4  engages in any of the misconduct described in or contemplated

 5  by ss. 626.611 and 626.621, the department office, without

 6  notice and hearing, shall be authorized to issue its order

 7  denying such person the privileges granted under this section;

 8  and thereafter it shall be unlawful for any such person to

 9  adjust any such losses, claims, or damages in this state.

10         Section 74.  Section 626.878, Florida Statutes, is

11  amended to read:

12         626.878  Rules; code of ethics.--An adjuster shall

13  subscribe to the code of ethics specified in the rules of the

14  department commission. The rules shall implement the

15  provisions of this part and specify the terms and conditions

16  of contracts, including a right to cancel, and require

17  practices necessary to ensure fair dealing, prohibit conflicts

18  of interest, and ensure preservation of the rights of the

19  claimant to participate in the adjustment of claims.

20         Section 75.  Section 627.7012, Florida Statutes, is

21  transferred, renumbered as section 626.879, Florida Statutes,

22  and amended to read:

23         626.879627.7012  Pools of insurance adjusters.--The

24  department commission may, by rule, establish a pool of

25  qualified insurance adjusters. The rules must provide that, if

26  a hurricane occurs or an emergency is declared, the department

27  office may assign members of the pool to the affected area and

28  that an insurer may request that a member of the pool adjust

29  claims in the assigned area. The rules may not require that an

30  insurer use those adjusters assigned by the department office.

31  


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 1         Section 76.  Subsection (3) of section 626.9543,

 2  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         626.9543  Holocaust victims.--

 4         (3)  DEFINITIONS.--For the purpose of this section:

 5         (a)  "Department" means the Department of Insurance.

 6         (a)(b)  "Holocaust victim" means any person who lost

 7  his or her life or property as a result of discriminatory

 8  laws, policies, or actions targeted against discrete groups of

 9  persons between 1920 and 1945, inclusive, in Nazi Germany,

10  areas occupied by Nazi Germany, or countries allied with Nazi

11  Germany.

12         (b)(c)  "Insurance policy" means, but is not limited

13  to, life insurance, property insurance, or education policies.

14         (c)(d)  "Legal relationship" means any parent,

15  subsidiary, or affiliated company with an insurer doing

16  business in this state.

17         (d)(e)  "Proceeds" means the face or other payout value

18  of policies and annuities plus reasonable interest to date of

19  payments without diminution for wartime or immediate postwar

20  currency devaluation.

21         Section 77.  Paragraphs (c), (e), and (f) of subsection

22  (9) of section 626.989, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

23         626.989  Investigation by department or Division of

24  Insurance Fraud; compliance; immunity; confidential

25  information; reports to division; division investigator's

26  power of arrest.--

27         (9)  In recognition of the complementary roles of

28  investigating instances of workers' compensation fraud and

29  enforcing compliance with the workers' compensation coverage

30  requirements under chapter 440, the Department of Financial

31  Services shall prepare and submit a joint performance report


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 1  to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of

 2  Representatives by November 1, 2003, and then by January 1 of

 3  each year. The annual report must include, but need not be

 4  limited to:

 5         (c)  The number of investigations undertaken by the

 6  Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud office which

 7  were not the result of a referral from an insurer or the

 8  Division of Workers' Compensation.

 9         (e)  The number and reasons provided by local

10  prosecutors or the statewide prosecutor for declining

11  prosecution of a case presented by the Bureau of Workers'

12  Compensation Insurance Fraud office by circuit.

13         (f)  The total number of employees assigned to the

14  Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud office and the

15  Division of Workers' Compensation Bureau of Compliance unit

16  delineated by location of staff assigned; and the number and

17  location of employees assigned to the Bureau of Workers'

18  Compensation Insurance Fraud office who were assigned to work

19  other types of fraud cases.

20         Section 78.  Subsection (4) is added to section

21  626.99245, Florida Statutes, to read:

22         626.99245  Conflict of regulation of viaticals.--

23         (4)  The offer, sale, and purchase of viatical

24  settlement contracts, and the regulation of viatical

25  settlement providers shall be within the exclusive

26  jurisdiction of the Office of Insurance Regulation under the

27  provisions of part X of chapter 626.

28         Section 79.  Subsection (2) of section 627.0628,

29  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

30         627.0628  Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss

31  Projection Methodology.--


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 1         (2)  COMMISSION CREATED.--

 2         (a)  There is created the Florida Commission on

 3  Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, which is assigned to

 4  the State Board of Administration.  For the purposes of this

 5  section, the term "commission" means the Florida Commission on

 6  Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology. The commission shall be

 7  administratively housed within the State Board of

 8  Administration, but it shall independently exercise the powers

 9  and duties specified in this section.

10         (b)  The commission shall consist of the following 11

11  members:

12         1.  The insurance consumer advocate.

13         2.  The senior employee of the State Board of

14  Administration responsible for operations of the Florida

15  Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

16         3.  The Executive Director of the Citizens Property

17  Insurance Corporation.

18         4.  The Director of the Division of Emergency

19  Management of the Department of Community Affairs.

20         5.  The actuary member of the Florida Hurricane

21  Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council.

22         6.  An employee of the office who is an actuary

23  responsible for property insurance rate filings and who is

24  appointed by the director of the office.

25         7.6.  Five Six members appointed by the Chief Financial

26  Officer, as follows:

27         a.  An employee of the office who is an actuary

28  responsible for property insurance rate filings.

29         a.b.  An actuary who is employed full time by a

30  property and casualty insurer which was responsible for at

31  least 1 percent of the aggregate statewide direct written


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 1  premium for homeowner's insurance in the calendar year

 2  preceding the member's appointment to the commission.

 3         b.c.  An expert in insurance finance who is a full time

 4  member of the faculty of the State University System and who

 5  has a background in actuarial science.

 6         c.d.  An expert in statistics who is a full time member

 7  of the faculty of the State University System and who has a

 8  background in insurance.

 9         d.e.  An expert in computer system design who is a full

10  time member of the faculty of the State University System.

11         e.f.  An expert in meteorology who is a full time

12  member of the faculty of the State University System and who

13  specializes in hurricanes.

14         (c)  Members designated under subparagraphs (b)1.-5.

15  shall serve on the commission as long as they maintain the

16  respective offices designated in subparagraphs (b)1.-5. The

17  member appointed by the director of the office under

18  subparagraph (b)6. shall serve on the commission until the end

19  of the term of office of the director who appointed him or

20  her, unless removed earlier by the director for cause. Members

21  appointed by the Chief Financial Officer under subparagraph

22  (b)7. subparagraph (b)6. shall serve on the commission until

23  the end of the term of office of the Chief Financial Officer

24  who appointed them, unless earlier removed by the Chief

25  Financial Officer for cause.  Vacancies on the commission

26  shall be filled in the same manner as the original

27  appointment.

28         (d)  The State Board of Administration shall annually

29  appoint one of the members of the commission to serve as

30  chair.

31  


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 1         (e)  Members of the commission shall serve without

 2  compensation, but shall be reimbursed for per diem and travel

 3  expenses pursuant to s. 112.061.

 4         (f)  The State Board of Administration shall, as a cost

 5  of administration of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund,

 6  provide for travel, expenses, and staff support for the

 7  commission.

 8         (g)  There shall be no liability on the part of, and no

 9  cause of action of any nature shall arise against, any member

10  of the commission, any member of the State Board of

11  Administration, or any employee of the State Board of

12  Administration for any action taken in the performance of

13  their duties under this section. In addition, the commission

14  may, in writing, waive any potential cause of action for

15  negligence of a consultant, contractor, or contract employee

16  engaged to assist the commission.

17         Section 80.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (11) of

18  section 627.6699, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

19         627.6699  Employee Health Care Access Act.--

20         (11)  SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH REINSURANCE PROGRAM.--

21         (b)1.  The program shall operate subject to the

22  supervision and control of the board.

23         2.  Effective upon this act becoming a law, the board

24  shall consist of the director of the office Chief Financial

25  Officer or his or her designee, who shall serve as the

26  chairperson, and 13 additional members who are representatives

27  of carriers and insurance agents and are appointed by the

28  director of the office Chief Financial Officer and serve as

29  follows:

30         a.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

31  shall include representatives of small employer carriers


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 1  subject to assessment under this subsection.  If two or more

 2  carriers elect to be risk-assuming carriers, the membership

 3  must include at least two representatives of risk-assuming

 4  carriers; if one carrier is risk-assuming, one member must be

 5  a representative of such carrier.  At least one member must be

 6  a carrier who is subject to the assessments, but is not a

 7  small employer carrier.  Subject to such restrictions, at

 8  least five members shall be selected from individuals

 9  recommended by small employer carriers pursuant to procedures

10  provided by rule of the commission. Three members shall be

11  selected from a list of health insurance carriers that issue

12  individual health insurance policies. At least two of the

13  three members selected must be reinsuring carriers. Two

14  members shall be selected from a list of insurance agents who

15  are actively engaged in the sale of health insurance.

16         b.  A member appointed under this subparagraph shall

17  serve a term of 4 years and shall continue in office until the

18  member's successor takes office, except that, in order to

19  provide for staggered terms, the director of the office Chief

20  Financial Officer shall designate two of the initial

21  appointees under this subparagraph to serve terms of 2 years

22  and shall designate three of the initial appointees under this

23  subparagraph to serve terms of 3 years.

24         3.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

25  may remove a member for cause.

26         4.  Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same

27  manner as the original appointment for the unexpired portion

28  of the term.

29         5.  The director of the office Chief Financial Officer

30  may require an entity that recommends persons for appointment

31  to submit additional lists of recommended appointees.


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 1         Section 81.  The transfer of the regulation of

 2  adjusters from the Office of Insurance Regulation to the

 3  Department of Financial Services by this act shall not affect

 4  the regulation of adjusters in any administrative or judicial

 5  action of the Office of Insurance Regulation arising out of or

 6  involving the Office of Insurance Regulation before or pending

 7  on the effective date of this act, and the Department of

 8  Financial Services shall be substituted as a party in interest

 9  on any such pending action.

10         Section 82.  Any license, form, or action that was

11  approved or authorized by the Financial Services Commission or

12  the Office of Insurance Regulation which was otherwise

13  lawfully in use before the effective date of this act may

14  continue to be used or be effective as originally authorized

15  or permitted, until the Department of Financial Services

16  otherwise prescribes.

17         Section 83.  Upon the effective date of this act, the

18  rules or portions thereof of the Financial Services Commission

19  which govern the regulation of insurance adjusters shall

20  become rules or portions thereof of the Department of

21  Financial Services as is appropriate to the corresponding

22  regulatory or constitutional function and shall remain in

23  effect until specifically amended or repealed in the manner

24  provided by law.

25         Section 84.  Subsection (10) is added to section

26  494.0025, Florida Statutes, to read:

27         494.0025  Prohibited practices.--It is unlawful for any

28  person:

29         (10)  To use the name or logo of a financial

30  institution, as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its affiliates or

31  subsidiaries when marketing or soliciting existing or


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 1  prospective customers if such marketing materials are used

 2  without the written consent of the financial institution and

 3  in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe

 4  that the material or solicitation originated from, was

 5  endorsed by, or is related to or the responsibility of the

 6  financial institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries.

 7         Section 85.  Paragraph (o) is added to subsection (1)

 8  of section 516.07, Florida Statutes, to read:

 9         516.07  Grounds for denial of license or for

10  disciplinary action.--

11         (1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter

12  and constitute grounds for denial of an application for a

13  license to make consumer finance loans and grounds for any of

14  the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2):

15         (o)  Using the name or logo of a financial institution,

16  as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its affiliates or subsidiaries

17  when marketing or soliciting existing or prospective customers

18  if such marketing materials are used without the written

19  consent of the financial institution and in a manner that

20  would lead a reasonable person to believe that the material or

21  solicitation originated from, was endorsed by, or is related

22  to or the responsibility of the financial institution or its

23  affiliates or subsidiaries.

24         Section 86.  Paragraph (j) is added to subsection (1)

25  of section 520.995, Florida Statutes, to read:

26         520.995  Grounds for disciplinary action.--

27         (1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter

28  and constitute grounds for the disciplinary actions specified

29  in subsection (2):

30         (j)  Using the name or logo of a financial institution,

31  as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its affiliates or subsidiaries


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 1  when marketing or soliciting existing or prospective customers

 2  if such marketing materials are used without the written

 3  consent of the financial institution and in a manner that

 4  would lead a reasonable person to believe that the material or

 5  solicitation originated from, was endorsed by, or is related

 6  to or the responsibility of the financial institution or its

 7  affiliates or subsidiaries.

 8         Section 87.  Paragraph (bb) is added to subsection (1)

 9  of section 626.9541, Florida Statutes, to read:

10         626.9541  Unfair methods of competition and unfair or

11  deceptive acts or practices defined.--

12         (1)  UNFAIR METHODS OF COMPETITION AND UNFAIR OR

13  DECEPTIVE ACTS.--The following are defined as unfair methods

14  of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices:

15         (bb)  Deceptive use of name.--Using the name or logo of

16  a financial institution, as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its

17  affiliates or subsidiaries when marketing or soliciting

18  existing or prospective customers if such marketing materials

19  are used without the written consent of the financial

20  institution and in a manner that would lead a reasonable

21  person to believe that the material or solicitation originated

22  from, was endorsed by, or is related to or the responsibility

23  of the financial institution or its affiliates or

24  subsidiaries.

25         Section 88.  Paragraphs (h) and (p) of subsection (1)

26  of section 655.005, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

27         655.005  Definitions.--

28         (1)  As used in the financial institutions codes,

29  unless the context otherwise requires, the term:

30         (h)  "Financial institution" means a state or federal

31  association, bank, savings bank, trust company, international


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 1  bank agency, international branch, representative office or

 2  international administrative office, or credit union.

 3         (p)  "State financial institution" means a

 4  state-chartered or state-organized association, bank,

 5  investment company, trust company, international bank agency,

 6  international branch, international representative office,

 7  international administrative office, or credit union.

 8         Section 89.  Subsection (1) of section 655.0322,

 9  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

10         655.0322  Prohibited acts and practices; criminal

11  penalties.--

12         (1)  As used in this section, the term "financial

13  institution" means a financial institution as defined in s.

14  655.50 which includes a state trust company, state or national

15  bank, state or federal association, state or federal savings

16  bank, state or federal credit union, Edge Act or agreement

17  corporation, international bank agency, international branch,

18  representative office or administrative office or other

19  business entity as defined by the commission by rule, whether

20  organized under the laws of this state, the laws of another

21  state, or the laws of the United States, which institution is

22  located in this state.

23         Section 90.  Section 655.0385, Florida Statutes, is

24  amended to read:

25         655.0385  Disapproval of directors and executive

26  officers.--

27         (1)  Each state financial institution shall notify the

28  office of the proposed appointment of any individual to the

29  board of directors or the appointment or employment of any

30  individual as an executive officer or equivalent position at

31  


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 1  least 60 days before such appointment or employment becomes

 2  effective, if the state financial institution:

 3         (a)  Has been chartered for less than 2 years;

 4         (b)  Has undergone a change in control or conversion

 5  within the preceding 2 years. The office may exempt a

 6  financial institution from this paragraph if it operates in a

 7  safe and sound manner;

 8         (c)  Is not in compliance with the minimum capital

 9  requirements applicable to such financial institution; or

10         (d)  Is otherwise operating in an unsafe and unsound

11  condition, as determined by the office, on the basis of such

12  financial institution's most recent report of condition or

13  report of examination.

14         (2)  A state financial institution may not appoint any

15  individual to the board of directors, or employ any individual

16  as an executive officer or equivalent position, if the office

17  issues a notice of disapproval with respect to that person.

18         (3)  The office shall issue a notice of disapproval if

19  the competence, experience, character, or integrity of the

20  individual to be appointed or employed indicates that it is

21  not in the best interests of the depositors, the members, or

22  the public to permit the individual to be employed by or

23  associated with the state financial institution.

24         (4)  Beginning 1 year after opening, each notification

25  of a proposed appointment of an individual to the board of

26  directors must be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $35.

27         (5)(4)  The commission may adopt rules to implement

28  this section.

29         Section 91.  Subsection (3) of section 655.045, Florida

30  Statutes, is amended to read:

31  


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 1         655.045  Examinations, reports, and internal audits;

 2  penalty.--

 3         (3)(a)  The board of directors of each state financial

 4  institution or, in the case of a credit union, the supervisory

 5  committee or audit committee shall perform or cause to be

 6  performed, within each calendar year, an internal audit of

 7  each state financial institution, subsidiary, or service

 8  corporation and to file a copy of the report and findings of

 9  such audit with the office on a timely basis.  Such internal

10  audit must include such information as the commission by rule

11  requires for that type of institution.

12         (b)  With the approval of the office, the board of

13  directors or, in the case of a credit union, the supervisory

14  committee may elect, in lieu of such periodic audits, to adopt

15  and implement an adequate continuous audit system and

16  procedure which must include full, adequate, and continuous

17  written reports to, and review by, the board of directors or,

18  in the case of a credit union, the supervisory committee,

19  together with written statements of the actions taken thereon

20  and reasons for omissions to take actions, all of which shall

21  be noted in the minutes and filed among the records of the

22  board of directors or, in the case of a credit union, the

23  supervisory committee.  If at any time such continuous audit

24  system and procedure, including the reports and statements,

25  becomes inadequate, in the judgment of the office, the state

26  financial institution shall promptly make such changes as may

27  be required by the office to cause the same to accomplish the

28  purpose of this section.

29         (c)  Any de novo state financial institution open less

30  than 4 months is exempt from the audit requirements of this

31  section.


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 1         Section 92.  Subsection (1) of section 655.059, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         655.059  Access to books and records; confidentiality;

 4  penalty for disclosure.--

 5         (1)  The books and records of a financial institution

 6  are confidential and shall be made available for inspection

 7  and examination only:

 8         (a)  To the office or its duly authorized

 9  representative;

10         (b)  To any person duly authorized to act for the

11  financial institution;

12         (c)  To any federal or state instrumentality or agency

13  authorized to inspect or examine the books and records of an

14  insured financial institution;

15         (d)  With respect to an international banking

16  corporation, to the home-country supervisor of the

17  corporation, provided:

18         1.  The supervisor provides advance notice to the

19  office that the supervisor intends to examine the Florida

20  office of the corporation.

21         2.  The supervisor confirms to the office that the

22  purpose of the examination is to ensure the safety and

23  soundness of the corporation.

24         3.  The books and records pertaining to customer

25  deposit, investment, and custodial accounts are not disclosed

26  to the supervisor.

27         4.  At any time during the conduct of the examination,

28  the office reserves the right to have an examiner present or

29  to participate jointly in the examination.

30  

31  


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 1  For purposes of this paragraph, "home-country supervisor"

 2  means the governmental entity in the corporation's home

 3  country with responsibility for the supervision and regulation

 4  of the corporation;

 5         (e)  As compelled by a court of competent jurisdiction,

 6  pursuant to a subpoena issued pursuant to the Florida Rules of

 7  Civil or Criminal Procedure or the Federal Rules of Civil

 8  Procedure, or pursuant to a subpoena issued in accordance with

 9  state or federal law. Prior to the production of the books and

10  records of a financial institution, the party seeking

11  production must reimburse the financial institution for the

12  reasonable costs and fees incurred in compliance with the

13  production. If the parties disagree regarding the amount of

14  reimbursement, the party seeking the records may request the

15  court or agency having jurisdiction to set the amount of

16  reimbursement;

17         (f)  As compelled by legislative subpoena as provided

18  by law, in which case the provisions of s. 655.057 apply;

19         (g)  Pursuant to a subpoena, to any federal or state

20  law enforcement or prosecutorial instrumentality authorized to

21  investigate suspected criminal activity;

22         (h)  As authorized by the board of directors of the

23  financial institution; or

24         (i)  As provided in subsection (2).

25         Section 93.  Section 655.921, Florida Statutes, is

26  amended to read:

27         655.921  Transaction of business by out-of-state

28  financial institutions; exempt transactions in the financial

29  institutions codes.--

30         (1)  Nothing in the financial institutions codes shall

31  be construed to prohibit a financial institution having its


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 1  principal place of business outside this state and not

 2  operating branches in this state from:

 3         (a)  Contracting in this state with any person to

 4  acquire from such person a part, or the entire, interest in a

 5  loan that such person proposes to make, has heretofore made,

 6  or hereafter makes, together with a like interest in any

 7  security instrument covering real or personal property in the

 8  state proposed to be given or hereafter or heretofore given to

 9  such person to secure or evidence such loan.

10         (b)  Entering into mortgage servicing contracts with

11  persons authorized to transact business in this state and

12  enforcing in this state the obligations heretofore or

13  hereafter acquired by it in the transaction of business

14  outside this state or in the transaction of any business

15  authorized by this section.

16         (c)  Acquiring, holding, leasing, mortgaging,

17  contracting with respect to, or otherwise protecting,

18  managing, or conveying property in this state which has

19  heretofore or may hereafter be assigned, transferred,

20  mortgaged, or conveyed to it as security for, or in whole or

21  in part in satisfaction of, a loan or loans made by it or

22  obligations acquired by it in the transaction of any business

23  authorized by this section.

24         (d)  Making loans or committing to make loans to any

25  person located in this state and soliciting compensating

26  deposit balances in connection therewith.

27         (2)  No such financial institution shall be deemed to

28  be transacting business in this state, or be required to

29  qualify so to do, solely by reason of the performance of any

30  of the acts or business authorized in this section. This

31  


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 1  section does not authorize or permit any such financial

 2  institution to maintain an office within the state.

 3         Section 94.  Section 655.922, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         655.922  Banking business by unauthorized persons; use

 6  of name.--

 7         (1)  No person other than a financial institution

 8  authorized to do business in this state pursuant to the

 9  financial institutions codes of any state or federal law

10  shall, in this state, engage in the business of soliciting or

11  receiving funds for deposit or of issuing certificates of

12  deposit or of paying checks; and no person shall establish or

13  maintain a place of business in this state for any of the

14  functions, transactions, or purposes mentioned in this

15  subsection.  Any person who violates the provisions of this

16  subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree,

17  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.

18  775.084.  This subsection does not prohibit the issuance or

19  sale by a financial institution of traveler's checks, money

20  orders, or other instruments for the transmission or payment

21  of money, by or through employees or agents of the financial

22  institution off the financial institution's premises.

23         (2)  No person other than a financial institution

24  shall, in this state:

25         (a)  Transact business under any name or title that

26  contains the words "bank," "banco," "banque," "banker,"

27  "banking," "trust company," "savings and loan association,"

28  "savings bank," or "credit union," or words of similar import,

29  in any context or in any manner;

30         (b)  Use any name, word, sign, symbol, or device in any

31  context or in any manner; or


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 1         (c)  Circulate or use any letterhead, billhead,

 2  circular, paper, or writing of any kind or otherwise advertise

 3  or represent in any manner,

 4  

 5  which indicates or reasonably implies that the business being

 6  conducted or advertised is the kind or character of business

 7  transacted or conducted by a financial institution or which is

 8  likely to lead any person to believe that such business is

 9  that of a financial institution; however, the words "bank,"

10  "banker," "banking," "trust company," "savings and loan

11  association," "savings bank," or "credit union," or the plural

12  of any thereof, may be used by, and in the corporate or other

13  name or title of, any company which is or becomes a financial

14  institution holding company pursuant to federal law; any

15  subsidiary of any such financial institution holding company

16  which includes as a part of its name or title all or any part,

17  or abbreviations, of the name or title of the financial

18  institution holding company of which it is a subsidiary; any

19  trade organization or association, whether or not

20  incorporated, functioning for the purpose of promoting the

21  interests of financial institutions or financial institution

22  holding companies, the active members of which are financial

23  institutions or financial institution holding companies; and

24  any international development bank chartered pursuant to part

25  II of chapter 663.

26         (3)  No person may use the name or logo of any

27  financial institution or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof,

28  or use a name similar to that of a financial institution or an

29  affiliate or subsidiary thereof, to market or solicit business

30  from a customer or prospective customer of such institution

31  if:


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 1         (a)  The solicitation is done without the written

 2  consent of the financial institution or its affiliate or

 3  subsidiary; and

 4         (b)  A reasonable person would believe that the

 5  materials originated from, are endorsed by, or are connected

 6  with the financial institution or its affiliates or

 7  subsidiaries.

 8         (4)(3)  Any court, in a proceeding brought by the

 9  office, by any financial institution the principal place of

10  business of which is in this state, or by any other person

11  residing, or whose principal place of business is located, in

12  this state and whose interests are substantially affected

13  thereby, may enjoin any person from violating any of the

14  provisions of this section.  For the purposes of this

15  subsection, the interests of a trade organization or

16  association are deemed to be substantially affected if the

17  interests of any of its members are so affected. In addition,

18  the office may issue and serve upon any person who violates

19  any of the provisions of this section a complaint seeking a

20  cease and desist order in accordance with the procedures and

21  in the manner prescribed by s. 655.033.

22         (5)(4)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to

23  prohibit the lawful establishment or the lawful operations of

24  a financial institution and nothing in this code shall be

25  construed to prohibit any advertisement or other activity in

26  this state by any person if such prohibition would contravene

27  any applicable federal law which preempts the law of this

28  state.

29         (6)  The commission shall adopt rules to administer

30  this section.

31  


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 1         Section 95.  Subsection (1) of section 655.94, Florida

 2  Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         655.94  Special remedies for nonpayment of rent.--

 4         (1)  If the rental due on a safe-deposit box has not

 5  been paid for 3 months, the lessor may send a notice by

 6  certified registered mail to the last known address of the

 7  lessee stating that the safe-deposit box will be opened and

 8  its contents stored at the expense of the lessee unless

 9  payment of the rental is made within 30 days.  If the rental

10  is not paid within 30 days from the mailing of the notice, the

11  box may be opened in the presence of an officer of the lessor

12  and of a notary public who is not a director, officer,

13  employee, or stockholder of the lessor.  The contents shall be

14  sealed in a package by a notary public who shall write on the

15  outside the name of the lessee and the date of the opening.

16  The notary public shall execute a certificate reciting the

17  name of the lessee, the date of the opening of the box, and a

18  list of its contents.  The certificate shall be included in

19  the package, and a copy of the certificate shall be sent by

20  certified registered mail to the last known address of the

21  lessee.  The package shall then be placed in the general

22  vaults of the lessor at a rental not exceeding the rental

23  previously charged for the box.  The lessor has a lien on the

24  package and its contents to the extent of any rental due and

25  owing plus the actual, reasonable costs of removing the

26  contents from the safe-deposit box.

27         Section 96.  Section 658.16, Florida Statutes, is

28  amended to read:

29         658.16  Creation of banking or trust corporation.--

30         (1)  When authorized by the office, as provided herein,

31  a corporation may be formed under the laws of this state for


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 1  the purpose of becoming a state bank or a state trust company

 2  and conducting a general banking or trust business.

 3         (2)  A bank or trust company that is chartered as a

 4  limited liability company under the law of any state is deemed

 5  to be incorporated under the financial institutions codes if:

 6         (a)  The institution is not subject to automatic

 7  termination, dissolution, or suspension upon the occurrence of

 8  an event including the death, disability, bankruptcy,

 9  expulsion, or withdrawal of an owner of the institution, other

10  than the passage of time;

11         (b)  The exclusive authority to manage the institution

12  is vested in a board of managers or directors that is elected

13  or appointed by the owners which operates in substantially the

14  same manner as, and has substantially the same rights, powers,

15  privileges, duties, and responsibilities, as a board of

16  directors of a bank or trust company chartered as a

17  corporation; and

18         (c)  Neither the laws of the state of the institution's

19  organization nor the institution's operating agreement,

20  bylaws, or other organizational documents:

21         1.  Provide that an owner of the institution is liable

22  for the debts, liabilities, or obligations of the institution

23  in excess of the amount of the owner's investment; or

24         2.  Require the consent of any other owner of the

25  institution in order for an owner to transfer an ownership

26  interest in the institution, including voting rights.

27         (3)  As used in the financial institutions codes, the

28  term:

29         (a)  "Stockholder" or "shareholder" includes an owner

30  of any interest in a bank or trust company chartered as a

31  limited liability company, including a member or participant;


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 1         (b)  "Director" includes a manager or director of a

 2  bank or trust company chartered as a limited liability

 3  company, or other person who has, with respect to such a bank

 4  or trust company, authority substantially similar to that of a

 5  director of a corporation;

 6         (c)  "Officer" includes an officer of a bank or trust

 7  company chartered as a limited liability company, or other

 8  person who has, with respect to such a bank or trust company,

 9  authority substantially similar to that of an officer of a

10  corporation;

11         (d)  "Stock," "voting stock," "voting shares," and

12  "voting securities" includes similar ownership interests in a

13  bank or trust company chartered as a limited liability

14  company, including certificates or other evidence of ownership

15  interests;

16         (e)  "Articles of incorporation" or "bylaws" of a bank

17  or trust company chartered as a limited liability company

18  means the institution's articles of organization and operating

19  agreement or other organizational documentation that is

20  substantially similar to that of a corporation;

21         (f)  "Par value" of any ownership interest in a bank or

22  trust company chartered as a limited liability company means

23  the amount of capital which must be invested for each unit of

24  ownership; and

25         (g)  "Dividend" includes distributions of earnings to

26  the owners of a bank or trust company chartered as a limited

27  liability company.

28         Section 97.  Subsection (5) of section 658.23, Florida

29  Statutes, is amended to read:

30  

31  


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 1         658.23  Submission of articles of incorporation;

 2  contents; form; approval; filing; commencement of corporate

 3  existence; bylaws.--

 4         (5)  Unless the articles of incorporation provide

 5  otherwise, the board of directors shall have authority to

 6  adopt or amend bylaws that do not conflict with bylaws that

 7  may have been adopted by the stockholders.  The bylaws shall

 8  be for the governance government of the bank or trust company,

 9  subordinate only to the articles of incorporation and the laws

10  of the United States and of this state. A current copy of the

11  bylaws shall be filed with the office at all times.

12         Section 98.  Section 658.26, Florida Statutes, is

13  amended to read:

14         658.26  Places of transacting business; branches;

15  facilities.--

16         (1)  Any bank or trust company heretofore or hereafter

17  incorporated pursuant to this chapter shall have one main

18  office, which shall be located within the state.

19         (2)(a)  In addition, with the approval of the office

20  and upon such conditions as the commission or office

21  prescribes, any state bank or trust company may establish

22  branches or relocate offices within or outside the state. With

23  the approval of the office upon a determination that the

24  resulting bank or trust company will be of sound financial

25  condition, any bank or trust company incorporated pursuant to

26  this chapter may establish branches by merger with any other

27  bank or trust company.

28         (b)  As provided by commission rules, a financial

29  institution operating in a safe and sound manner may establish

30  or relocate an office by filing a written notice with the

31  office at least 30 days before opening or relocating that


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 1  office, without filing an application or paying an application

 2  fee. The notification must specify the name and location of

 3  the office and effective date of the change. The relocation of

 4  a main office to a location outside this state must be by

 5  application only.

 6         (c)  Applications filed pursuant to this subsection

 7  need not be published in the Florida Administrative Weekly,

 8  but shall otherwise be subject to chapter 120.

 9         (d)(b)  An application to establish for a branch by a

10  bank that is ineligible does not meet the requirements for the

11  branch notification process shall be in writing in such form

12  as the commission prescribes and be supported by such

13  information, data, and records as the commission or office may

14  require to make findings necessary for approval. Applications

15  filed pursuant to this subsection shall not be published in

16  the Florida Administrative Weekly but shall otherwise be

17  subject to the provisions of chapter 120. Upon the filing of

18  an application and a nonrefundable filing fee for the

19  establishment of any branch permitted by paragraph (a), the

20  office shall make an investigation with respect to compliance

21  with the requirements of paragraph (a) and shall investigate

22  and consider all factors relevant to such requirements,

23  including the following:

24         1.  The sufficiency of capital accounts in relation to

25  the deposit liabilities of the bank, or in relation to the

26  number and valuation of fiduciary accounts of the trust

27  company, including the proposed branch, and the additional

28  fixed assets, if any, which are proposed for the branch and

29  its operations, without undue risk to the bank or its

30  depositors, or undue risk to the trust company or its

31  fiduciary accounts;


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 1         2.  The sufficiency of earnings and earning prospects

 2  of the bank or trust company to support the anticipated

 3  expenses and any anticipated operating losses of the branch

 4  during its formative or initial years;

 5         3.  The sufficiency and quality of management available

 6  to operate the branch;

 7         4.  The name of the proposed branch to determine if it

 8  reasonably identifies the branch as a branch of the main

 9  office and is not likely to unduly confuse the public; and

10         5.  Substantial compliance by the applicants with

11  applicable law governing their operations.

12         (e)(c)  A state bank that is not eligible for

13  notification of a branch relocation must file an application

14  in the form required by the commission. Upon the filing of a

15  relocation application and a nonrefundable filing fee, the

16  office shall investigate to determine whether the financial

17  institution has substantially complied with applicable law

18  governing its operations. Additional investments in land,

19  buildings, leases, and leasehold improvements resulting from

20  such relocation must comply with the limitations imposed by s.

21  658.67(7)(a). A main office may not be moved outside this

22  state unless the move is expressly authorized by the financial

23  institutions codes or by federal law. A financial institution

24  that has been in operation for less than 24 months must

25  provide evidence that the criteria of s. 658.21(1) will be

26  met. As provided by commission rule, a financial institution

27  operating in a safe and sound manner may establish a branch by

28  filing a written notice with the office at least 30 days

29  before opening that branch. In such case, the financial

30  institution need not file a branch application or pay a branch

31  application fee.


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 1         (3)(a)  An office in this state may be relocated with

 2  prior written approval of the office. An application for

 3  relocation shall be in writing in such form as the commission

 4  prescribes and shall be supported by such information, data,

 5  and records as the commission or office may require to make

 6  findings necessary for approval.

 7         (b)  Applications filed pursuant to this subsection

 8  shall not be published in the Florida Administrative Weekly

 9  but shall otherwise be subject to the provisions of chapter

10  120. Upon the filing of a relocation application and a

11  nonrefundable filing fee, the office shall investigate to

12  determine substantial compliance by the financial institution

13  with applicable law governing its operations. Additional

14  investments in land, buildings, leases, and leasehold

15  improvements resulting from such relocation shall comply with

16  the limitations imposed by s. 658.67(7)(a). A main office may

17  not be moved outside this state unless expressly authorized by

18  the financial institutions codes or by federal law.

19         (c)  A relocation application filed by a state bank or

20  trust company that is operating in a safe and sound manner

21  which is not denied within 10 working days after receipt shall

22  be deemed approved unless the office notifies the financial

23  institution in writing that the application was not complete.

24         (d)  In addition to the application required by

25  paragraph (a), a financial institution whose main office in

26  this state has been in operation less than 24 months must

27  provide evidence that the criteria of s. 658.21(1) will be

28  met.

29         (f)(e)  A branch office may be closed with 30 days'

30  prior written notice to the office. The notice shall include

31  any information the commission prescribes by rule.


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 1         (3)(4)  With prior written notification to the office,

 2  any bank may operate facilities which are not physically

 3  connected to the main or branch office of the bank, provided

 4  that the facilities are situated on the property of the main

 5  or branch office or property contiguous thereto. Property

 6  which is separated from the main or branch office of a bank by

 7  only a street, and one or more walkways and alleyways are

 8  determined to be, for purposes of this subsection, contiguous

 9  to the property of the main or branch office.

10         (4)(5)  A bank may provide, directly or through a

11  contract with another company, off-premises armored car

12  service to its customers. Armored car services shall not be

13  considered a branch for the purposes of subsection (2).

14         (5)(6)(a)  Any state bank that is a subsidiary of a

15  bank holding company may agree to receive deposits, renew time

16  deposits, close loans, service loans, and receive payments on

17  loans and other obligations, as an agent for an affiliated

18  depository institution.

19         (b)  The term "close loan" does not include the making

20  of a decision to extend credit or the extension of credit.

21         (c)  As used in this section, "receive deposits" means

22  the taking of deposits to be credited to an existing account

23  and does not include the opening or origination of new deposit

24  accounts at an affiliated institution by the agent

25  institution.

26         (d)  Under this section, affiliated banks may act as

27  agents for one another regardless of whether the institutions

28  are located in the same or different states. This section

29  applies solely to affiliated depository institutions acting as

30  agents, and has no application to agency relationships

31  


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 1  concerning nondepositories as agent, whether or not affiliated

 2  with the depository institution.

 3         (e)  In addition, under this section, agent banks may

 4  perform ministerial functions for the principal bank making a

 5  loan. Ministerial functions include, but are not limited to,

 6  such activities as providing loan applications, assembling

 7  documents, providing a location for returning documents

 8  necessary for making the loan, providing loan account

 9  information, and receiving payments. It does not include such

10  loan functions as evaluating applications or disbursing loan

11  funds.

12         Section 99.  Subsection (5) of section 658.33, Florida

13  Statutes, is amended to read:

14         658.33  Directors, number, qualifications; officers.--

15         (5)  The president, or chief executive officer, or any

16  other person, regardless of title, who has equivalent rank or

17  leads the overall operations of a bank or trust company must

18  have had at least 1 year of direct experience as an executive

19  officer, director, or regulator of a financial institution

20  within the last 3 years. This requirement may be waived by the

21  office after considering the overall experience and expertise

22  of the proposed officer and the condition of the bank or trust

23  company, as reflected in the most recent regulatory

24  examination report and other available data.

25         Section 100.  Section 658.37, Florida Statutes, is

26  amended to read:

27         658.37  Dividends and surplus.--

28         (1)  The directors of any bank or trust company, after

29  charging off bad debts, depreciation, and other worthless

30  assets if any, and making provision for reasonably anticipated

31  future losses on loans and other assets, may quarterly,


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 1  semiannually, or annually declare a dividend of so much of the

 2  aggregate of the net profits of that period combined with its

 3  retained net profits of the preceding 2 years as they shall

 4  judge expedient, and, with the approval of the office, any

 5  bank or trust company may declare a dividend from retained net

 6  profits which accrued prior to the preceding 2 years, but each

 7  bank or trust company shall, before the declaration of a

 8  dividend on its common stock, carry 20 percent of its net

 9  profits for such preceding period as is covered by the

10  dividend to its surplus fund, until the same shall at least

11  equal the amount of its common and preferred stock then issued

12  and outstanding. No bank or trust company shall declare any

13  dividend at any time at which its net income from the current

14  year combined with the retained net income from the preceding

15  2 years is a loss or which would cause the capital accounts of

16  the bank or trust company to fall below the minimum amount

17  required by law, regulation, order, or any written agreement

18  with the office or a state or federal regulatory agency. A

19  bank or trust company may, however, split up or divide the

20  issued shares of capital stock into a greater number of shares

21  without increasing or decreasing the capital accounts of the

22  bank or trust company, and such shall not be construed to be a

23  dividend within the meaning of this section.

24         (2)  A bank that has been determined to be imminently

25  insolvent may not pay a dividend.

26         Section 101.  Present subsection (10) of section

27  658.48, Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (11),

28  and a new subsection (10) is added to that section, to read:

29         658.48  Loans.--A state bank may make loans and

30  extensions of credit, with or without security, subject to the

31  following limitations and provisions:


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 1         (10)  IMMINENTLY INSOLVENT BANK.--When the office has

 2  determined that a state bank is imminently insolvent, the bank

 3  may not make any new loans or discounts other than by

 4  discounting or purchasing bills of exchange payable at sight.

 5         Section 102.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (9) of

 6  section 658.67, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 7         658.67  Investment powers and limitations.--A bank may

 8  invest its funds, and a trust company may invest its corporate

 9  funds, subject to the following definitions, restrictions, and

10  limitations:

11         (9)  ACQUISITIONS OF PROPERTY AS SECURITY.--A bank or

12  trust company may acquire property of any kind to secure,

13  protect, or satisfy a loan or investment previously made in

14  good faith, and such property shall be entered on the books of

15  the bank or trust company and held and disposed of subject to

16  the following conditions and limitations:

17         (a)  The book entry shall be the lesser of the balance

18  of the loan or investment plus acquisition costs and accrued

19  interest or the appraisal value or market value of the

20  property acquired which shall be determined and dated within 1

21  year prior to or 90 days after the date of acquisition and in

22  compliance with s. 655.60.

23         Section 103.  Subsection (4) of section 658.73, Florida

24  Statutes, is amended to read:

25         658.73  Fees and assessments.--

26         (4)  Any individual or entity other than a financial

27  institution chartered in this state must Each state bank and

28  state trust company shall pay to the office $25 for each

29  "certificate of good standing" certifying that a

30  state-chartered financial institution is licensed to conduct

31  business in this state under the financial institutions codes.


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 1  All such requests shall be in writing. The office shall waive

 2  this fee when the request is by a state or federal regulatory

 3  agency or law enforcement agency.

 4         Section 104.  Subsections (4) and (7) of section

 5  663.16, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

 6         663.16  Definitions; ss. 663.17-663.181.--As used in

 7  ss. 663.17-663.181, the term:

 8         (4)  Except where the context otherwise requires,

 9  "international banking corporation" or "corporation" means any

10  international bank agency or branch operating in this state.

11         (7)  "Control" means any person or group of persons

12  acting in concert, directly or indirectly, owning,

13  controlling, or holding the power to vote 25 more than 50

14  percent or more of the voting stock of a company, or having

15  the ability in any manner to elect a majority of directors of

16  a corporation, or otherwise exercising a controlling influence

17  over the management and policies of a corporation as

18  determined by the office.

19         Section 105.  Subsection (1) of section 663.304,

20  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

21         663.304  Application for authority to organize an

22  international development bank.--

23         (1)  A written application for authority to organize an

24  international development bank shall be filed with the office

25  by the proposed incorporator and shall include:

26         (a)  The name, residence, and occupation of each

27  incorporator and proposed director.

28         (b)  The proposed corporate name and evidence of

29  reservation of the proposed corporate name with the Department

30  of State.

31  


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 1         (b)(c)  The total initial capital and the number of

 2  shares of capital stock to be authorized.

 3         (c)(d)  The location, by street and post-office address

 4  and county, of the principal office of the proposed

 5  international development bank.

 6         (d)(e)  If known, the name and residence of the

 7  proposed president and the proposed chief executive officer,

 8  if other than the proposed president.

 9         (e)(f)  Such detailed financial, business, and

10  biographical information as the commission or office may

11  reasonably require for each proposed director and for the

12  proposed president and the proposed chief executive officer,

13  if other than the president.

14         Section 106.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of

15  section 665.034, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

16         665.034  Acquisition of assets of or control over an

17  association.--

18         (4)  For purposes of this section, a person or group of

19  persons shall be deemed to have control of an association if

20  such person or group of persons:

21         (a)  Directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with

22  one or more persons or through one or more subsidiaries, owns,

23  controls, holds with powers to vote, or holds proxies

24  representing more than 25 percent or more of the voting common

25  stock of such association.

26         Section 107.  Subsections (2) and (6) of section

27  674.406, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

28         674.406  Customer's duty to discover and report

29  unauthorized signature or alteration.--

30         (2)  If the items are not returned to the customer, the

31  person retaining the items shall either retain the items or,


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 1  if the items are destroyed, maintain the capacity to furnish

 2  legible copies of the items until the expiration of 5 7 years

 3  after receipt of the items. A customer may request an item

 4  from the bank that paid the item, and that bank must provide

 5  in a reasonable time either the item or, if the item has been

 6  destroyed or is not otherwise obtainable, a legible copy of

 7  the item.

 8         (6)  Without regard to care or lack of care of either

 9  the customer or the bank, a customer who does not within 180

10  days 1 year after the statement or items are made available to

11  the customer (subsection (1)) discover and report the

12  customer's unauthorized signature on or any alteration on the

13  item or who does not, within 1 year after that time, discover,

14  and report any unauthorized endorsement is precluded from

15  asserting against the bank the unauthorized signature or

16  alteration.  If there is a preclusion under this subsection,

17  the payor bank may not recover for breach of warranty under s.

18  674.2081 with respect to the unauthorized signature or

19  alteration to which the preclusion applies.

20         Section 108.  Section 658.68, Florida Statutes, is

21  repealed.

22         Section 109.  Subsection (4) is added to section

23  627.4133, Florida Statutes, to read:

24         627.4133  Notice of cancellation, nonrenewal, or

25  renewal premium.--

26         (4)  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 440.42(3), if

27  cancellation of a policy providing coverage for workers'

28  compensation and employer's liability insurance is requested

29  by the insured, such cancellation shall be effective on the

30  date the carrier sends the notice of cancellation to the

31  insured.


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 1         Section 110.  Subsection (15) of section 717.101,

 2  Florida Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (16) and

 3  amended, subsections (5) through (18) are renumbered as

 4  subsections (6) through (19), respectively, present subsection

 5  (19) is renumbered as subsection (21), and new subsections (5)

 6  and (20) are added to that section, to read:

 7         717.101  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, unless

 8  the context otherwise requires:

 9         (5)  "Claimant" means the person on whose behalf a

10  claim is filed.

11         (16)(15)  "Owner" means a depositor in the case of a

12  deposit, a beneficiary in case of a trust or other than a

13  deposit in trust, a claimant, or a payee in the case of other

14  intangible property, or a person having a legal or equitable

15  interest in property subject to this chapter or his or her

16  legal representative.

17         (20)  "Ultimate equitable owner" means a natural person

18  who, directly or indirectly, owns or controls an ownership

19  interest in a corporation, a foreign corporation, an alien

20  business organization, or any other form of business

21  organization, regardless of whether such natural person owns

22  or controls such ownership interest through one or more

23  natural persons or one or more proxies, powers of attorney,

24  nominees, corporations, associations, partnerships, trusts,

25  joint stock companies, or other entities or devices, or any

26  combination thereof.

27         Section 111.  Subsection (1) of section 717.106,

28  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

29         717.106  Bank deposits and funds in financial

30  organizations.--

31  


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 1         (1)  Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit with

 2  a banking or financial organization, including deposits that

 3  are automatically renewable, and any funds paid toward the

 4  purchase of shares, a mutual investment certificate, or any

 5  other interest in a banking or financial organization is

 6  presumed unclaimed unless the owner has, within 5 years:

 7         (a)  Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit

 8  or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the

 9  deposit for the crediting of interest;

10         (b)  Communicated in writing or by telephone with the

11  banking or financial organization concerning the property;

12         (c)  Otherwise indicated an interest in the property as

13  evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the

14  banking or financial organization;

15         (d)  Owned other property to which paragraph (a),

16  paragraph (b), or paragraph (c) is applicable and if the

17  banking or financial organization communicates in writing with

18  the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be

19  presumed unclaimed under this subsection at the address to

20  which communications regarding the other property regularly

21  are sent; or

22         (e)  Had another relationship with the banking or

23  financial organization concerning which the owner has:

24         1.  Communicated in writing with the banking or

25  financial organization; or

26         2.  Otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a

27  memorandum or other record on file with the banking or

28  financial organization and if the banking or financial

29  organization communicates in writing with the owner with

30  regard to the property that would otherwise be unclaimed under

31  


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 1  this subsection at the address to which communications

 2  regarding the other relationship regularly are sent; or

 3         (f)  Received first-class mail from the banking or

 4  financial organization or a subsidiary of such banking or

 5  financial organization, which was not returned as

 6  undeliverable, in the ordinary course of business at the

 7  address reflected in the banking or financial organization's

 8  records.

 9         Section 112.  Subsection (1) of section 717.107,

10  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

11         717.107  Funds owing under life insurance policies.--

12         (1)  Funds held or owing under any life or endowment

13  insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or

14  terminated are presumed unclaimed if unclaimed for more than 5

15  years after the funds became due and payable as established

16  from the records of the insurance company holding or owing the

17  funds, but property described in paragraph (3)(b) is presumed

18  unclaimed if such property is not claimed for more than 2

19  years. The amount presumed unclaimed shall include any amount

20  due and payable under s. 627.4615.

21         Section 113.  Section 717.109, Florida Statutes, is

22  amended to read:

23         717.109  Refunds held by business associations.--Except

24  as to the extent otherwise provided ordered by law the court

25  or administrative agency, any sum that a business association

26  has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency

27  which has been unclaimed by the owner for more than 1 year

28  after it became payable in accordance with the final

29  determination or order providing for the refund, regardless of

30  whether the final determination or order requires any person

31  


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 1  entitled to a refund to make a claim for it, is presumed

 2  unclaimed.

 3         Section 114.  Section 717.116, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         717.116  Contents of safe-deposit box or other

 6  safekeeping repository.--All tangible and intangible property

 7  held by a banking or financial organization in a safe-deposit

 8  box or any other safekeeping repository in this state in the

 9  ordinary course of the holder's business, and proceeds

10  resulting from the sale of the property permitted by law, that

11  has not been claimed by the owner for more than 3 years after

12  the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has

13  expired are presumed unclaimed.

14         Section 115.  Subsections (1), (3), (4), and (7) of

15  section 717.117, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

16         717.117  Report of unclaimed property.--

17         (1)  Every person holding funds or other property,

18  tangible or intangible, presumed unclaimed and subject to

19  custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall report

20  to the department on such forms as the department may

21  prescribe by rule. In lieu of forms, a report identifying 25

22  or more different apparent owners must be submitted by the

23  holder may submit the required information via electronic

24  medium as the department may prescribe by rule. The report

25  must include:

26         (a)  Except for traveler's checks and money orders, the

27  name, social security number or taxpayer identification

28  number, and date of birth, if known, and last known address,

29  if any, of each person appearing from the records of the

30  holder to be the owner of any property which is presumed

31  unclaimed and which has a value of $50 or more.


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 1         (b)  For unclaimed funds which have a value of $50 or

 2  more held or owing under any life or endowment insurance

 3  policy or annuity contract, the full name, taxpayer

 4  identification number or social security number, date of

 5  birth, if known, and last known address of the insured or

 6  annuitant and of the beneficiary according to records of the

 7  insurance company holding or owing the funds.

 8         (c)  For all tangible property held in a safe-deposit

 9  box or other safekeeping repository, a description of the

10  property and the place where the property is held and may be

11  inspected by the department, and any amounts owing to the

12  holder. Contents of a safe-deposit box or other safekeeping

13  repository which consist of documents or writings of a private

14  nature and which have little or no apparent value shall not be

15  presumed unclaimed.

16         (d)  The nature and identifying number, if any, or

17  description of the property and the amount appearing from the

18  records to be due. Items of value under $50 each may be

19  reported in the aggregate.

20         (e)  The date the property became payable, demandable,

21  or returnable, and the date of the last transaction with the

22  apparent owner with respect to the property.

23         (f)  Any person or business association or public

24  corporation entity holding funds presumed unclaimed and having

25  a total value of $10 or less may file a zero balance report

26  for that reporting period. The balance brought forward to the

27  new reporting period is zero.

28         (g)  Such other information as the department may

29  prescribe by rule as necessary for the administration of this

30  chapter.

31  


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 1         (h)  Credit balances, customer overpayments, security

 2  deposits, and refunds having a value of less than $10 shall

 3  not be presumed unclaimed.

 4         (3)  The report must be filed before May 1 of each

 5  year. Such report shall apply to the preceding calendar year.

 6  If such report is not filed on or before the applicable filing

 7  date, the holder shall pay to The department may impose and

 8  collect a penalty of $10 per day up to a maximum of for each

 9  day the report is delinquent, but such penalty shall not

10  exceed $500 for the failure to timely report or the failure to

11  include in a report information required by this chapter. The

12  penalty shall be remitted to the department within 30 days

13  after the date of the notification to the holder that the

14  penalty is due and owing. As necessary for proper

15  administration of this chapter, the department may waive any

16  penalty due with appropriate justification. On written request

17  by any person required to file a report and upon a showing of

18  good cause, the department may postpone the reporting date.

19  The department must provide information contained in a report

20  filed with the department to any person requesting a copy of

21  the report or information contained in a report, to the extent

22  the information requested is not confidential, within 90 days

23  after the report has been processed and added to the unclaimed

24  property data base subsequent to a determination that the

25  report is accurate and that the reported property is the same

26  as the remitted property.

27         (4)  Holders of inactive accounts having a value of $50

28  or more shall use due diligence to locate apparent owners.

29         (a)  When an owner's account becomes inactive, the

30  holder shall conduct at least one search for the apparent

31  owner using due diligence. For purposes of this section,


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 1  except for banks, credit unions, and state or federal savings

 2  associations, an account is inactive if 2 years have

 3  transpired after the last owner-initiated account activity, if

 4  2 years have transpired after the expiration date on the

 5  instrument or contract, or if 2 years have transpired since

 6  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable. With

 7  respect to banks, credit unions, and state or federal savings

 8  associations, an account is inactive if 2 years have

 9  transpired after the last owner-initiated account activity and

10  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable or 2 years

11  after the expiration date on the instrument or contract and

12  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable.

13         (b)1.  Within 180 days after an account becomes

14  inactive, the holder shall conduct a search to locate the

15  apparent owner of the property. The holder may satisfy such

16  requirement by conducting one annual search for the owners of

17  all accounts which have become inactive during the prior year.

18         (c)2.  Within 30 days after receiving updated address

19  information, the holder shall provide notice by telephone or

20  first-class mail to the current address notifying the apparent

21  owner that the holder is in possession of property which is

22  presumed unclaimed and may be remitted to the department. The

23  notice shall also provide the apparent owner with the address

24  or the telephone number of an office where the apparent owner

25  may claim the property or reestablish the inactive account.

26         (d)  The account shall be presumed unclaimed if the

27  holder is not able to contact the apparent owner by telephone,

28  the first-class mail notice is returned to the holder as

29  undeliverable, or the apparent owner does not contact the

30  holder in response to the first-class mail notice.

31  


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 1         (b)  The claim of the apparent owner is not barred by

 2  the statute of limitations.

 3         (7)(a)  This section does shall not apply to the

 4  unclaimed patronage refunds as provided for by contract or

 5  through bylaw provisions of entities organized under chapter

 6  425.

 7         (b)  This section does not apply to intangible property

 8  held, issued, or owing by a business association subject to

 9  the jurisdiction of the United States Surface Transportation

10  Board or its successor federal agency if the apparent owner of

11  such intangible property is a business association. The holder

12  of such property does not have any obligation to report, to

13  pay, or to deliver such property to the department.

14         Section 116.  Section 717.118, Florida Statutes, is

15  amended to read:

16         717.118  Notification of apparent owners Notice and

17  publication of lists of unclaimed property.--

18         (1)  It is specifically recognized that the state has

19  an obligation to make an effort to notify owners of unclaimed

20  property in a cost-effective manner. In order to provide all

21  the citizens of this state an effective and efficient program

22  for the recovery of unclaimed property, the department shall

23  use cost-effective means to make at least one active attempt

24  to notify owners of unclaimed property accounts valued at more

25  than $100 with a reported address or taxpayer identification

26  number the existence of unclaimed property held by the

27  department. Such active attempt to notify locate apparent

28  owners shall include any attempt by the department to directly

29  contact the owner. Other means of notification, such as

30  publication of the names of owners in the newspaper, on

31  television, on the Internet, or through other promotional


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 1  efforts and items in which the department does not directly

 2  attempt to contact the owner are expressly declared to be

 3  passive attempts. Nothing in this subsection precludes other

 4  agencies or entities of state government from notifying owners

 5  of the existence of unclaimed property or attempting to notify

 6  locate apparent owners of unclaimed property.

 7         (2)  The following notification requirements shall

 8  apply:

 9         (a)  Notifications that are published or televised may

10  consist of the names of apparent owners of unclaimed property,

11  and information regarding recovery of unclaimed property from

12  the department. Such notification may be televised or

13  published in the county in which the last known address of the

14  apparent owner is located or, if the address is unknown, in

15  the county in which the holder has its principal place of

16  business. Published notifications may be in accordance with s.

17  50.011.

18         (b)  Notification provided directly to individual

19  apparent owners shall consist of a description of the property

20  and information regarding recovery of unclaimed property from

21  the department.

22         (3)  The department may publish in the notice any items

23  of more than $100.

24         (3)(4)  This section is not applicable to sums payable

25  on traveler's checks, money orders, and other written

26  instruments presumed unclaimed under s. 717.104.

27         Section 117.  Subsection (5) of section 717.119,

28  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

29         717.119  Payment or delivery of unclaimed property.--

30         (5)  All intangible and tangible property held in a

31  safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository reported


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 1  under s. 717.117 shall not be delivered to the department

 2  until 120 days after the report due date. The delivery of the

 3  property, through the United States mail or any other carrier,

 4  shall be insured by the holder at an amount equal to the

 5  estimated value of the property. Each package shall be clearly

 6  marked on the outside "Deliver Unopened." A holder's

 7  safe-deposit box contents shall be delivered to the department

 8  in a single shipment. In lieu of a single shipment, holders

 9  may provide the department with a single detailed shipping

10  schedule that includes package tracking information for all

11  packages being sent pursuant to this section.

12         (a)  Holders may remit the value of cash and coins

13  found in unclaimed safe-deposit boxes to the department by

14  cashier's check or by electronic funds transfer, unless the

15  cash or coins have a value above face value. The department

16  shall identify by rule those cash and coin items having a

17  numismatic value. Cash and coin items identified as having a

18  numismatic value shall be remitted to the department in their

19  original form.

20         (b)  Any firearm or ammunition found in an unclaimed

21  safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository shall be

22  delivered by the holder to a law enforcement agency for

23  disposal. However, the department is authorized to make a

24  reasonable attempt to ascertain the historical value to

25  collectors of any firearm that has been delivered to the

26  department. Any firearm appearing to have historical value to

27  collectors may be sold by the department pursuant to s.

28  717.122 to a person having a federal firearms license. Any

29  firearm which is not sold pursuant to s. 717.122 shall be

30  delivered by the department to a law enforcement agency in

31  this state for disposal. The department shall not be


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 1  administratively, civilly, or criminally liable for any

 2  firearm delivered by the department to a law enforcement

 3  agency in this state for disposal.

 4         (c)  If such property is not paid or delivered to the

 5  department on or before the applicable payment or delivery

 6  date, the holder shall pay to the department a penalty of $10

 7  for each safe-deposit box shipment received late, but such

 8  penalty shall not exceed $1,000. The penalty shall be $100 for

 9  a safe-deposit box shipment container that is late 30 days or

10  less. Thereafter, the penalty shall be $500 for a safe-deposit

11  box shipment container that is late for each additional

12  successive 30-day period. The penalty assessed against a

13  holder for a late safe-deposit box shipment container shall

14  not exceed $4,000 annually. The penalty shall be remitted to

15  the department within 30 days after the date of the

16  notification to the holder that the penalty is due and owing.

17         (d)  The department may waive any penalty due with

18  appropriate justification, as provided by rule.

19         (e)  Upon written request by any person required to

20  deliver safe-deposit box contents, the department may postpone

21  the delivery.

22         Section 118.  Subsection (2) of section 717.1201,

23  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

24         717.1201  Custody by state; holder relieved from

25  liability; reimbursement of holder paying claim; reclaiming

26  for owner; defense of holder; payment of safe-deposit box or

27  repository charges.--

28         (2)  Any holder who has paid money to the department

29  pursuant to this chapter may make payment to any person

30  appearing to the holder to be entitled to payment and, upon

31  filing proof of payment and proof that the payee is was


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 1  entitled thereto, the department shall forthwith repay

 2  reimburse the holder for the payment without deduction of any

 3  fee or other charges. If repayment reimbursement is sought for

 4  a payment made on a negotiable instrument, including a

 5  traveler's check or money order, the holder must be repaid

 6  reimbursed under this subsection upon filing proof that the

 7  instrument was duly presented and that the payee is payment

 8  was made to a person who appeared to the holder to be entitled

 9  to payment. The holder shall be repaid reimbursed for payment

10  made under this subsection even if the payment was made to a

11  person whose claim was barred under s. 717.129(1).

12         Section 119.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

13  717.122, Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (5) is

14  added to that section, to read:

15         717.122  Public sale of unclaimed property.--

16         (1)  Except as provided in subsection (2), the

17  department after the receipt of unclaimed property shall sell

18  it to the highest bidder at public sale on the Internet or at

19  a specified physical location wherever in the judgment of the

20  department the most favorable market for the property involved

21  exists. The department may decline the highest bid and reoffer

22  the property for sale if in the judgment of the department the

23  bid is insufficient. The department shall have the discretion

24  to withhold from sale any unclaimed property that the

25  department deems to be of benefit to the people of the state.

26  If in the judgment of the department the probable cost of sale

27  exceeds the value of the property, it need not be offered for

28  sale and may be disposed of as the department determines

29  appropriate. Any sale at a specified physical location held

30  under this section must be preceded by a single publication of

31  notice, at least 3 weeks in advance of sale, in a newspaper of


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 1  general circulation in the county in which the property is to

 2  be sold. The department shall proportionately deduct auction

 3  fees, preparation costs, and expenses from the amount posted

 4  to the owner's account when safe-deposit box contents are

 5  sold. No action or proceeding may be maintained against the

 6  department for or on account of any decision to decline the

 7  highest bid or withhold any unclaimed property from sale.

 8         (3)  Unless the department deems it to be in the public

 9  interest to do otherwise, all securities presumed unclaimed

10  and delivered to the department may be sold upon receipt. Any

11  person making a claim pursuant to this chapter is entitled to

12  receive either the securities delivered to the department by

13  the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the

14  department, or the proceeds received from sale, less any

15  amounts deducted pursuant to subsection (2), but no person has

16  any claim under this chapter against the state, the holder,

17  any transfer agent, any registrar, or any other person acting

18  for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value

19  of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the

20  state.

21         (5)  The sale of unclaimed tangible personal property

22  is not subject to tax under chapter 212 when such property is

23  sold by or on behalf of the department pursuant to this

24  section.

25         Section 120.  Subsection (1) of section 717.123,

26  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

27         717.123  Deposit of funds.--

28         (1)  All funds received under this chapter, including

29  the proceeds from the sale of unclaimed property under s.

30  717.122, shall forthwith be deposited by the department in the

31  Unclaimed Property Trust Fund. The department shall retain,


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 1  from funds received under this chapter, an amount not

 2  exceeding $15 $8 million from which the department shall make

 3  prompt payment of claims allowed by the department and shall

 4  pay the costs incurred by the department in administering and

 5  enforcing this chapter. All remaining funds received by the

 6  department under this chapter shall be deposited by the

 7  department into the State School Fund.

 8         Section 121.  Section 717.124, Florida Statutes, is

 9  amended to read:

10         717.124  Unclaimed property claims Filing of claim with

11  department.--

12         (1)  Any person, excluding another state, claiming an

13  interest in any property paid or delivered to the department

14  under this chapter may file with the department a claim on a

15  form prescribed by the department and verified by the claimant

16  or the claimant's representative. The claimant's

17  representative must be an attorney licensed to practice law in

18  this state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, or

19  a private investigator licensed under chapter 493. The

20  claimant's representative must be registered with the

21  department under this chapter. The claimant, or the claimant's

22  representative, shall provide the department with a legible

23  copy of a valid driver's license of the claimant at the time

24  the original claim form is filed. If the claimant has not been

25  issued a valid driver's license at the time the original claim

26  form is filed, the department shall be provided with a legible

27  copy of a photographic identification of the claimant issued

28  by the United States or a foreign nation, a state or territory

29  of the United States or foreign nation, or a political

30  subdivision or agency thereof.  In lieu of photographic

31  identification, a notarized sworn statement by the claimant


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 1  may be provided which affirms the claimant's identity and

 2  states the claimant's full name and address. Any claim filed

 3  without the required identification or the sworn statement

 4  with the original claim form and the original power of

 5  attorney, if applicable, is void.

 6         (a)  Within 90 days after receipt of a claim, the

 7  department may return any claim that provides for the receipt

 8  of fees and costs greater than that permitted under this

 9  chapter or that contains any apparent errors or omissions. The

10  department may also request that the claimant or the

11  claimant's representative provide additional information. The

12  department shall retain a copy or electronic image of the

13  claim.

14         (b)  A claimant or the claimant's representative shall

15  be deemed to have withdrawn a claim if no response to the

16  department's request for additional information is received by

17  the department within 60 days after the notification of any

18  apparent errors or omissions.

19         (c)  Within 90 days after receipt of the claim, or the

20  response of the claimant or the claimant's representative to

21  the department's request for additional information, whichever

22  is later, the department shall determine each claim within 90

23  days after it is filed. Such determination shall contain a

24  notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The

25  90-day period shall be extended by 60 days if the department

26  has good cause to need additional time or if the unclaimed

27  property:

28         1.  Is owned by a person who has been a debtor in

29  bankruptcy;

30         2.  Was reported with an address outside of the United

31  States;


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 1         3.  Is being claimed by a person outside of the United

 2  States; or

 3         4.  Contains documents filed in support of the claim

 4  that are not in the English language and have not been

 5  accompanied by an English language translation.

 6         (d)  The department shall deny any claim under which

 7  the claimant's representative has refused to authorize the

 8  department to reduce the fees and costs to the maximum

 9  permitted under this chapter.

10         (2)  A claim for a cashier's check or a stock

11  certificate without the original instrument may require an

12  indemnity bond equal to the value of the claim to be provided

13  prior to issue of the stock or payment of the claim by the

14  department.

15         (3)  The department may require an affidavit swearing

16  to the authenticity of the claim, lack of documentation, and

17  an agreement to allow the department to provide the name and

18  address of the claimant to subsequent claimants coming forward

19  with substantiated proof to claim the account. This shall

20  apply to claims equal to or less than $250. The exclusive

21  remedy of a subsequent claimant to the property shall be

22  against the person who received the property from the

23  department.

24         (4)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter,

25  if a claim is determined in favor of the claimant, the

26  department shall deliver or pay over to the claimant the

27  property or the amount the department actually received or the

28  proceeds if it has been sold by the department, together with

29  any additional amount required by s. 717.121.

30         (b)(5)(a)  If an owner authorizes an attorney licensed

31  to practice law in this state, Florida-certified public


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 1  accountant, or private investigator licensed under chapter

 2  493, and registered with the department under this chapter,

 3  investigative agency which is duly licensed to do business in

 4  this state to claim the unclaimed property on the owner's

 5  behalf, the department is authorized to make distribution of

 6  the property or money in accordance with such power of

 7  attorney. The original power of attorney must be executed by

 8  the owner and must be filed with the department.

 9         (c)(b)1.  Payments of approved claims for unclaimed

10  cash accounts shall be made to the owner after deducting any

11  fees and costs authorized pursuant to a written power of

12  attorney. The contents of a safe-deposit box shall be

13  delivered directly to the claimant notwithstanding any

14  agreement to the contrary.

15         2.  Payments of fees and costs authorized pursuant to a

16  written power of attorney for approved cash claims shall be

17  made or issued forwarded to the law firm employer of the

18  designated attorney licensed to practice law in this state,

19  the public accountancy firm employer of the licensed

20  Florida-certified public accountant, or the designated

21  employing private investigative agency licensed by this state.

22  Such payments shall may be made by electronic funds transfer

23  and may be made on such periodic schedule as the department

24  may define by rule, provided the payment intervals do not

25  exceed 31 days. Payment made to an attorney licensed in this

26  state, a Florida-certified public accountant, or a private

27  investigator licensed under chapter 493, operating

28  individually or as a sole practitioner, shall be to the

29  attorney, certified public accountant, or private

30  investigator.

31  


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 1         3.  Payments of approved claims for unclaimed

 2  securities and other intangible ownership interests made to an

 3  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or private

 4  investigative agency shall be promptly deposited into a trust

 5  or escrow account which is regularly maintained by the

 6  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or the private

 7  investigative agency in a financial institution authorized to

 8  accept such deposits and located in this state.

 9         (c)  Distribution of unclaimed property by the

10  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or private

11  investigative agency to the claimant shall be made within 10

12  days following final credit of the deposit into the trust or

13  escrow account at the financial institution, unless a party to

14  the agreement protests in writing such distribution before it

15  is made.

16         (5)(6)  The department shall not be administratively,

17  civilly, or criminally liable for any property or funds

18  distributed pursuant to this section, provided such

19  distribution is made in good faith.

20         (6)  This section does not supersede the licensing

21  requirements of chapter 493.

22         Section 122.  Section 717.12403, Florida Statutes, is

23  created to read:

24         717.12403  Unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

25  account in a financial institution held in the name of more

26  than one person.--

27         (1)(a)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

28  account in a financial institution is reported as an "and"

29  account in the name of two or more persons who are not

30  beneficiaries, it is presumed that each person must claim the

31  account in order for the claim to be approved by the


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 1  department. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that

 2  entitlement to the account has been transferred to another

 3  person or by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that

 4  the account should have been reported by the financial

 5  institution as an "or" account.

 6         (b)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

 7  account in a financial institution is reported as an "and"

 8  account and one of the persons on the account is deceased, it

 9  is presumed that the account is a survivorship account. This

10  presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the

11  account has been transferred to another person or by clear and

12  convincing evidence demonstrating that the account is not a

13  survivorship account.

14         (2)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

15  account in a financial institution is reported as an "or"

16  account in the name of two or more persons who are not

17  beneficiaries, it is presumed that either person listed on the

18  account may claim the entire amount held in the account. This

19  presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the

20  account has been transferred to another person or by clear and

21  convincing evidence demonstrating that the account should have

22  been reported by the financial institution as an "and"

23  account.

24         (3)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

25  account in a financial institution is reported in the name of

26  two or more persons who are not beneficiaries without

27  identifying whether the account is an "and" account or an "or"

28  account, it is presumed that the account is an "or" account.

29  This presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement

30  to the account has been transferred to another person or by

31  clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the account


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 1  should have been reported by the financial institution as an

 2  "and" account.

 3         (4)  The department shall be deemed to have made a

 4  distribution in good faith if the department remits funds

 5  consistent with this section.

 6         Section 123.  Section 717.12404, Florida Statutes, is

 7  created to read:

 8         717.12404  Claims on behalf of a business entity or

 9  trust.--

10         (1)  Claims on behalf of an active or dissolved

11  corporation, for which the last annual report is not available

12  from the Department of State through the Internet, must be

13  accompanied by a microfiche copy of the records on file with

14  the Department of State or, if the corporation has not made a

15  corporate filing with the Department of State, an

16  authenticated copy of the last corporate filing identifying

17  the officers and directors from the appropriate authorized

18  official of the state of incorporation. A claim on behalf of a

19  corporation must be made by an officer or director identified

20  on the last corporate filing.

21         (2)  Claims on behalf of a dissolved corporation, a

22  business entity other than an active corporation, or a trust

23  must include a legible copy of a valid driver's license of the

24  person acting on behalf of the dissolved corporation, business

25  entity other than an active corporation, or trust. If the

26  person has not been issued a valid driver's license, the

27  department shall be provided with a legible copy of a

28  photographic identification of the person issued by the United

29  States or a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or

30  agency thereof. In lieu of photographic identification, a

31  notarized sworn statement by the person may be provided which


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 1  affirms the person's identity and states the person's full

 2  name and address. Any claim filed without the required

 3  identification or the sworn statement with the original claim

 4  form and the original power of attorney, if applicable, is

 5  void.

 6         Section 124.  Section 717.12405, Florida Statutes, is

 7  created to read:

 8         717.12405  Claims by estates.--An estate or any person

 9  representing an estate or acting on behalf of an estate may

10  claim unclaimed property only after the heir or legatee of the

11  decedent entitled to the property has been located. Any

12  estate, or any person representing an estate or acting on

13  behalf of an estate, that receives unclaimed property before

14  the heir or legatee of the decedent entitled to the property

15  has been located, is personally liable for the unclaimed

16  property and must immediately return the full amount of the

17  unclaimed property or the value thereof to the department in

18  accordance with s. 717.1341.

19         Section 125.  Subsection (1) of section 717.1241,

20  Florida Statutes, is amended, and subsection (3) is added to

21  said section, to read:

22         717.1241  Conflicting claims.--

23         (1)  When ownership has been established but

24  conflicting claims have been received by the department, the

25  property shall be remitted as follows, notwithstanding the

26  withdrawal of a claim to the:

27         (a)  As between an owner and an owner's representative:

28         1.  To the person submitting the first claim that is

29  complete or made complete received by the department; or

30  

31  


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 1         2.  If an owner's claim and an owner's representative's

 2  claim are received by the department on the same day and both

 3  claims are complete, to the owner;

 4         (b)  As between two or more owner's representatives, to

 5  the owner's representative who has submitted the first claim

 6  that is complete or made complete Owner if an owner's claim

 7  and an owner's representative's claim are received by the

 8  department on the same day; or

 9         (c)  As between two or more owner's representatives

10  whose claims were complete on the same day, to the owner's

11  representative who has agreed to receive the lowest fee. If

12  two or more owner's representatives whose claims were complete

13  on the same day are charging the same lowest fee, the fees

14  shall be divided equally between the owner's representatives

15  Owner's representative who has the earliest dated contract

16  with the owner if claims by two or more owner's

17  representatives are received by the department on the same

18  day.

19         (3)  A claim is complete when entitlement to the

20  unclaimed property has been established.

21         Section 126.  Subsection (1) of section 717.1242,

22  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

23         717.1242  Restatement of jurisdiction of the circuit

24  court sitting in probate and the department.--

25         (1)  It is and has been the intent of the Legislature

26  that, pursuant to s. 26.012(2)(b), circuit courts have

27  jurisdiction of proceedings relating to the settlement of the

28  estates of decedents and other jurisdiction usually pertaining

29  to courts of probate. It is and has been the intent of the

30  Legislature that, pursuant to s. 717.124, the department

31  determines the merits of claims for property paid or delivered


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 1  to the department under this chapter. Consistent with this

 2  legislative intent, any estate or beneficiary, as defined in

 3  s. 731.201, heir of an estate seeking to obtain property paid

 4  or delivered to the department under this chapter must file a

 5  claim with the department as provided in s. 717.124.

 6         Section 127.  Section 717.1244, Florida Statutes, is

 7  created to read:

 8         717.1244  Determinations of unclaimed property

 9  claims.--In rendering a determination regarding the merits of

10  an unclaimed property claim, the department shall rely on the

11  applicable statutory, regulatory, common, and case law. Agency

12  statements applying the statutory, regulatory, common, and

13  case law to unclaimed property claims are not agency

14  statements subject to s. 120.56(4).

15         Section 128.  Section 717.126, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         717.126  Administrative hearing; burden of proof; proof

18  of entitlement; venue.--

19         (1)  Any person aggrieved by a decision of the

20  department may petition for a hearing as provided in ss.

21  120.569 and 120.57. In any proceeding for determination of a

22  claim to property paid or delivered to the department under

23  this chapter, the burden shall be upon the claimant to

24  establish entitlement to the property by a preponderance of

25  evidence. Having the same name as that reported to the

26  department is not sufficient, in the absence of other

27  evidence, to prove entitlement to unclaimed property.

28         (2)  Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, venue

29  shall be in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida. However, upon

30  the request of a party, the presiding officer may, in the

31  


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 1  presiding officer's discretion, conduct the hearing at an

 2  alternative remote video location.

 3         Section 129.  Section 717.1261, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         717.1261  Death certificates.--Any person who claims

 6  entitlement to unclaimed property by means of the death of one

 7  or more persons shall file a copy of the death certificate of

 8  the decedent or decedents that has been certified as being

 9  authentic by the issuing governmental agency.

10         Section 130.  Section 717.1262, Florida Statutes, is

11  created to read:

12         717.1262  Court documents.--Any person who claims

13  entitlement to unclaimed property by reason of a court

14  document shall file a certified copy of the court document

15  with the department.

16         Section 131.  Subsections (1) and (6) of section

17  717.1301, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

18         717.1301  Investigations; examinations; subpoenas.--

19         (1)  The department may make investigations and

20  examinations within or outside this state of claims, reports,

21  and other records within or outside this state as it deems

22  necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this

23  chapter. In such investigations and examinations the

24  department may administer oaths, examine witnesses, issue

25  subpoenas, and otherwise gather evidence. The department may

26  request any person who has not filed a report under s. 717.117

27  to file a verified report stating whether or not the person is

28  holding any unclaimed property reportable or deliverable under

29  this chapter.

30         (6)  If an investigation or an examination of the

31  records of any person results in the disclosure of property


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 1  reportable and deliverable under this chapter, the department

 2  may assess the cost of investigation or the examination

 3  against the holder at the rate of $100 per 8-hour day for each

 4  per investigator or examiner. Such fee shall be calculated on

 5  an hourly basis and shall be rounded to the nearest hour. The

 6  person shall also pay the travel expense and per diem

 7  subsistence allowance provided for state employees in s.

 8  112.061. The person shall not be required to pay a per diem

 9  fee and expenses of an examination or investigation which

10  shall consume more than 30 worker-days in any one year unless

11  such examination or investigation is due to fraudulent

12  practices of the person, in which case such person shall be

13  required to pay the entire cost regardless of time consumed.

14  The fee shall be remitted to the department within 30 days

15  after the date of the notification that the fee is due and

16  owing. Any person who fails to pay the fee within 30 days

17  after the date of the notification that the fee is due and

18  owing shall pay to the department interest at the rate of 12

19  percent per annum on such fee from the date of the

20  notification.

21         Section 132.  Subsection (2) of section 717.1315,

22  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

23         717.1315  Retention of records by owner's

24  representative.--

25         (2)  An owner's representative, operating at two or

26  more places of business in this state, may maintain the books,

27  accounts, and records of all such offices at any one of such

28  offices, or at any other office maintained by such owner's

29  representative, upon the filing of a written notice with the

30  department designating in the written notice the office at

31  which such records are maintained.


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 1         (3)  An However, the owner's representative shall make

 2  all books, accounts, and records available at a convenient

 3  location in this state upon request of the department.

 4         Section 133.  Subsection (2) of section 717.132,

 5  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 6         717.132  Enforcement; cease and desist orders;

 7  administrative fines.--

 8         (2)  In addition to any other powers conferred upon it

 9  to enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter, the

10  department may issue and serve upon a person an order to cease

11  and desist and to take corrective action whenever the

12  department finds that such person is violating, has violated,

13  or is about to violate any provision of this chapter, any rule

14  or order promulgated under this chapter, or any written

15  agreement entered into with the department. For purposes of

16  this subsection, the term "corrective action" includes

17  refunding excessive charges, requiring a person to return

18  unclaimed property, requiring a holder to remit unclaimed

19  property, and requiring a holder to correct a report that

20  contains errors or omissions. Any such order shall contain a

21  notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

22         Section 134.  Section 717.1322, Florida Statutes, is

23  created to read:

24         717.1322  Administrative enforcement.--

25         (1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter

26  and constitute grounds for an administrative enforcement

27  action by the department in accordance with the requirements

28  of chapter 120:

29         (a)  Failure to comply with any provision of this

30  chapter, any rule or order adopted under this chapter, or any

31  written agreement entered into with the department.


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 1         (b)  Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or gross

 2  negligence in any matter within the scope of this chapter.

 3         (c)  Fraudulent misrepresentation, circumvention, or

 4  concealment of any matter required to be stated or furnished

 5  to an owner or apparent owner under this chapter, regardless

 6  of reliance by or damage to the owner or apparent owner.

 7         (d)  Willful imposition of illegal or excessive charges

 8  in any unclaimed property transaction.

 9         (e)  False, deceptive, or misleading solicitation or

10  advertising within the scope of this chapter.

11         (f)  Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available

12  for examination all books, accounts, or other documents

13  required by this chapter, by any rule or order adopted under

14  this chapter, or by any agreement entered into with the

15  department under this chapter.

16         (g)  Refusal to permit inspection of books and records

17  in an investigation or examination by the department or

18  refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the department

19  under this chapter.

20         (h)  Criminal conduct in the course of a person's

21  business.

22         (i)  Failure to timely pay any fine imposed or assessed

23  under this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter.

24         (j)  For compensation or gain or in the expectation of

25  compensation or gain, the filing of a claim for unclaimed

26  property owned by another unless such person is a registered

27  attorney licensed to practice law in this state, registered

28  public accountant certified in this state, or a registered

29  private investigator licensed under chapter 493. This

30  subsection does not apply to a person who has been granted a

31  durable power of attorney to convey and receive all of the


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 1  real and personal  property of the owner, is the

 2  court-appointed guardian of the owner, has been employed as an

 3  attorney or qualified representative to contest the

 4  department's denial of a claim, has been employed as an

 5  attorney or qualified representative to contest the

 6  department's denial of a claim, or has been employed as an

 7  attorney to probate the estate of the owner or an heir or

 8  legatee of the owner.

 9         (k)  Failure to authorize the release of records in the

10  possession of a third party after being requested to do so by

11  the department regarding a pending examination or

12  investigation.

13         (l)  Receipt or solicitation of consideration to be

14  paid in advance of the approval of a claim under this chapter.

15         (2)  Upon a finding by the department that any person

16  has committed any of the acts set forth in subsection (1), the

17  department may enter an order:

18         (a)  Revoking or suspending a registration previously

19  granted under this chapter;

20         (b)  Placing a registrant or an applicant for a

21  registration on probation for a period of time and subject to

22  such conditions as the department may specify;

23         (c)  Placing permanent restrictions or conditions upon

24  issuance or maintenance of a registration under this chapter;

25         (d)  Issuing a reprimand;

26         (e)  Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed

27  $2,000 for each such act; or

28         (f)  Prohibiting any person from being a director,

29  officer, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of a

30  10-percent or greater interest in an employer of a registrant.

31  


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 1         (3)  A registrant is subject to the disciplinary

 2  actions specified in subsection (2) for violations of

 3  subsection (1) by an agent or employee of the registrant's

 4  employer if the registrant knew or should have known that such

 5  agent or employee was violating any provision of this chapter.

 6         (4)(a)  The department shall adopt, by rule, and

 7  periodically review the disciplinary guidelines applicable to

 8  each ground for disciplinary action which may be imposed by

 9  the department under this chapter.

10         (b)  The disciplinary guidelines shall specify a

11  meaningful range of designated penalties based upon the

12  severity or repetition of specific offenses, or both. It is

13  the legislative intent that minor violations be distinguished

14  from more serious violations; that such guidelines consider

15  the amount of the claim involved, the complexity of locating

16  the owner, the steps taken to ensure the accuracy of the claim

17  by the person filing the claim, the acts of commission and

18  omission of the ultimate owners in establishing themselves as

19  rightful owners of the funds, the acts of commission or

20  omission of the agent or employee of an employer in the filing

21  of the claim, the actual knowledge of the agent, employee,

22  employer, or owner in the filing of the claim, the departure,

23  if any, by the agent or employee from the internal controls

24  and procedures established by the employer with regard to the

25  filing of a claim, the number of defective claims previously

26  filed by the agent, employee, employer, or owner; that such

27  guidelines provide reasonable and meaningful notice of likely

28  penalties that may be imposed for proscribed conduct; and that

29  such penalties be consistently applied by the department.

30         (c)  A specific finding of mitigating or aggravating

31  circumstances shall allow the department to impose a penalty


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 1  other than that provided for in such guidelines. The

 2  department shall adopt by rule disciplinary guidelines to

 3  designate possible mitigating and aggravating circumstances

 4  and the variation and range of penalties permitted for such

 5  circumstances. Such mitigating and aggravating circumstances

 6  shall also provide for consideration of, and be consistent

 7  with, the legislative intent expressed in paragraph (b).

 8         (d)  In any proceeding brought under this chapter, the

 9  administrative law judge, in recommending penalties in any

10  recommended order, shall follow the penalty guidelines

11  established by the department and shall state in writing any

12  mitigating or aggravating circumstances upon which the

13  recommended penalty is based.

14         (5)  The department may seek any appropriate civil

15  legal remedy available to it by filing a civil action in a

16  court of competent jurisdiction against any person who has,

17  directly or through an owner's representative, wrongfully

18  submitted a claim as the ultimate owner of property and

19  improperly received funds from the department in violation of

20  this chapter.

21         Section 135.  Section 717.1331, Florida Statutes, is

22  created to read:

23         717.1331  Actions against holders.--The department may

24  initiate, or cause to be initiated, an action against a holder

25  to recover unclaimed property. If the department prevails in a

26  civil or administrative action to recover unclaimed property

27  initiated by or on behalf of the department, the holder shall

28  be ordered to pay the department reasonable costs and

29  attorney's fees.

30         Section 136.  Section 717.1333, Florida Statutes, is

31  created to read:


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 1         717.1333  Evidence; audit reports; examiner's

 2  worksheets, investigative reports, other related

 3  documents.--In any proceeding involving a holder under ss.

 4  120.569 and 120.57 in which an auditor, examiner, or

 5  investigator acting under authority of this chapter is

 6  available for cross-examination, any official written report,

 7  worksheet, or other related paper, or copy thereof, compiled,

 8  prepared, drafted, or otherwise made or received by the

 9  auditor, examiner, or investigator, after being duly

10  authenticated by the auditor, examiner, or investigator, may

11  be admitted as competent evidence upon the oath of the

12  auditor, examiner, or investigator that the report, worksheet,

13  or related paper was prepared or received as a result of an

14  audit, examination, or investigation of the books and records

15  of the person audited, examined, or investigated, or the agent

16  thereof.

17         Section 137.  Subsection (5) is added to section

18  717.134, Florida Statutes, to read:

19         717.134  Penalties and interest.--

20         (5)  The department may impose and collect a penalty of

21  $500 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 and 25 percent of the

22  value of property willfully not reported with all of the

23  information required by this chapter. Upon a holder's showing

24  of good cause, the department may waive the penalty or any

25  portion thereof. If the holder acted in good faith and without

26  negligence, the department shall waive the penalty provided

27  herein.

28         Section 138.  Section 717.1341, Florida Statutes, is

29  created to read:

30         717.1341  Invalid claims, recovery of property,

31  interest and penalties.--


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 1         (1)(a)  No person shall receive unclaimed property that

 2  the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who

 3  receives, or assists another person to receive, unclaimed

 4  property that the person is not entitled to receive is

 5  strictly, jointly, personally, and severally liable for the

 6  unclaimed property and shall immediately return the property,

 7  or the reasonable value of the property if the property has

 8  been damaged or disposed of, to the department plus interest

 9  at the rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1).

10  Assisting another person to receive unclaimed property

11  includes executing a claim form on the person's behalf.

12         (b)1.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have been

13  sold, the proceeds from the sale shall be returned to the

14  department plus any dividends or interest received thereon

15  plus an amount equal to the brokerage fee plus interest at a

16  rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) on the

17  proceeds from the sale of the stocks or bonds, the dividends

18  or interest received, and the brokerage fee.

19         2.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have not been

20  sold, the stocks or bonds and any dividends or interest

21  received thereon shall be returned to the department, together

22  with interest on the dividends or interest received, at a rate

23  set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) of the value of

24  the property.

25         (2)  The department may maintain a civil or

26  administrative action:

27         (a)  To recover unclaimed property that was paid or

28  remitted to a person who was not entitled to the unclaimed

29  property or to offset amounts owed to the department against

30  amounts owed to an owner representative;

31  


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 1         (b)  Against a person who assists another person in

 2  receiving, or attempting to receive, unclaimed property that

 3  the person is not entitled to receive; or

 4         (c)  Against a person who attempts to receive unclaimed

 5  property that the person is not entitled to receive.

 6         (3)  If the department prevails in any proceeding under

 7  subsection (2), a fine not to exceed three times the value of

 8  the property received or sought to be received may be imposed

 9  on any person who knowingly, or with reckless disregard or

10  deliberate ignorance of the truth, violated this section. If

11  the department prevails in a civil or administrative

12  proceeding under subsection (2), the person who violated

13  subsection (1) shall be ordered to pay the department

14  reasonable costs and attorney's fees.

15         (4)  No person shall knowingly file, knowingly conspire

16  to file, or knowingly assist in filing, a claim for unclaimed

17  property the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who

18  violates this subsection regarding unclaimed property of an

19  aggregate value:

20         (a)  Greater than $50,000, is guilty of a felony of the

21  first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.

22  775.083, or s. 775.084;

23         (b)  Greater than $10,000 up to $50,000, is guilty of a

24  felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.

25  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

26         (c)  Greater than $250 up to $10,000, is guilty of a

27  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.

28  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

29         (d)  Greater than $50 up to $250, is guilty of a

30  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.

31  775.082 or s. 775.083; or


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 1         (e)  Up to $50, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the

 2  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.

 3  775.083.

 4         Section 139.  Section 717.135, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         717.135  Agreement to recover locate reported property

 7  in the custody of the department.--

 8         (1)  All agreements between a claimant's an owner's

 9  representative and a claimant an owner for compensation to

10  recover or assist in the recovery of property reported to the

11  department under s. 717.117 shall be in 11-point type or

12  greater and either:

13         (a)  Limit the fees and costs for services for each

14  owner contract to $25 for all contracts relating to unclaimed

15  property with a dollar value below $250. For all contracts

16  relating to unclaimed property with a dollar value of $250 and

17  above, fees shall be limited to 20 15 percent per unclaimed on

18  property account held by the department for 24 months or less

19  and 25 percent on property held by the department for more

20  than 24 months. Fees and costs for cash accounts shall be

21  based on the value of the property at the time the agreement

22  for recovery is signed by the claimant apparent owner. Fees

23  and costs for accounts containing securities or other

24  intangible ownership interests, which securities or interests

25  are not converted to cash, shall be based on the purchase

26  price of the security as quoted on a national exchange or

27  other market on which the property ownership interest is

28  regularly traded at the time the securities or other ownership

29  interest is remitted to the claimant owner or the claimant's

30  owner's representative. Fees and costs for tangible property

31  or safe-deposit box accounts shall be based on the value of


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 1  the tangible property or contents of the safe-deposit box at

 2  the time the ownership interest is transferred or remitted to

 3  the claimant owner or the owner's representative; or

 4         (b)  Disclose, on such form as the department shall

 5  prescribe by rule, that the property is held by the Bureau of

 6  Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services

 7  pursuant to this chapter, the person or name of the entity

 8  that held the property prior to the property becoming

 9  unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the

10  owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property,

11  and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed

12  property the owner's representative is seeking to recover, as

13  reported by the holder:

14         1.  Cash accounts.

15         2.  Stale dated checks.

16         3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

17         4.  Utility deposits.

18         5.  Securities or other interests in business

19  associations.

20         6.  Wages.

21         7.  Accounts receivable.

22         8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

23  

24  Such disclosure shall be on a page signed and dated by the

25  person asserting entitlement to the unclaimed property.

26  However, paragraph (1)(a) or (b) this section shall not apply

27  if probate proceedings must be initiated on behalf of the

28  claimant for an estate that has never been probated to

29  contracts made in connection with guardianship proceedings or

30  the probate of an estate.

31  


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 1         (2)(a)  Agreements for recovery of cash accounts shall

 2  state the value of the unclaimed property, the unclaimed

 3  property account number, and the percentage dollar value of

 4  the unclaimed property account to be paid to the claimant

 5  owner and shall also state the percentage dollar value of

 6  compensation to be paid to the claimant's owner's

 7  representative.

 8         (b)  Agreements for recovery of accounts containing

 9  securities, safe-deposit box accounts, other intangible or

10  tangible ownership interests, or other types of accounts,

11  except cash accounts, shall state the unclaimed property

12  account number, the number of shares of stock, if applicable,

13  the approximate value of the unclaimed property, and the

14  percentage value of compensation to be paid to the claimant's

15  owner's representative.

16         (c)  All disclosures and agreements shall include the

17  name, address, and professional license number of the

18  claimant's owner's representative, and, if available, the

19  taxpayer identification number or social security number,

20  address, and telephone number of the claimant owner. The

21  original of all such disclosures and agreements to pay

22  compensation shall be signed and dated by the claimant owner

23  of the property and shall be filed by the owner's

24  representative with the claim form.

25         (d)  All agreements between a claimant's representative

26  and a claimant, who is a natural person, trust, or a dissolved

27  corporation, for compensation to recover or assist in the

28  recovery of property reported to the department under s.

29  717.117 must use the following form on 8 and 1/2 inch by 11

30  inch paper or on 8 and 1/2 inch by 14 inch paper with all of

31  the text on one side of the paper and with the other side of


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 1  the paper left blank; except that, at the option of the owner

 2  representative, the department disclosure form may be placed

 3  on the reverse side of the agreement. The agreement must be

 4  accurately completed and executed. No other writing or

 5  information shall be printed on the agreement. The title of

 6  the agreement shall be in bold 14-point type and underlined.

 7  The rest of the agreement shall be in 10-point type or

 8  greater. All unclaimed property accounts claimed must be

 9  identified on the agreement. The agreement must state:

10                        RECOVERY AGREEMENT

11  $__________= APPROXIMATE DOLLAR VALUE OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

12  NUMBER OF SHARES OF STOCK TO BE RECOVERED (IF

13  APPLICABLE):________

14  PROPERTY ACCOUNT NUMBERS:____________________

15  __________PERCENT TO BE PAID AS COMPENSATION TO THE CLAIMANT'S

16  REPRESENTATIVE

17  $__________= NET AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO CLAIMANT

18  $__________= AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE

19  

20  

21  THIS AGREEMENT is between:

22  _____________________________________________________________

23                     (hereinafter, CLAIMANT)

24  and__________________________________________________________

25             (hereinafter, CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE)

26  who agree to the following:

27         (1)  As consideration for the research efforts in

28  locating and identifying assets due to the CLAIMANT and for

29  assistance in procuring payment of the assets to the CLAIMANT,

30  the CLAIMANT authorizes the government to pay to the

31  CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE a fee of either:


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 1         (a)  _______ percent of all assets recovered, or

 2         (b)  A flat fee of $ _________ to recover the unclaimed

 3  property account identified above.

 4  

 5  NO FEES ARE TO BE PAID IN ADVANCE.

 6         (2)  I have read this agreement and in consideration

 7  thereof, do hereby grant the CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE a

 8  limited power of attorney to demand, collect, recover and

 9  receive the above compensation from the government in

10  accordance with this agreement.

11         (3)  IT IS HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGED BY ALL PARTIES TO THIS

12  AGREEMENT THAT UNLESS THESE ASSETS ARE RECOVERED, NO FEES, NO

13  COSTS OR CHARGES ARE DUE TO THE CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE, ITS

14  AGENTS OR ATTORNEYS, AND THIS AGREEMENT WILL BECOME NULL AND

15  VOID.

16  Original Signature of CLAIMANT:______________________________

17  DATE:__________________________

18  CLAIMANT'S Social Security Number or FEID number:____________

19  Make the CLAIMANT'S check payable to:________________________

20  Mail check to this address:__________________________________

21  _____________________________________________________________

22  The CLAIMANT'S telephone number is:__________________________

23  Original Signature of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:_____________

24  FEID Number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:____________________

25  DATE:________________________

26  Address of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:________________________

27  _____________________________________________________________

28  Telephone number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:_______________

29  Professional license number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:

30  ____________________

31  


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 1         (e)  All fees, whether expressed as a percentage or as

 2  a flat fee, are subject to the limitations and requirements of

 3  subsection (1).

 4         (3)  As used in this section, "claimant" means the

 5  person on whose behalf a claim is filed.

 6         (4)  This section does not supersede the licensing

 7  requirements of chapter 493.

 8         Section 140.  Section 717.1351, Florida Statutes, is

 9  created to read:

10         717.1351  Acquisition of unclaimed property.--

11         (1)  A person desiring to acquire ownership or

12  entitlement of property reported to the department under s.

13  717.117 must be an attorney licensed to practice law in this

14  state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, a

15  private investigator licensed under chapter 493, or an

16  employer of a licensed private investigator which employer

17  possesses a Class "A" license under chapter 493 and must be

18  registered with the department under this chapter.

19         (2)  All contracts to acquire ownership or entitlement

20  of unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to

21  the unclaimed property must be in 10-point type or greater and

22  must:

23         (a)  Have a purchase price that discounts the value of

24  the unclaimed property at the time the agreement is executed

25  by the seller at no greater than 20 percent per account held

26  by the department; or

27         (b)  Disclose, on such form as the department shall

28  prescribe by rule, that the property is held by the Bureau of

29  Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services

30  pursuant to this chapter, the person or name of the entity

31  that held the property prior to the property becoming


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 1  unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the

 2  owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property,

 3  and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed

 4  property buyer is seeking to purchase as reported by the

 5  holder:

 6         1.  Cash accounts.

 7         2.  Stale dated checks.

 8         3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

 9         4.  Utility deposits.

10         5. Securities or other interests in business

11  associations.

12         6.  Wages.

13         7.  Accounts receivable.

14         8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

15  

16  Such disclosure shall be on a page signed and dated by the

17  seller of the unclaimed property.

18         (3)  The originals of all such disclosures and

19  agreements to transfer ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

20  property shall be signed and dated by the seller and shall be

21  filed with the claim form. The claimant shall provide the

22  department with a legible copy of a valid driver's license of

23  the seller at the time the original claim form is filed. If a

24  seller has not been issued a valid driver's license at the

25  time the original claim form is filed, the department shall be

26  provided with a legible copy of a photographic identification

27  of the seller issued by the United States or a foreign nation,

28  a state or territory of the United States or foreign nation,

29  or a political subdivision or agency thereof. In lieu of

30  photographic identification, a notarized sworn statement by

31  the seller may be provided which affirms the seller's identity


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 1  and states the seller's full name and address. If a claim is

 2  filed without the required identification or the sworn

 3  statement with the original claim form and the original

 4  agreement to acquire ownership or entitlement to the unclaimed

 5  property, the claim is void.

 6         (4)  Any contract to acquire ownership or entitlement

 7  of unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to

 8  the unclaimed property must provide for the purchase price to

 9  be remitted to the seller or sellers within 10 days after the

10  execution of the contract by the seller or sellers. The

11  contract must specify the unclaimed property account number,

12  the value of the unclaimed property account, and the number of

13  shares of stock, if applicable. Proof of payment by check must

14  be filed with the department with the claim.

15         (5)  All agreements to purchase unclaimed property from

16  an owner, who is a natural person, a trust, or a dissolved

17  corporation must use the following form on 8 and 1/2 inch by

18  11 inch paper or on 8 and 1/2 inch by 14 inch paper with all

19  of the text on one side of the paper and with the other side

20  of the paper left blank; except that, at the option of the

21  owner representative, the department disclosure form may be

22  placed on the reverse side of the agreement. The agreement

23  must be accurately completed and executed. No other writing or

24  information shall be printed on the agreement. The title of

25  the agreement shall be in bold 14-point type and underlined.

26  The rest of the agreement shall be in 10-point type or

27  greater. All unclaimed property accounts to be purchased must

28  be identified on the agreement. The agreement must state:

29                        PURCHASE AGREEMENT

30  $__________= APPROXIMATE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE UNCLAIMED

31  PROPERTY


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 1  PROPERTY ACCOUNT NUMBER(S):____________________

 2  NUMBER OF SHARES OF STOCK TO BE RECOVERED (IF

 3  APPLICABLE):________

 4  __________PERCENT OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY TO BE PAID TO THE

 5  BUYER

 6  $__________= NET AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO OWNER

 7  $__________= AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO BUYER

 8  THIS AGREEMENT is between:

 9  _____________________________________________________________

10                       (hereinafter, OWNER)

11  and_________________________________________________________ 

12                       (hereinafter, BUYER)

13  who agree that the OWNER transfers to the BUYER for a purchase

14  price of $________all rights to the above identified unclaimed

15  property accounts.

16  Original Signature of OWNER:____________________DATE:________

17  OWNER'S Social Security Number or FEID number:_______________

18  Within 10 days after the execution of this Purchase Agreement

19  by the Owner, Buyer shall remit the OWNER'S check payable to:

20  _____________________________________________________________

21  Mail check to this address:__________________________________

22  _____________________________________________________________

23  _____________________________________________________________

24  The OWNER'S telephone number is:_____________________________

25  Original Signature of BUYER:_________________________________

26  FEID Number of BUYER:___________________________DATE:________

27  Address of BUYER:____________________________________________

28  _____________________________________________________________

29  Telephone number of BUYER: __________________________________

30  Professional license number of BUYER:________________________

31  


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 1         (6)  This section does not supersede the licensing

 2  requirements of chapter 493.

 3         Section 141.  Section 717.1400, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         717.1400  Registration.--

 6         (1)  In order to file claims as a claimant's

 7  representative, acquire ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

 8  property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the

 9  department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, the

10  number of reported shares of stock, and the last four digits

11  of social security numbers held by the department, a private

12  investigator holding a Class "C" individual license under

13  chapter 493 must register with the department on such form as

14  the department shall prescribe by rule, and verified by the

15  applicant. To register with the department, a private

16  investigator must provide:

17         (a)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "A"

18  business license under chapter 493 or that of the applicant's

19  employer which holds a Class "A" business license under

20  chapter 493.

21         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "C"

22  individual license issued under chapter 493.

23         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

24  number.

25         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

26  designated to act on behalf of the private investigator

27  together with a legible copy of their photo-identification

28  issued by an agency of the United States, or a state, or a

29  political subdivision thereof.

30         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

31  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.


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 1         (f)  The tax identification number of the private

 2  investigator's employer which holds a Class "A" business

 3  license under chapter 493.

 4         (2)  In order to file claims as a claimant's

 5  representative, acquire ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

 6  property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the

 7  department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, the

 8  number of reported shares of stock, and the last four digits

 9  of social security numbers held by the department, a

10  Florida-certified public accountant must register with the

11  department on such form as the department shall prescribe by

12  rule, and must be verified by the applicant. To register with

13  the department a Florida-certified public accountant must

14  provide:

15         (a)  The applicant's Florida Board of Accountancy

16  number.

17         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's

18  license showing the full name and current address of such

19  person. If a current driver's license is not available,

20  another form of identification showing full name and current

21  address of such person or persons shall be filed with the

22  department.

23         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

24  number.

25         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

26  designated to act on behalf of the Florida-certified public

27  accountant together with a legible copy of their

28  photo-identification issued by an agency of the United States,

29  or a state, or a political subdivision thereof.

30         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

31  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.


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 1         (f)  The tax identification number of the accountant's

 2  public accounting firm employer.

 3         (3)  In order to file claims as a claimant's

 4  representative, acquire ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

 5  property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the

 6  department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, the

 7  number of reported shares of stock, and the last four digits

 8  of social security numbers held by the department, an attorney

 9  licensed to practice in this state must register with the

10  department on such form as the department shall prescribe by

11  rule, and must be verified by the applicant. To register with

12  the department, such attorney must provide:

13         (a)  The applicant's Florida Bar number.

14         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's

15  license showing the full name and current address of such

16  person. If a current driver's license is not available,

17  another form of identification showing full name and current

18  address of such person or persons shall be filed with the

19  department.

20         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

21  number.

22         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

23  designated to act on behalf of the attorney, together with a

24  legible copy of their photo-identification issued by an agency

25  of the United States, or a state, or a political subdivision

26  thereof.

27         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

28  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

29         (f)  The tax identification number of the lawyer's

30  employer law firm.

31  


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 1         (4)  Information and documents already on file with the

 2  department prior to the effective date of this provision need

 3  not be resubmitted in order to complete the registration.

 4         (5)  If a material change in the status of a

 5  registration occurs, a registrant must, within 30 days,

 6  provide the department with the updated documentation and

 7  information in writing. Material changes include, but are not

 8  limited to; a designated agent or employee ceasing to act on

 9  behalf of the designating person, a surrender, suspension, or

10  revocation of a license, or a license renewal.

11         (a)  If a designated agent or employee ceases to act on

12  behalf of the person who has designated the agent or employee

13  to act on such person's behalf, the designating person must,

14  within 30 days, inform the Bureau of Unclaimed Property in

15  writing of the termination of agency or employment.

16         (b)  If a registrant surrenders the registrant's

17  license or the license is suspended or revoked, the registrant

18  must, within 30 days, inform the bureau in writing of the

19  surrender, suspension, or revocation.

20         (c)  If a private investigator's Class "C" individual

21  license under chapter 493 or a private investigator's

22  employer's Class "A" business license under chapter 493 is

23  renewed, the private investigator must provide a copy of the

24  renewed license to the department within 30 days after the

25  receipt of the renewed license by the private investigator or

26  the private investigator's employer.

27         (6)  A registrant or applicant for registration may not

28  have a name that might lead another person to conclude that

29  the registrant is affiliated or associated with the United

30  States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an agency or

31  political subdivision of a state. The department shall deny an


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 1  application for registration or revoke a registration if the

 2  applicant or registrant has a name that might lead another

 3  person to conclude that the applicant or registrant is

 4  affiliated or associated with the United States, or an agency

 5  thereof, or a state or an agency or political subdivision of a

 6  state. Names that might lead another person to conclude that

 7  the applicant or registrant is affiliated or associated with

 8  the United States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an

 9  agency or political subdivision of a state, include, but are

10  not limited to, the words United States, Florida, state,

11  bureau, division, department, or government.

12         Section 142.  Subsection (2) of section 212.02, Florida

13  Statutes, is amended to read:

14         212.02  Definitions.--The following terms and phrases

15  when used in this chapter have the meanings ascribed to them

16  in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a

17  different meaning:

18         (2)  "Business" means any activity engaged in by any

19  person, or caused to be engaged in by him or her, with the

20  object of private or public gain, benefit, or advantage,

21  either direct or indirect. Except for the sales of any

22  aircraft, boat, mobile home, or motor vehicle, the term

23  "business" shall not be construed in this chapter to include

24  occasional or isolated sales or transactions involving

25  tangible personal property or services by a person who does

26  not hold himself or herself out as engaged in business or

27  sales of unclaimed tangible personal property under s.

28  717.122, but includes other charges for the sale or rental of

29  tangible personal property, sales of services taxable under

30  this chapter, sales of or charges of admission, communication

31  services, all rentals and leases of living quarters, other


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 1  than low-rent housing operated under chapter 421, sleeping or

 2  housekeeping accommodations in hotels, apartment houses,

 3  roominghouses, tourist or trailer camps, and all rentals of or

 4  licenses in real property, other than low-rent housing

 5  operated under chapter 421, all leases or rentals of or

 6  licenses in parking lots or garages for motor vehicles,

 7  docking or storage spaces for boats in boat docks or marinas

 8  as defined in this chapter and made subject to a tax imposed

 9  by this chapter. The term "business" shall not be construed in

10  this chapter to include the leasing, subleasing, or licensing

11  of real property by one corporation to another if all of the

12  stock of both such corporations is owned, directly or through

13  one or more wholly owned subsidiaries, by a common parent

14  corporation; the property was in use prior to July 1, 1989,

15  title to the property was transferred after July 1, 1988, and

16  before July 1, 1989, between members of an affiliated group,

17  as defined in s. 1504(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986,

18  which group included both such corporations and there is no

19  substantial change in the use of the property following the

20  transfer of title; the leasing, subleasing, or licensing of

21  the property was required by an unrelated lender as a

22  condition of providing financing to one or more members of the

23  affiliated group; and the corporation to which the property is

24  leased, subleased, or licensed had sales subject to the tax

25  imposed by this chapter of not less than $667 million during

26  the most recent 12-month period ended June 30. Any tax on such

27  sales, charges, rentals, admissions, or other transactions

28  made subject to the tax imposed by this chapter shall be

29  collected by the state, county, municipality, any political

30  subdivision, agency, bureau, or department, or other state or

31  


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 1  local governmental instrumentality in the same manner as other

 2  dealers, unless specifically exempted by this chapter.

 3         Section 143.  Subsection (4) of section 322.142,

 4  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         322.142  Color photographic or digital imaged

 6  licenses.--

 7         (4)  The department may maintain a film negative or

 8  print file. The department shall maintain a record of the

 9  digital image and signature of the licensees, together with

10  other data required by the department for identification and

11  retrieval. Reproductions from the file or digital record shall

12  be made and issued only for departmental administrative

13  purposes, for the issuance of duplicate licenses, in response

14  to law enforcement agency requests, or to the Department of

15  Revenue pursuant to an interagency agreement to facilitate

16  service of process in Title IV-D cases, or to the Department

17  of Financial Services pursuant to an interagency agreement to

18  facilitate the location of owners of unclaimed property, the

19  validation of unclaimed property claims, and the

20  identification of fraudulent or false claims, and are exempt

21  from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

22         Section 144.  Paragraph (l) is added to subsection (4)

23  of section 395.3025, Florida Statutes, and subsection (10) of

24  that section is amended, to read:

25         395.3025  Patient and personnel records; copies;

26  examination.--

27         (4)  Patient records are confidential and must not be

28  disclosed without the consent of the person to whom they

29  pertain, but appropriate disclosure may be made without such

30  consent to:

31  


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 1         (l)  The Department of Financial Services, or an agent,

 2  employee, or independent contractor of the department who is

 3  auditing for unclaimed property pursuant to chapter 717.

 4         (10)  The home addresses, telephone numbers, social

 5  security numbers, and photographs of employees of any licensed

 6  facility who provide direct patient care or security services;

 7  the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security

 8  numbers, photographs, and places of employment of the spouses

 9  and children of such persons; and the names and locations of

10  schools and day care facilities attended by the children of

11  such persons are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and

12  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, any state

13  or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such

14  information by any provision of law shall be granted such

15  access in the furtherance of its statutory duties,

16  notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection. The

17  Department of Financial Services, or an agent, employee, or

18  independent contractor of the department who is auditing for

19  unclaimed property pursuant to chapter 717, shall be granted

20  access to the name, address, and social security number of any

21  employee owed unclaimed property. This subsection is subject

22  to the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance

23  with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2004,

24  unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by

25  the Legislature.

26         Section 145.  Section 732.103, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         732.103  Share of other heirs.--The part of the

29  intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under s.

30  732.102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no

31  surviving spouse, descends as follows:


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 1         (1)  To the lineal descendants of the decedent.

 2         (2)  If there is no lineal descendant, to the

 3  decedent's father and mother equally, or to the survivor of

 4  them.

 5         (3)  If there is none of the foregoing, to the

 6  decedent's brothers and sisters and the descendants of

 7  deceased brothers and sisters.

 8         (4)  If there is none of the foregoing, the estate

 9  shall be divided, one-half of which shall go to the decedent's

10  paternal, and the other half to the decedent's maternal,

11  kindred in the following order:

12         (a)  To the grandfather and grandmother equally, or to

13  the survivor of them.

14         (b)  If there is no grandfather or grandmother, to

15  uncles and aunts and descendants of deceased uncles and aunts

16  of the decedent.

17         (c)  If there is either no paternal kindred or no

18  maternal kindred, the estate shall go to the other kindred who

19  survive, in the order stated above.

20         (5)  If there is no kindred of either part, the whole

21  of the property shall go to the kindred of the last deceased

22  spouse of the decedent as if the deceased spouse had survived

23  the decedent and then died intestate entitled to the estate.

24         (6)  If none of the foregoing, and if any of the

25  descendants of the decedent's great-grandparents were

26  holocaust victims as defined in s. 626.9543(3)(b), including

27  such victims in countries cooperating with the discriminatory

28  policies of Nazi Germany then to the lineal descendants of the

29  great grandparents. The court shall allow any such descendent

30  to meet a reasonable, not unduly restrictive, standard of

31  proof to substantiate his or her lineage. This subsection only


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 1  applies to escheated property and shall cease to be effective

 2  for proceedings filed after December 31, 2004.

 3         Section 146.  Section 627.4554, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         627.4554  Annuity investments by seniors.--

 6         (1)  PURPOSE; CONSTRUCTION.--

 7         (a)  The purpose of this section is to set forth

 8  standards and procedures for recommendations to senior

 9  consumers which result in a transaction involving annuity

10  products to appropriately address the insurance needs and

11  financial objectives of senior consumers at the time of the

12  transaction.

13         (b)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to

14  create or imply a private cause of action for a violation of

15  this section.

16         (2)  APPLICATION.--This section applies to any

17  recommendation to purchase or exchange an annuity made to a

18  senior consumer by an insurance agent, or an insurer where no

19  agent is involved, that results in the purchase or exchange

20  recommended.

21         (3)  DEFINITIONS.--For purposes of this section:

22         (a)  "Annuity" means a fixed annuity or variable

23  annuity that is individually solicited, whether the product is

24  classified as an individual annuity or a group annuity.

25         (b)  "Recommendation" means advice provided by an

26  insurance agent, or an insurer if no insurance agent is

27  involved, to an individual senior consumer which results in a

28  purchase or exchange of an annuity in accordance with that

29  advice.

30         (c)  "Senior consumer" means a person 65 years of age

31  or older. In the event of a joint purchase by more than one


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 1  party, a purchaser is considered to be a senior consumer if

 2  any of the parties is age 65 or older.

 3         (4)  DUTIES OF INSURERS AND INSURANCE AGENTS.--

 4         (a)  In recommending to a senior consumer the purchase

 5  of an annuity or the exchange of an annuity that results in

 6  another insurance transaction or series of insurance

 7  transactions, an insurance agent, or an insurer if no

 8  insurance agent is involved, shall have reasonable grounds for

 9  believing that the recommendation is suitable for the senior

10  consumer on the basis of the facts disclosed by the senior

11  consumer as to his or her investments and other insurance

12  products and as to his or her financial situation and needs.

13         (b)  Before executing a purchase or exchange of an

14  annuity resulting from a recommendation to a senior consumer,

15  an insurance agent, or an insurer if no insurance agent is

16  involved, shall make reasonable efforts to obtain information

17  concerning the senior consumer's financial status, tax status,

18  and investment objectives and such other information used or

19  considered to be reasonable by the insurance agent, or the

20  insurer if no agent is involved, in making the recommendation.

21         (c)1.  Except as provided under subparagraph 2., an

22  insurance agent, or an insurer if no insurance agent is

23  involved, shall not have any obligation to a senior consumer

24  under paragraph (a) related to any recommendation if the

25  senior consumer:

26         a.  Refuses to provide relevant information requested

27  by the insurer or insurance agent;

28         b.  Decides to enter into an insurance transaction that

29  is not based on a recommendation of the insurer or insurance

30  agent; or

31         c.  Fails to provide complete or accurate information.


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 1         2.  An insurer or insurance agent's recommendation

 2  subject to subparagraph 1. shall be reasonable under all the

 3  circumstances actually known to the insurer or insurance agent

 4  at the time of the recommendation.

 5         (d)1.  An insurer or insurance agent shall ensure that

 6  a system to supervise recommendations which is reasonably

 7  designed to achieve compliance with this section is

 8  established and maintained by complying with subparagraphs 3.,

 9  4., and 5., or shall establish and maintain such a system,

10  including, but not limited to:

11         a.  Maintaining written procedures.

12         b.  Conducting periodic reviews of its records that are

13  reasonably designed to assist in detecting and preventing

14  violations of this section.

15         2.  A managing general agent and an insurance agency

16  shall adopt a system established by an insurer to supervise

17  recommendations of its insurance agents which is reasonably

18  designed to achieve compliance with this section or shall

19  establish and maintain such a system, including, but not

20  limited to:

21         a.  Maintaining written procedures.

22         b.  Conducting periodic reviews of records that are

23  reasonably designed to assist in detecting and preventing

24  violations of this section.

25         3.  An insurer may contract with a third party,

26  including a managing general agent or an insurance agency, to

27  establish and maintain a system of supervision as required by

28  subparagraph 1. with respect to insurance agents under

29  contract with or employed by the third party.

30         4.  An insurer shall make reasonable inquiry to ensure

31  that such third party contracting under subparagraph 3. is


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 1  performing the functions required under subparagraph 1. and

 2  shall take such action as is reasonable under the

 3  circumstances to enforce the contractual obligation to perform

 4  the functions. An insurer may comply with its obligation to

 5  make reasonable inquiry by:

 6         a.  Annually obtaining a certification from a third

 7  party senior manager who has responsibility for the delegated

 8  functions that the manager has a reasonable basis to

 9  represent, and does represent, that the third party is

10  performing the required functions.

11         b.  Based on reasonable selection criteria,

12  periodically selecting third parties contracting under

13  subparagraph 3. for a review to determine whether the third

14  parties are performing the required functions. The insurer

15  shall perform any procedures necessary to conduct the review

16  which are reasonable under the circumstances.

17         5.  An insurer that contracts with a third party

18  pursuant to subparagraph 3. and complies with the requirements

19  specified in subparagraph 4. is deemed to have fulfilled its

20  responsibilities under subparagraph 1.

21         6.  An insurer, managing general agent, or insurance

22  agency is not required by subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.

23  to:

24         a.  Review or provide for review of all transactions

25  solicited by an insurance agent; or

26         b.  Include in its system of supervision an insurance

27  agent's recommendations to senior consumers of products other

28  than the annuities offered by the insurer, managing general

29  agent, or insurance agency.

30         7.  A managing general agent or insurance agency

31  contracting with an insurer pursuant to subparagraph 3. shall


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 1  promptly, when requested by the insurer pursuant to

 2  subparagraph 4., provide a certification as described in

 3  subparagraph 4. or provide a clear statement that the managing

 4  general agent or insurance agency is unable to meet the

 5  certification criteria.

 6         8.  A person may not provide a certification under

 7  sub-subparagraph 4.a. unless the person is a senior manager

 8  with responsibility for the delegated functions and has a

 9  reasonable basis for making the certification.

10         (5)  MITIGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY.--

11         (a)  The office may order an insurer to take reasonably

12  appropriate corrective action for any senior consumer harmed

13  by a violation of this section by the insurer or the insurer's

14  insurance agent.

15         (b)  The department may order:

16         1.  An insurance agent to take reasonably appropriate

17  corrective action for any senior consumer harmed by a

18  violation of this section by the insurance agent.

19         2.  A managing general agency or insurance agency that

20  employs or contracts with an insurance agent to sell or

21  solicit the sale of annuities to senior consumers to take

22  reasonably appropriate corrective action for any senior

23  consumer harmed by a violation of this section by the

24  insurance agent.

25         (c)  Any applicable penalty under the Florida Insurance

26  Code for a violation of paragraph (4)(a), paragraph (4)(b), or

27  subparagraph (4)(c)2. may be reduced or eliminated, according

28  to a schedule adopted by the office or the department, as

29  appropriate, if corrective action for the senior consumer was

30  taken promptly after a violation was discovered.

31         (6)  RECORDKEEPING.--


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 1         (a)  Insurers, managing general agents, insurance

 2  agencies, and insurance agents shall maintain or be able to

 3  make available to the department or office, as appropriate,

 4  records of the information collected from the senior consumer

 5  and other information used in making the recommendations that

 6  were the basis for insurance transactions for 5 years after

 7  the insurance transaction is completed by the insurer. An

 8  insurer is permitted, but shall not be required, to maintain

 9  documentation on behalf of an insurance agent.

10         (b)  Records required to be maintained by this

11  regulation may be maintained in paper, photographic,

12  microprocess, magnetic, mechanical, or electronic media, or by

13  any process that accurately reproduces the actual document.

14         (7)  EXEMPTIONS.--Unless otherwise specifically

15  included, this section does not apply to recommendations

16  involving:

17         (a)  Direct-response solicitations where there is no

18  recommendation based on information collected from the senior

19  consumer pursuant to this section.

20         (b)  Contracts used to fund:

21         1.  An employee pension or welfare benefit plan that is

22  covered by the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act;

23         2.  A plan described by Sections 401(a), 401(k),

24  403(b), 408(k), or 408(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of

25  1986, as amended, if established or maintained by an employer;

26         3.  A government or church plan defined in Section 414

27  of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, a government

28  or church welfare benefit plan, or a deferred compensation

29  plan of a state or local government or tax-exempt organization

30  under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as

31  amended;


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 1         4.  A nonqualified deferred compensation arrangement

 2  established or maintained by an employer or plan sponsor;

 3         5.  Settlements of or assumptions of liabilities

 4  associated with personal injury litigation or any dispute or

 5  claim resolution process; or

 6         6.  Prepaid funeral contracts.

 7         (8)  APPLICATION TO VARIABLE ANNUITIES.--Compliance

 8  with the National Association of Securities Dealers Conduct

 9  Rules in effect on January 1, 2004, shall satisfy the

10  requirements under this section for the recommendation of

11  variable annuities. This section does not limit the

12  department's ability to enforce the provisions of this section

13  with respect to insurance agents, insurance agencies, and

14  managing general agents, or the office's ability to enforce

15  the provisions of this section with respect to insurers.

16         Section 147.  Paragraph (h) of subsection (2) of

17  section 20.121, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

18         20.121  Department of Financial Services.--There is

19  created a Department of Financial Services.

20         (2)  DIVISIONS.--The Department of Financial Services

21  shall consist of the following divisions:

22         (h)  The Division of Consumer Services, which shall

23  include a Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery Services.

24         1.  The Division of Consumer Services shall perform the

25  following functions concerning products or services regulated

26  by the Department of Financial Services or by either office of

27  the Financial Services Commission:

28         a.  Receive inquiries and complaints from consumers.;

29         b.  Prepare and disseminate such information as the

30  department deems appropriate to inform or assist consumers.;

31  


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 1         c.  Provide direct assistance and advocacy for

 2  consumers who request such assistance or advocacy.;

 3         d.  With respect to apparent or potential violations of

 4  law or applicable rules by a person or entity licensed by the

 5  department or by either office of the commission, report such

 6  apparent or potential violation to the appropriate division of

 7  the department or office of the commission, which may take

 8  such further action as it deems appropriate.

 9         e.  Designate an employee of the division as primary

10  contact for consumers on issues relating to sinkholes.

11         2.  Any person licensed or issued a certificate of

12  authority by the department or by the Office of Insurance

13  Regulation shall respond, in writing, to the Division of

14  Consumer Services within 20 days after receipt of a written

15  request for information from the division concerning a

16  consumer complaint. The response must address the issues and

17  allegations raised in this complaint. The division may, in its

18  discretion, impose an administrative penalty for failure to

19  comply with this subparagraph in an amount up to $2,500 per

20  violation upon any entity licensed by the department or the

21  Office of Insurance Regulation and $250 for the first

22  violation, $500 for the second violation and up to $1,000 per

23  violation thereafter upon any individual licensed by the

24  department or the Office of Insurance Regulation.

25         3.  The department may adopt rules to implement the

26  provisions of this paragraph.

27         4.  The powers, duties, and responsibilities expressed

28  or granted in this paragraph shall not limit the powers,

29  duties, and responsibilities of the Department of Financial

30  Services, the Financial Services Commission, the Office of

31  


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 1  Insurance Regulation, or the Office of Financial Regulation

 2  set forth elsewhere in the Florida Statutes.

 3         Section 148.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (7) of

 4  section 440.107, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         440.107  Department powers to enforce employer

 6  compliance with coverage requirements.--

 7         (7)(a)  Whenever the department determines that an

 8  employer who is required to secure the payment to his or her

 9  employees of the compensation provided for by this chapter has

10  failed to secure the payment of workers' compensation required

11  by this chapter or to produce the required business records

12  under subsection (5) within 5 business days after receipt of

13  the written request of the department, such failure shall be

14  deemed an immediate serious danger to public health, safety,

15  or welfare sufficient to justify service by the department of

16  a stop-work order on the employer, requiring the cessation of

17  all business operations. If the department makes such a

18  determination, the department shall issue a stop-work order

19  within 72 hours. The order shall take effect when served upon

20  the employer or, for a particular employer work site, when

21  served at that work site. In addition to serving a stop-work

22  order at a particular work site which shall be effective

23  immediately, the department shall immediately proceed with

24  service upon the employer which shall be effective upon all

25  employer work sites in the state for which the employer is not

26  in compliance. A stop-work order may be served with regard to

27  an employer's work site by posting a copy of the stop-work

28  order in a conspicuous location at the work site. The order

29  shall remain in effect until the department issues an order

30  releasing the stop-work order upon a finding that the employer

31  has come into compliance with the coverage requirements of


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 1  this chapter and has paid any penalty assessed under this

 2  section. The department may issue an order of conditional

 3  release from a stop-work order to an employer upon a finding

 4  that the employer has complied with coverage requirements of

 5  this chapter and has agreed to remit periodic payments of the

 6  penalty pursuant to a payment agreement schedule with the

 7  department. If an order of conditional release is issued,

 8  failure by the employer to meet any term or condition of such

 9  penalty payment agreement shall result in the immediate

10  reinstatement of the stop-work order and the entire unpaid

11  balance of the penalty shall become immediately due. The

12  department may require an employer who is found to have failed

13  to comply with the coverage requirements of s. 440.38 to file

14  with the department, as a condition of release from a

15  stop-work order, periodic reports for a probationary period

16  that shall not exceed 2 years that demonstrate the employer's

17  continued compliance with this chapter. The department shall

18  by rule specify the reports required and the time for filing

19  under this subsection.

20         Section 149.  Section 501.137, Florida Statutes, is

21  amended to read:

22         501.137  Mortgage lenders; tax and insurance payments

23  from escrow accounts; duties.--

24         (1)  Every lender of money, whether a natural person or

25  an artificial entity, whose loans are secured by a mortgage on

26  real estate located within the state and who receives funds

27  incidental thereto or in connection therewith for the payment

28  of property taxes or hazard insurance premiums when the such

29  funds are held in escrow by or on behalf of the lender, shall

30  promptly pay the such taxes or insurance premiums when the

31  such taxes or premiums become due and adequate escrow funds


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 1  are deposited, so that the maximum tax discount available may

 2  be obtained with regard to the taxable property and so that

 3  insurance coverage on the property does not lapse.

 4         (2)  If an escrow account for the such taxes or

 5  insurance premiums is deficient, the lender shall notify the

 6  property owner within 15 days after the lender receives the

 7  notification of taxes due from the county tax collector or

 8  receives the notification from the insurer that a premium is

 9  due.

10         (3)(a)  If the lender, as a result of neglect, fails to

11  pay any tax or insurance premium when the tax or premium is

12  due and there are sufficient escrow funds on deposit to pay

13  the tax or premium, and if the property owner suffers a loss

14  as a result of this such failure, then the lender is will be

15  liable for the such loss; except, however, that with respect

16  to any loss which would otherwise have been insured, the

17  extent of the such liability shall not exceed the coverage

18  limits of any insurance policy which has lapsed.

19         (b)  If the lender violates paragraph (a) and the

20  premium payment is not more than 90 days overdue, the insurer

21  shall reinstate the insurance policy, retroactive to the date

22  of cancellation, and the lender shall reimburse the property

23  owner for any penalty or fees imposed by the insurer and paid

24  by the property owner for purposes of reinstating the policy.

25         (c)  If the lender violates paragraph (a) and the

26  premium payment is more than 90 days overdue or if the insurer

27  refuses to reinstate the insurance policy, the lender shall

28  pay the difference between the cost of the previous insurance

29  policy and a new, comparable insurance policy for a period of

30  2 years.

31  


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 1         (4)  At the expiration of the annual accounting period,

 2  the lender shall issue to the property owner an annual

 3  statement of the escrow account.

 4         Section 150.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of

 5  section 624.610, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 6         624.610  Reinsurance.--

 7         (3)

 8         (c)1.  Credit must be allowed when the reinsurance is

 9  ceded to an assuming insurer that maintains a trust fund in a

10  qualified United States financial institution, as defined in

11  paragraph (5)(b), for the payment of the valid claims of its

12  United States ceding insurers and their assigns and successors

13  in interest. To enable the office to determine the sufficiency

14  of the trust fund, the assuming insurer shall report annually

15  to the office information substantially the same as that

16  required to be reported on the NAIC Annual Statement form by

17  authorized insurers. The assuming insurer shall submit to

18  examination of its books and records by the office and bear

19  the expense of examination.

20         2.a.  Credit for reinsurance must not be granted under

21  this subsection unless the form of the trust and any

22  amendments to the trust have been approved by:

23         (I)  The insurance regulator of the state in which the

24  trust is domiciled; or

25         (II)  The insurance regulator of another state who,

26  pursuant to the terms of the trust instrument, has accepted

27  principal regulatory oversight of the trust.

28         b.  The form of the trust and any trust amendments must

29  be filed with the insurance regulator of every state in which

30  the ceding insurer beneficiaries of the trust are domiciled.

31  The trust instrument must provide that contested claims are


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 1  valid and enforceable upon the final order of any court of

 2  competent jurisdiction in the United States. The trust must

 3  vest legal title to its assets in its trustees for the benefit

 4  of the assuming insurer's United States ceding insurers and

 5  their assigns and successors in interest. The trust and the

 6  assuming insurer are subject to examination as determined by

 7  the insurance regulator.

 8         c.  The trust remains in effect for as long as the

 9  assuming insurer has outstanding obligations due under the

10  reinsurance agreements subject to the trust. No later than

11  February 28 of each year, the trustee of the trust shall

12  report to the insurance regulator in writing the balance of

13  the trust and list the trust's investments at the preceding

14  year end, and shall certify that the trust will not expire

15  prior to the following December 31.

16         3.  The following requirements apply to the following

17  categories of assuming insurer:

18         a.  The trust fund for a single assuming insurer

19  consists of funds in trust in an amount not less than the

20  assuming insurer's liabilities attributable to reinsurance

21  ceded by United States ceding insurers, and, in addition, the

22  assuming insurer shall maintain a trusteed surplus of not less

23  than $20 million. Not less than 50 percent of the funds in the

24  trust covering the assuming insurer's liabilities attributable

25  to reinsurance ceded by United States ceding insurers and

26  trusteed surplus shall consist of assets of a quality

27  substantially similar to that required in part II of chapter

28  625. Clean, irrevocable, unconditional, and evergreen letters

29  of credit, issued or confirmed by a qualified United States

30  financial institution, as defined in paragraph (5)(a),

31  effective no later than December 31 of the year for which the


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 1  filing is made and in the possession of the trust on or before

 2  the filing date of its annual statement, may be used to fund

 3  the remainder of the trust and trusted surplus.

 4         b.(I)  In the case of a group including incorporated

 5  and individual unincorporated underwriters:

 6         (A)  For reinsurance ceded under reinsurance agreements

 7  with an inception, amendment, or renewal date on or after

 8  August 1, 1995, the trust consists of a trusteed account in an

 9  amount not less than the group's several liabilities

10  attributable to business ceded by United States domiciled

11  ceding insurers to any member of the group;

12         (B)  For reinsurance ceded under reinsurance agreements

13  with an inception date on or before July 31, 1995, and not

14  amended or renewed after that date, notwithstanding the other

15  provisions of this section, the trust consists of a trusteed

16  account in an amount not less than the group's several

17  insurance and reinsurance liabilities attributable to business

18  written in the United States; and

19         (C)  In addition to these trusts, the group shall

20  maintain in trust a trusteed surplus of which $100 million

21  must be held jointly for the benefit of the United States

22  domiciled ceding insurers of any member of the group for all

23  years of account.

24         (II)  The incorporated members of the group must not be

25  engaged in any business other than underwriting of a member of

26  the group, and are subject to the same level of regulation and

27  solvency control by the group's domiciliary regulator as the

28  unincorporated members.

29         (III)  Within 90 days after its financial statements

30  are due to be filed with the group's domiciliary regulator,

31  the group shall provide to the insurance regulator an annual


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 1  certification by the group's domiciliary regulator of the

 2  solvency of each underwriter member or, if a certification is

 3  unavailable, financial statements, prepared by independent

 4  public accountants, of each underwriter member of the group.

 5         Section 151.  Section 625.081, Florida Statutes, is

 6  amended to read:

 7         625.081  Reserve for health insurance.--For all health

 8  insurance policies, the insurer shall maintain an active life

 9  reserve which places a sound value on the insurer's

10  liabilities under such policies; is not less than the reserve

11  according to appropriate standards set forth in rules issued

12  by the commission; and, with the exception of credit

13  disability insurance, in no event, is less in the aggregate

14  than the pro rata gross unearned premiums for such policies.

15         Section 152.  Paragraphs (a), (e), and (f) of

16  subsection (5) and subsection (13) of section 625.121, Florida

17  Statutes, are amended, and paragraphs (k) and (l) are added to

18  subsection (5) of that section, to read:

19         625.121  Standard Valuation Law; life insurance.--

20         (5)  MINIMUM STANDARD FOR VALUATION OF POLICIES AND

21  CONTRACTS ISSUED ON OR AFTER OPERATIVE DATE OF STANDARD

22  NONFORFEITURE LAW.--Except as otherwise provided in paragraph

23  (h) and subsections (6), (11), and (14), the minimum standard

24  for the valuation of all such policies and contracts issued on

25  or after the operative date of s. 627.476 (Standard

26  Nonforfeiture Law for Life Insurance) shall be the

27  commissioners' reserve valuation method defined in subsections

28  (7), (11), and (14); 5 percent interest for group annuity and

29  pure endowment contracts and 3.5 percent interest for all

30  other such policies and contracts, or in the case of life

31  insurance policies and contracts, other than annuity and pure


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 1  endowment contracts, issued on or after July 1, 1973, 4

 2  percent interest for such policies issued prior to October 1,

 3  1979, and 4.5 percent interest for such policies issued on or

 4  after October 1, 1979; and the following tables:

 5         (a)  For all ordinary policies of life insurance issued

 6  on the standard basis, excluding any disability and accidental

 7  death benefits in such policies:

 8         1.  For policies issued prior to the operative date of

 9  s. 627.476(9), the commissioners' 1958 Standard Ordinary

10  Mortality Table; except that, for any category of such

11  policies issued on female risks, modified net premiums and

12  present values, referred to in subsection (7), may be

13  calculated according to an age not more than 6 years younger

14  than the actual age of the insured.; and

15         2.  For policies issued on or after the operative date

16  of s. 627.476(9), the commissioners' 1980 Standard Ordinary

17  Mortality Table or, at the election of the insurer for any one

18  or more specified plans of life insurance, the commissioners'

19  1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table with Ten-Year Select

20  Mortality Factors.

21         3.  For policies issued on or after July 1, 2004,

22  ordinary mortality tables, adopted after 1980 by the National

23  Association of Insurance Commissioners, adopted by rule by the

24  commission for use in determining the minimum standard of

25  valuation for such policies.

26         (e)  For total and permanent disability benefits in or

27  supplementary to ordinary policies or contracts:

28         1.  For policies or contracts issued on or after

29  January 1, 1966, the tables of period 2 disablement rates and

30  the 1930 to 1950 termination rates of the 1952 disability

31  


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 1  study of the Society of Actuaries, with due regard to the type

 2  of benefit;

 3         2.  For policies or contracts issued on or after

 4  January 1, 1961, and prior to January 1, 1966, either those

 5  tables or, at the option of the insurer, the class three

 6  disability table (1926); and

 7         3.  For policies issued prior to January 1, 1961, the

 8  class three disability table (1926); and.

 9         4.  For policies or contracts issued on or after July

10  1, 2004, tables of disablement rates and termination rates

11  adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance

12  Commissioners, adopted by rule by the commission for use in

13  determining the minimum standard of valuation for those

14  policies or contracts.

15  

16  Any such table for active lives shall be combined with a

17  mortality table permitted for calculating the reserves for

18  life insurance policies.

19         (f)  For accidental death benefits in or supplementary

20  to policies:

21         1.  For policies issued on or after January 1, 1966,

22  the 1959 Accidental Death Benefits Table;

23         2.  For policies issued on or after January 1, 1961,

24  and prior to January 1, 1966, either that table or, at the

25  option of the insurer, the Intercompany Double Indemnity

26  Mortality Table; and

27         3.  For policies issued prior to January 1, 1961, the

28  Intercompany Double Indemnity Mortality Table; and.

29         4.  For policies issued on or after July 1, 2004,

30  tables of accidental death benefits adopted after 1980 by the

31  National Association of Insurance Commissioners, adopted by


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 1  rule by the commission for use in determining the minimum

 2  standard of valuation for those policies.

 3  

 4  Either table shall be combined with a mortality table

 5  permitted for calculating the reserves for life insurance

 6  policies.

 7         (k)  For individual annuity and pure endowment

 8  contracts issued on or after July 1, 2004, excluding any

 9  disability and accidental death benefits purchased under those

10  contracts, individual annuity mortality tables adopted after

11  1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners,

12  adopted by rule by the commission for use in determining the

13  minimum standard of valuation for those contracts.

14         (l)  For all annuities and pure endowments purchased on

15  or after July 1, 2004, under group annuity and pure endowment

16  contracts, excluding any disability and accidental death

17  benefits purchased under those contracts, group annuity

18  mortality tables adopted after 1980 by the National

19  Association of Insurance Commissioners, adopted by rule by the

20  commission for use in determining the minimum standard of

21  valuation for those contracts.

22         (13)  APPLICABILITY TO CREDIT LIFE AND DISABILITY

23  INSURANCE POLICIES.--

24         (a)  For policies issued prior to January 1, 2004:

25         1.  The minimum reserve for single-premium credit

26  disability insurance, monthly premium credit life insurance

27  and monthly premium credit disability insurance shall be the

28  unearned gross premium.

29         2.  As to single-premium credit life insurance

30  policies, the insurer shall establish and maintain reserves

31  that are not less than the value, at the valuation date, of


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 1  the risk for the unexpired portion of the period for which the

 2  premium has been paid as computed on the basis of the

 3  commissioners' 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table and 3.5

 4  percent interest. At the discretion of the office, the insurer

 5  may make a reasonable assumption as to the ages at which net

 6  premiums are to be determined. In lieu of the foregoing basis,

 7  reserves based upon unearned gross premiums may be used at the

 8  option of the insurer.

 9         (b)  For policies issued on or after January 1, 2004:

10         1.  The minimum reserve for single-premium credit

11  disability insurance shall be either:

12         a.  The unearned gross premium, or

13         b.  Based upon a morbidity table that is adopted by the

14  National Association of Insurance Commissioners and is

15  specified in a rule the commission adopts pursuant to

16  subsection (14).

17         2.  The minimum reserve for monthly premium credit

18  disability insurance shall be the unearned gross premium.

19         3.  The minimum reserve for monthly premium credit life

20  insurance shall be the unearned gross premium.

21         4.  As to single-premium credit life insurance

22  policies, the insurer shall establish and maintain reserves

23  that are not less than the value, at the valuation date, of

24  the risk for the unexpired portion of the period for which the

25  premium has been paid as computed on the basis of the

26  commissioners' 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table or any

27  ordinary mortality table, adopted after 1980 by the National

28  Association of Insurance Commissioners, that is approved by

29  rule adopted by the commission for use in determining the

30  minimum standard of valuation for such policies; and an

31  interest rate determined in accordance with subsection (6). At


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 1  the discretion of the office, the insurer may make a

 2  reasonable assumption as to the ages at which net premiums are

 3  to be determined. In lieu of the foregoing basis, reserves

 4  based upon unearned gross premiums may be used at the option

 5  of the insurer. This section does not apply as to those credit

 6  life insurance policies for which reserves are computed and

 7  maintained as required under s. 625.131.

 8         Section 153.  Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (1)

 9  of section 626.321, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

10         626.321  Limited licenses.--

11         (1)  The department shall issue to a qualified

12  individual, or a qualified individual or entity under

13  paragraphs (c), (d), (e), and (i), a license as agent

14  authorized to transact a limited class of business in any of

15  the following categories:

16         (c)  Personal accident insurance.--License covering

17  only policies of personal accident insurance covering the

18  risks of travel, except as provided in subparagraph 2.  The

19  license may be issued only:

20         1.  To a full-time salaried employee of a common

21  carrier or a full-time salaried employee or owner of a

22  transportation ticket agency and may authorize the sale of

23  such ticket policies only in connection with the sale of

24  transportation tickets, or to the full-time salaried employee

25  of such an agent.  No such policy shall be for a duration of

26  more than 48 hours or for the duration of a specified one-way

27  trip or round trip.

28         2.  To a full-time salaried employee of a business

29  which offers motor vehicles for rent or lease, or to a

30  business entity office of a business which offers motor

31  vehicles for rent or lease if insurance sales activities


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 1  authorized by the license are limited to full-time salaried

 2  employees.  A business office licensed or a person licensed

 3  pursuant to this subparagraph may, as an agent of an insurer,

 4  transact insurance that provides coverage for accidental

 5  personal injury or death of the lessee and any passenger who

 6  is riding or driving with the covered lessee in the rental

 7  motor vehicle if the lease or rental agreement is for not more

 8  than 30 days, or if the lessee is not provided coverage for

 9  more than 30 consecutive days per lease period; however, if

10  the lease is extended beyond 30 days, the coverage may be

11  extended one time only for a period not to exceed an

12  additional 30 days.

13         (d)  Baggage and motor vehicle excess liability

14  insurance.--

15         1.  License covering only insurance of personal effects

16  except as provided in subparagraph 2.  The license may be

17  issued only:

18         a.  To a full-time salaried employee of a common

19  carrier or a full-time salaried employee or owner of a

20  transportation ticket agency, which person is engaged in the

21  sale or handling of transportation of baggage and personal

22  effects of travelers, and may authorize the sale of such

23  insurance only in connection with such transportation; or

24         b.  To the full-time salaried employee of a licensed

25  general lines agent, a full-time salaried employee of a

26  business which offers motor vehicles for rent or lease, or to

27  a business office of a business entity that which offers motor

28  vehicles for rent or lease if insurance sales activities

29  authorized by the license are in connection with and

30  incidental to the rental of a motor vehicle limited to

31  


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 1  full-time salaried employees. An entity applying for a license

 2  under this sub-subparagraph:

 3         (I)  Is required to submit only one application for a

 4  license under s. 626.171. The requirements of s. 626.171(5)

 5  shall apply only to the officers and directors of the entity

 6  submitting the application.

 7         (II)  Is required to obtain a license for each office,

 8  branch office, or place of business making use of the entity's

 9  business name by applying to the department for the license on

10  a simplified application form developed by rule of the

11  department for this purpose.

12         (III)  Is required to pay the applicable fees for a

13  license as prescribed in s. 624.501, be appointed under s.

14  626.112, and pay the prescribed appointment fee under s.

15  624.501. A licensed and appointed entity shall be directly

16  responsible and accountable for all acts of the licensee's

17  employees.

18  

19  The purchaser of baggage insurance shall be provided written

20  information disclosing that the insured's homeowner's policy

21  may provide coverage for loss of personal effects and that the

22  purchase of such insurance is not required in connection with

23  the purchase of tickets or in connection with the lease or

24  rental of a motor vehicle.

25         2.  A business entity that office licensed pursuant to

26  subparagraph 1., or a person licensed pursuant to subparagraph

27  1. who is a full-time salaried employee of a business which

28  offers motor vehicles for rent or lease, may include lessees

29  under a master contract providing coverage to the lessor or

30  may transact excess motor vehicle liability insurance

31  providing coverage in excess of the standard liability limits


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 1  provided by the lessor in its lease to a person renting or

 2  leasing a motor vehicle from the licensee's employer for

 3  liability arising in connection with the negligent operation

 4  of the leased or rented motor vehicle, provided that the lease

 5  or rental agreement is for not more than 30 days; that the

 6  lessee is not provided coverage for more than 30 consecutive

 7  days per lease period, and, if the lease is extended beyond 30

 8  days, the coverage may be extended one time only for a period

 9  not to exceed an additional 30 days; that the lessee is given

10  written notice that his or her personal insurance policy

11  providing coverage on an owned motor vehicle may provide

12  additional excess coverage; and that the purchase of the

13  insurance is not required in connection with the lease or

14  rental of a motor vehicle.  The excess liability insurance may

15  be provided to the lessee as an additional insured on a policy

16  issued to the licensee's employer.

17         3.  A business entity that office licensed pursuant to

18  subparagraph 1., or a person licensed pursuant to subparagraph

19  1. who is a full-time salaried employee of a business which

20  offers motor vehicles for rent or lease, may, as an agent of

21  an insurer, transact insurance that provides coverage for the

22  liability of the lessee to the lessor for damage to the leased

23  or rented motor vehicle if:

24         a.  The lease or rental agreement is for not more than

25  30 days; or the lessee is not provided coverage for more than

26  30 consecutive days per lease period, but, if the lease is

27  extended beyond 30 days, the coverage may be extended one time

28  only for a period not to exceed an additional 30 days;

29         b.  The lessee is given written notice that his or her

30  personal insurance policy that provides coverage on an owned

31  


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 1  motor vehicle may provide such coverage with or without a

 2  deductible; and

 3         c.  The purchase of the insurance is not required in

 4  connection with the lease or rental of a motor vehicle.

 5         Section 154.  Section 626.9743, Florida Statutes, is

 6  created to read:

 7         626.9743  Claim settlement practices relating to motor

 8  vehicle insurance.--

 9         (1)  This section shall apply to the adjustment and

10  settlement of personal and commercial motor vehicle insurance

11  claims.

12         (2)  An insurer may not, when liability and damages

13  owed under the policy are reasonably clear, recommend that a

14  third-party claimant make a claim under his or her own policy

15  solely to avoid paying the claim under the policy issued by

16  that insurer. However, the insurer may identify options to a

17  third-party claimant relative to the repair of his or her

18  vehicle.

19         (3)  An insurer that elects to repair a motor vehicle

20  and specifically requires a particular repair shop for vehicle

21  repairs shall cause the damaged vehicle to be restored to its

22  physical condition as to performance and appearance

23  immediately prior to the loss at no additional cost to the

24  insured or third-party claimant other than as stated in the

25  policy.

26         (4)  An insurer may not require the use of replacement

27  parts in the repair of a motor vehicle which are not at least

28  equivalent in kind and quality to the damaged parts prior to

29  the loss in terms of fit, appearance, and performance.

30         (5)  When the insurance policy provides for the

31  adjustment and settlement of first-party motor vehicle total


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 1  losses on the basis of actual cash value or replacement with

 2  another of like kind and quality, the insurer shall use one of

 3  the following methods:

 4         (a)  The insurer may elect a cash settlement based upon

 5  the actual cost to purchase a comparable motor vehicle,

 6  including sales tax, if applicable pursuant to subsection (9).

 7  Such cost may be derived from:

 8         1.  When comparable motor vehicles are available in the

 9  local market area, the cost of two or more such comparable

10  motor vehicles available within the preceding 90 days;

11         2.  The retail cost as determined from a generally

12  recognized used motor vehicle industry source such as:

13         a.  An electronic database if the pertinent portions of

14  the valuation documents generated by the database are provided

15  by the insurer to the first-party insured upon request; or

16         b.  A guidebook that is generally available to the

17  general public if the insurer identifies the guidebook used as

18  the basis for the retail cost to the first-party insured upon

19  request; or

20         3.  The retail cost using two or more quotations

21  obtained by the insurer from two or more licensed dealers in

22  the local market area.

23         (b)  The insurer may elect to offer a replacement motor

24  vehicle that is a specified comparable motor vehicle available

25  to the insured, including sales tax if applicable pursuant to

26  subsection (9), paid for by the insurer at no cost other than

27  any deductible provided in the policy and betterment as

28  provided in subsection (6). The offer must be documented in

29  the insurer's claim file. For purposes of this subsection, a

30  comparable motor vehicle is one that is made by the same

31  manufacturer, of the same or newer model year, and of similar


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 1  body type and that has similar options and mileage as the

 2  insured vehicle. Additionally, a comparable motor vehicle must

 3  be in as good or better overall condition than the insured

 4  vehicle and available for inspection within a reasonable

 5  distance of the insured's residence.

 6         (c)  When a motor vehicle total loss is adjusted or

 7  settled on a basis that varies from the methods described in

 8  paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), the determination of value

 9  must be supported by documentation, and any deductions from

10  value must be itemized and specified in appropriate dollar

11  amounts. The basis for such settlement shall be explained to

12  the claimant in writing, if requested, and a copy of the

13  explanation shall be retained in the insurer's claim file.

14         (d)  Any other method agreed to by the claimant.

15         (6)  When the amount offered in settlement reflects a

16  reduction by the insurer because of betterment or

17  depreciation, information pertaining to the reduction shall be

18  maintained with the insurer's claim file. Deductions shall be

19  itemized and specific as to dollar amount and shall accurately

20  reflect the value assigned to the betterment or depreciation.

21  The basis for any deduction shall be explained to the claimant

22  in writing, if requested, and a copy of the explanation shall

23  be maintained with the insurer's claim file.

24         (7)  Every insurer shall, if partial losses are settled

25  on the basis of a written estimate prepared by or for the

26  insurer, supply the insured a copy of the estimate upon which

27  the settlement is based.

28         (8)  Every insurer shall provide notice to an insured

29  before termination of payment for previously authorized

30  storage charges, and the notice shall provide 72 hours for the

31  


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 1  insured to remove the vehicle from storage before terminating

 2  payment of the storage charges.

 3         (9)  If sales tax will necessarily be incurred by a

 4  claimant upon replacement of a total loss or upon repair of a

 5  partial loss, the insurer may defer payment of the sales tax

 6  unless and until the obligation has actually been incurred.

 7         (10)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to

 8  authorize or preclude enforcement of policy provisions

 9  relating to settlement disputes.

10         Section 155.  Section 626.9744, Florida Statutes, is

11  created to read:

12         626.9744  Claim settlement practices relating to

13  property insurance.--Unless otherwise provided by the policy,

14  when a homeowner's insurance policy provides for the

15  adjustment and settlement of first-party losses based on

16  repair or replacement cost, the following requirements apply:

17         (1)  When a loss requires repair or replacement of an

18  item or part, any physical damage incurred in making such

19  repair or replacement which is covered and not otherwise

20  excluded by the policy shall be included in the loss to the

21  extent of any applicable limits. The insured may not be

22  required to pay for betterment required by ordinance or code

23  except for the applicable deductible, unless specifically

24  excluded or limited by the policy.

25         (2)  When a loss requires replacement of items and the

26  replaced items do not match in quality, color, or size, the

27  insurer shall make reasonable repairs or replacement of items

28  in adjoining areas. In determining the extent of the repairs

29  or replacement of items in adjoining areas, the insurer may

30  consider the cost of repairing or replacing the undamaged

31  portions of the property, the degree of uniformity that can be


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 1  achieved without such cost, the remaining useful life of the

 2  undamaged portion, and other relevant factors.

 3         (3)  This section shall not be construed to make the

 4  insurer a warrantor of the repairs made pursuant to this

 5  section.

 6         (4)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to

 7  authorize or preclude enforcement of policy provisions

 8  relating to settlement disputes.

 9         Section 156.  Effective July 1, 2004, and applicable to

10  cancellation requests and notices received on or after that

11  date, subsection (3) of section 627.311, Florida Statutes, is

12  amended to read:

13         627.311  Joint underwriters and joint reinsurers;

14  public records and public meetings exemptions.--

15         (3)  The office may, after consultation with insurers

16  licensed to write automobile insurance in this state, approve

17  a joint underwriting plan for purposes of equitable

18  apportionment or sharing among insurers of automobile

19  liability insurance and other motor vehicle insurance, as an

20  alternate to the plan required in s. 627.351(1). All insurers

21  authorized to write automobile insurance in this state shall

22  subscribe to the plan and participate therein. The plan shall

23  be subject to continuous review by the office which may at any

24  time disapprove the entire plan or any part thereof if it

25  determines that conditions have changed since prior approval

26  and that in view of the purposes of the plan changes are

27  warranted. Any disapproval by the office shall be subject to

28  the provisions of chapter 120. The Florida Automobile Joint

29  Underwriting Association is created under the plan. The plan

30  and the association:

31  


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 1         (a)  Must be subject to all provisions of s.

 2  627.351(1), except apportionment of applicants.

 3         (b)  May provide for one or more designated insurers,

 4  able and willing to provide policy and claims service, to act

 5  on behalf of all other insurers to provide insurance for

 6  applicants who are in good faith entitled to, but unable to,

 7  procure insurance through the voluntary insurance market at

 8  standard rates.

 9         (c)  Must provide that designated insurers will issue

10  policies of insurance and provide policyholder and claims

11  service on behalf of all insurers for the joint underwriting

12  association.

13         (d)  Must provide for the equitable apportionment among

14  insurers of losses and expenses incurred.

15         (e)  Must provide that the joint underwriting

16  association will operate subject to the supervision and

17  approval of a board of governors consisting of 11 individuals,

18  including 1 who will be elected as chair. Five members of the

19  board must be appointed by the Chief Financial Officer. Two of

20  the Chief Financial Officer's appointees must be chosen from

21  the insurance industry. Any board member appointed by the

22  Chief Financial Officer may be removed and replaced by her or

23  him at any time without cause. Six members of the board must

24  be appointed by the participating insurers, two of whom must

25  be from the insurance agents' associations. All board members,

26  including the chair, must be appointed to serve for 2-year

27  terms beginning annually on a date designated by the plan.

28         (f)  Must provide that an agent appointed to a

29  servicing carrier must be a licensed general lines agent of an

30  insurer which is authorized to write automobile liability and

31  physical damage insurance in the state and which is actively


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 1  writing such coverage in the county in which the agent is

 2  located, or the immediately adjoining counties, or an agent

 3  who places a volume of other property and casualty insurance

 4  in an amount equal to the premium volume placed with the

 5  Florida Joint Underwriting Association. The office may,

 6  however, determine that an agent may be appointed to a

 7  servicing carrier if, after public hearing, the office finds

 8  that consumers in the agent's operating area would not have

 9  adequate and reasonable access to the purchase of automobile

10  insurance if the agent were not appointed to a servicing

11  carrier.

12         (g)  Must make available noncancelable coverage as

13  provided in s. 627.7275(2).

14         (h)  Must provide for the furnishing of a list of

15  insureds and their mailing addresses upon the request of a

16  member of the association or an insurance agent licensed to

17  place business with an association member. The list must

18  indicate whether the insured is currently receiving a good

19  driver discount from the association. The plan may charge a

20  reasonable fee to cover the cost incurred in providing the

21  list.

22         (i)  Must not provide a renewal credit or discount or

23  any other inducement designed to retain a risk.

24         (j)  Must not provide any other good driver credit or

25  discount that is not actuarially sound. In addition to other

26  criteria that the plan may specify, to be eligible for a good

27  driver credit, an insured must not have any criminal traffic

28  violations within the most recent 36-month period preceding

29  the date the discount is received.

30         (k)1.  Shall have no liability, and no cause of action

31  of any nature shall arise against any member insurer or its


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 1  agents or employees, agents or employees of the association,

 2  members of the board of governors of the association, the

 3  Chief Financial Officer, or the office or its representatives

 4  for any action taken by them in the performance of their

 5  duties or responsibilities under this subsection. Such

 6  immunity does not apply to actions for or arising out of

 7  breach of any contract or agreement pertaining to insurance,

 8  or any willful tort.

 9         2.  Notwithstanding the requirements of s.

10  624.155(3)(a), as a condition precedent to bringing an action

11  against the plan under s. 624.155, the department and the plan

12  must have been given 90 days' written notice of the violation.

13  If the department returns a notice for lack of specificity,

14  the 90-day time period shall not begin until a proper notice

15  is filed. This notice must comply with the information

16  requirements of s. 624.155(3)(b). Effective October 1, 2007,

17  this subparagraph shall expire unless reenacted by the

18  Legislature prior to that date.

19         (l)  May require from the insured proof that he or she

20  has obtained the mandatory types and amounts of insurance from

21  another admitted carrier prior to the cancellation of a policy

22  the insured obtained from the plan and prior to the return of

23  any unearned premium the insured paid for such coverage from

24  the plan. This paragraph does not apply to any person who

25  provides proof of sale or inoperability of the vehicle covered

26  under the policy purchased from the plan or relocation outside

27  the state.

28         Section 157.  Subsection (5) is added to section

29  627.4091, Florida Statutes, to read:

30         627.4091  Specific reasons for denial, cancellation, or

31  nonrenewal.--


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 1         (5)  When an insurer refuses to provide private

 2  passenger automobile insurance or personal lines residential

 3  property insurance, including, but not limited to,

 4  homeowner's, mobile home owner's, condominium unit owner's, or

 5  other insurance covering a personal residential structure, to

 6  an applicant due to adverse underwriting information, the

 7  insurer shall:

 8         (a)  Provide to the applicant specific information

 9  regarding the reasons for the refusal to insure.

10         (b)  If the reason for the refusal to insure is based

11  on a loss underwriting history or report from a consumer

12  reporting agency, to the extent applicable identify the loss

13  underwriting history and notify the applicant of his or her

14  right under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions

15  Act to obtain a copy of the report from the consumer reporting

16  agency.

17         Section 158.  Effective upon this act becoming a law,

18  subsections (5) and (6) are added to section 627.4133, Florida

19  Statutes, to read:

20         627.4133  Notice of cancellation, nonrenewal, or

21  renewal premium.--

22         (5)  An insurer that cancels a property insurance

23  policy on property secured by a mortgage due to the failure of

24  the lender to timely pay the premium when due shall reinstate

25  the policy as required by s. 501.137.

26         (6)  A single claim on a property insurance policy

27  which is the result of water damage may not be used as the

28  sole cause for cancellation or nonrenewal unless the insurer

29  can demonstrate that the insured has failed to take action

30  reasonably requested by the insurer to prevent a future

31  similar occurrence of damage to the insured property.


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 1         Section 159.  Paragraph (h) of subsection (9) of

 2  section 627.476, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         627.476  Standard Nonforfeiture Law for Life

 4  Insurance.--

 5         (9)  CALCULATION OF ADJUSTED PREMIUMS AND PRESENT

 6  VALUES FOR POLICIES ISSUED AFTER OPERATIVE DATE OF THIS

 7  SUBSECTION.--

 8         (h)  All adjusted premiums and present values referred

 9  to in this section shall for all policies of ordinary

10  insurance be calculated on the basis of the Commissioners'

11  1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table or, at the election of

12  the insurer for any one or more specified plans of life

13  insurance, the Commissioners' 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality

14  Table with Ten-Year Select Mortality Factors; shall for all

15  policies of industrial insurance be calculated on the basis of

16  the Commissioners' 1961 Standard Industrial Mortality Table;

17  and shall for all policies issued in a particular calendar

18  year be calculated on the basis of a rate of interest not

19  exceeding the nonforfeiture interest rate as defined in this

20  subsection for policies issued in that calendar year. However:

21         1.  At the option of the insurer, calculations for all

22  policies issued in a particular calendar year may be made on

23  the basis of a rate of interest not exceeding the

24  nonforfeiture interest rate, as defined in this subsection,

25  for policies issued in the immediately preceding calendar

26  year.

27         2.  Under any paid-up nonforfeiture benefit, including

28  any paid-up dividend additions, any cash surrender value

29  available, whether or not required by subsection (2), shall be

30  calculated on the basis of the mortality table and rate of

31  


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 1  interest used in determining the amount of such paid-up

 2  nonforfeiture benefit and paid-up dividend additions, if any.

 3         3.  An insurer may calculate the amount of any

 4  guaranteed paid-up nonforfeiture benefit, including any

 5  paid-up additions under the policy, on the basis of an

 6  interest rate no lower than that specified in the policy for

 7  calculating cash surrender values.

 8         4.  In calculating the present value of any paid-up

 9  term insurance with accompanying pure endowment, if any,

10  offered as a nonforfeiture benefit, the rates of mortality

11  assumed may be not more than those shown in the Commissioners'

12  1980 Extended Term Insurance Table for policies of ordinary

13  insurance and not more than the Commissioners' 1961 Industrial

14  Extended Term Insurance Table for policies of industrial

15  insurance.

16         5.  In lieu of the mortality tables specified in this

17  section, at the option of the insurance company and subject to

18  rules adopted by the commission, the insurance company may

19  substitute:

20         a.  The 1958 CSO or CET Smoker and Nonsmoker Mortality

21  Tables, whichever is applicable, for policies issued on or

22  after the operative date of this subsection and before January

23  1, 1989;

24         b.  The 1980 CSO or CET Smoker and Nonsmoker Mortality

25  Tables, whichever is applicable, for policies issued on or

26  after the operative date of this subsection;

27         c.  A mortality table that is a blend of the

28  sex-distinct 1980 CSO or CET mortality table standard,

29  whichever is applicable, or a mortality table that is a blend

30  of the sex-distinct 1980 CSO or CET smoker and nonsmoker

31  mortality table standards, whichever is applicable, for


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 1  policies that are subject to the United States Supreme Court

 2  decision in Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris to prevent

 3  unfair discrimination in employment situations.

 4         6.  Ordinary mortality tables, adopted after 1980 by

 5  the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, adopted

 6  by rule by the commission for use in determining the minimum

 7  nonforfeiture standard may be substituted for the

 8  Commissioners' 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table with or

 9  without Ten-Year Select Mortality Factors or for the

10  Commissioners' 1980 Extended Term Insurance Table.

11         7.6.  For insurance issued on a substandard basis, the

12  calculation of any such adjusted premiums and present values

13  may be based on appropriate modifications of the

14  aforementioned tables.

15         Section 160.  Section 627.7077, Florida Statutes, is

16  created to read:

17         627.7077  Florida Sinkhole Insurance Facility and other

18  matters related to affordability and availability of sinkhole

19  insurance; feasibility study.--

20         (1)  The Florida State University College of Business

21  Department of Risk Management and Insurance shall, under the

22  direction of the office, conduct a feasibility and

23  cost-benefit study of a potential Florida Sinkhole Insurance

24  Facility and of other matters related to affordability and

25  availability of sinkhole insurance. The study shall be

26  conducted in consultation with the State Board of

27  Administration and the Florida Geological Survey. The

28  university shall provide a preliminary report of its analysis,

29  findings, and recommendations to the Financial Services

30  Commission and the presiding officers of the Legislature no

31  


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 1  later than February 1, 2005, and shall provide a final report

 2  no later than April 1, 2005.

 3         (2)  The potential functions of the facility to be

 4  analyzed include:

 5         (a)  Serving as the direct insurer or the reinsurer for

 6  all or some sinkhole losses.

 7         (b)  Providing training, communication, and other

 8  educational services to the public, engineers, the

 9  construction industry, insurance professionals, or others.

10         (c)  Providing uniform standards for use by insurers in

11  evaluating sinkhole loss claims.

12         (d)  Providing consulting services for insurers.

13         (e)  Maintaining a public database of all confirmed

14  sinkholes and paid sinkhole loss claims, for use by consumers

15  and by the insurance, building construction, banking, and real

16  estate industries.

17         (3)  The feasibility study shall, at a minimum, address

18  the following issues:

19         (a)  Where the facility should be housed, including,

20  but not limited to, the options of creating a separate

21  facility or using the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

22  or the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

23         (b)  Federal income taxation implications.

24         (c)  Funding options and costs associated with

25  operating the facility, including means of funding sinkhole

26  insurance through premiums that are adequate to fund covered

27  losses.

28         (d)  Applicability of the experience of similar

29  facilities of other states.

30         (e)  Other economic impact considerations pertinent to

31  a facility.


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 1         (f)  Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

 2         (g)  The impact of all present requirements in the

 3  Florida Insurance Code on affordability and availability of

 4  sinkhole insurance and recommendations to address such

 5  impacts.

 6         (4)  The study shall be funded from a budget of no more

 7  than $300,000, which will be funded by assessments on insurers

 8  issuing property insurance in this state. Such assessments

 9  shall be collected by the office and shall be prorated among

10  such insurers according to a formula whereby each insurer

11  shall pay a fraction of such budget, the numerator of which

12  shall be such insurer's direct earned premiums for property

13  insurance in this state and the denominator of which shall be

14  the total direct earned premiums for property insurance in

15  this state for calendar year 2003.

16         Section 161.  Section 627.838, Florida Statutes, is

17  amended to read:

18         627.838  Filing and approval of forms; service

19  charges.--

20         (1)  No premium finance agreement form or related form

21  shall be used in this state by a premium finance company

22  unless it has been filed with and approved by the office.

23  Every filing shall be made within 30 days of issuance or use.

24         (2)  Each premium finance company shall file with the

25  office the service charge and interest rate plan, including

26  all modifications thereto, for informational purposes only.

27  Every filing shall be made within 30 days of its effective

28  date.

29         (3)  Each filing shall be accompanied by the filing fee

30  specified in s. 627.849.

31  


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 1         Section 162.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of

 2  section 627.848, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         627.848  Cancellation of insurance contract upon

 4  default.--

 5         (1)  When a premium finance agreement contains a power

 6  of attorney or other authority enabling the premium finance

 7  company to cancel any insurance contract listed in the

 8  agreement, the insurance contract shall not be canceled unless

 9  cancellation is in accordance with the following provisions:

10         (e)  Whenever a financed an insurance contract is

11  canceled in accordance with this section, the insurer shall,

12  within 30 days of the cancellation date, promptly return the

13  unpaid balance due under the finance contract, up to the gross

14  amount available upon the cancellation of the policy, to the

15  premium finance company and any remaining unearned premium to

16  the agent or the insured, or both, for the benefit of the

17  insured or insureds. The insurer shall, within 30 days of the

18  cancellation date, notify the insured and the agent of the

19  amount of unearned premium returned to the premium finance

20  company and the amount of unearned commission held by the

21  agent. The premium finance company shall, within 15 days after

22  the account has been overpaid, either refund to the insured

23  for the insured's benefit any refund due on his or her account

24  or, if the refund is sent or credited to the agent, return or

25  credit to the agent the amount of the overpayment and notify

26  the insured of the refunded amount. The premium finance

27  company within 15 days shall notify the insured and the agent

28  of the amount of unearned premium. Within 15 days of receipt

29  of notification from the premium finance company, the agent

30  shall return such amount including any unearned commission to

31  the insured or with the written approval of the insured apply


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 1  such amount to the purchase of other insurance products

 2  regulated by the office. The commission may adopt rules

 3  necessary to implement the provisions of this subsection.

 4         Section 163.  Subsection (1) of section 627.849,

 5  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 6         627.849  Fees.--

 7         (1)  The office shall collect in advance, and the

 8  persons so served shall pay to it in advance, the following

 9  fees:

10         (a)  Annual license fee............................$250

11         (b)  Investigation fee..............................100

12         (c)  Annual report filing fee........................25

13         (d)  Form filing fee.................................10

14         Section 164.  Analysis of factors affecting premium

15  levels and availability of personal lines property and

16  casualty insurance to consumers in Florida.--

17         (1)  The Legislative Auditing Committee shall enter

18  into a contract with the Florida State University College of

19  Business Department of Risk Management and Insurance to

20  provide, no later than February 1, 2005, a detailed analysis

21  of factors affecting costs and potential assessments on

22  consumers, and availability, of personal lines property and

23  casualty insurance in Florida generally and in those areas in

24  which coverage is underwritten by the Citizens Property and

25  Casualty Insurance Company. The analysis shall include an

26  evaluation of such factors and recommendations appropriate to

27  moderate or enhance their impact on premiums potential

28  assessments and availability of such insurance. Such factors

29  shall include, but are not limited to:

30         (a)  The factors affecting the level of competition and

31  premium levels specifically, including the impact of rate


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 1  regulation and possible rating law reforms, and including

 2  reforms that have succeeded or failed in other states.

 3         (b)  The cost and benefits of required coverages and of

 4  restrictions on optional coverages that could otherwise be

 5  made available to consumers.

 6         (c)  Such other information as may be useful to the

 7  Legislature in determining how to increase availability and,

 8  over the short and long term, to moderate costs and potential

 9  consumer assessments.

10         (2)  The study shall be funded from a budget of no more

11  than $250,000, which shall be funded by assessments on

12  insurers issuing personal lines property and casualty

13  insurance in the state. Such assessments shall be collected by

14  the Office of Insurance Regulation and shall be prorated among

15  such insurers according to a formula whereby each insurer

16  shall pay a fraction of such budget, the numerator of which

17  shall be such insurer's direct earned premiums for personal

18  lines property and casualty insurance in the state and the

19  denominator of which shall be the total direct earned premiums

20  for personal lines property and casualty insurance in the

21  state for calendar year 2003.

22         (3)  The Department of Financial Services, the Office

23  of Insurance Regulation, and insurers shall cooperate with the

24  Florida State University College of Business Department of

25  Risk Management and Insurance conducting the analysis and

26  shall provide such information as the Florida State University

27  College of Business Department of Risk Management and

28  Insurance may request in the format requested by the

29  university.

30         Section 165.  Section 625.131, Florida Statutes, is

31  repealed.


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 1         Section 166.  Nothing in this act shall be construed to

 2  create or be the basis of a civil action. Nothing in this act

 3  shall be construed as limiting settlement or adjustment of

 4  claims by methods that are otherwise permissible under Florida

 5  law.

 6         Section 167.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in

 7  this act and except for this section, which shall take effect

 8  upon becoming a law, this act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

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