Section 626.9924, Florida Statutes 2003
626.9924 Viatical settlement contracts; procedures; rescission.--
(1) A viatical settlement provider entering into a viatical settlement contract with any viator must first obtain a witnessed document in which the viator consents to the viatical settlement contract, represents that he or she has a full and complete understanding of the viatical settlement contract and the benefits of the life insurance policy, releases his or her medical records, and acknowledges that he or she has entered into the viatical settlement contract freely and voluntarily.
(2) All viatical settlement contracts subject to this act must contain an unconditional rescission provision which allows the viator to rescind the contract within 15 days after the viator receives the viatical settlement proceeds, conditioned on the return of such proceeds.
(3) A viatical settlement transaction may be completed only through the use of an independent third-party trustee or escrow agent. Immediately upon receipt by the independent third-party trustee or escrow agent of documents from the viator to effect the transfer of the insurance policy, the viatical settlement provider must pay the proceeds of the settlement to an escrow or trust account managed by the independent third-party trustee or escrow agent in a financial institution licensed under Florida law or a federally chartered financial institution that is a member of the Federal Reserve System, pending acknowledgment of the transfer by the issuer of the policy. An advance or partial payment of the proceeds due under a viatical settlement contract may not be used to effect transfer of the subject policy; any such advance or partial payment is made at the sole discretion and risk of the viatical settlement provider.
(4) Upon receipt of all viatical settlement contract proceeds, the independent third-party trustee or escrow agent must release to the viatical settlement provider all documents necessary to complete the transfer of the insurance policy or certificate of insurance so that the transfer, assignment, sale, bequest, or devise may be effected.
(5) The independent third-party trustee or escrow agent must transfer all proceeds of the viatical settlement contract within 3 business days after receiving from the issuer of the subject policy acknowledgment of the transfer, assignment, bequest, sale, or devise. Failure to transfer proceeds as required by this subsection renders the viatical settlement contract and the transfer, assignment, bequest, sale, or devise voidable.
(6) A viatical settlement provider may not negotiate or enter into a viatical settlement contract with a viator if the subject policy contains an accelerated benefits provision allowing benefits to be paid for a period in advance of the expected death which is equal to or exceeds the time period available under the viatical settlement contract, and at an amount which is equal to or exceeds the amount available under the viatical settlement contract, unless the issuer of the policy, in writing, denies, declines, or refuses to provide such accelerated benefits. If the insurer does not respond to a request to effectuate an accelerated benefits provision sent by certified mail within 30 days after receiving the request, the insurer shall be deemed to have denied, declined, or refused to provide such accelerated benefits.
(7) At any time during the contestable period, within 20 days after a viator executes documents necessary to transfer rights under an insurance policy or within 20 days of any agreement, option, promise, or any other form of understanding, express or implied, to viaticate the policy, the provider must give notice to the insurer of the policy that the policy has or will become a viaticated policy. The notice must be accompanied by the documents required by s. 626.99287(5)(a) in their entirety.
(8) If the owner of the insurance policy is not the insured, the provider shall notify the insured that the policy has become the subject of a viatical settlement contract within 20 days after the transfer of rights under the contract.
(9) If the provider transfers ownership or changes the beneficiary of the insurance policy, the provider must communicate the initial change in ownership or beneficiary to the insured within 20 days after the change.
(10) The viatical settlement provider who effectuated the viatical settlement contract with the viator (the "initial provider") is responsible for tracking the insured, including, but not limited to, keeping track of the insured's whereabouts and health status, submission of death claims or assisting the beneficiary in the submission of death claims, and the status of the payment of premiums until the death of the insured. This responsibility may be contracted out to a third party; however, the ultimate responsibility remains with the initial provider. This responsibility continues with the initial provider, notwithstanding any transfers of the viaticated policy in the secondary market. This subsection applies only to those viaticated policies that are or are to become the subject of viatical settlement purchase agreements.
History.--s. 15, ch. 96-336; s. 6, ch. 2000-344; s. 5, ch. 2001-207; s. 5, ch. 2001-247.