Section 627.848, Florida Statutes 2003
627.848 Cancellation of insurance contract upon default.--
(1) When a premium finance agreement contains a power of attorney or other authority enabling the premium finance company to cancel any insurance contract listed in the agreement, the insurance contract shall not be canceled unless cancellation is in accordance with the following provisions:
(a)1. Not less than 10 days' written notice shall be mailed to each insured shown on the premium finance agreement of the intent of the premium finance company to cancel her or his insurance contract unless the defaulted installment payment is received within 10 days.
2. After expiration of such period, the premium finance company shall mail to the insurer a request for cancellation, specifying the effective date of cancellation and the unpaid premium balance due under the finance contract, and shall mail a copy thereof to the insured at her or his last known address as shown on the premium finance agreement.
(b) Every notice of cancellation shall include, in type or print of which its face shall not be smaller than 12 points, a statement that, if the insurance contract or contracts provide motor vehicle liability insurance required by the financial responsibility law, proof of financial responsibility is required to be maintained continuously for a period of 3 years, pursuant to chapter 324, and the operation of a vehicle without such financial responsibility is unlawful.
(c) Upon receipt of a copy of the cancellation notice by the insurer or insurers, the insurance contract shall be canceled as of the date specified in the cancellation notice with the same force and effect as if the notice of cancellation had been submitted by the insured herself or himself, whether or not the premium finance company has complied with the notice requirement of this subsection, without requiring any further notice to the insured or the return of the insurance contract.
(d) All statutory, regulatory, and contractual restrictions providing that the insured may not cancel her or his insurance contract unless she or he or the insurer first satisfies such restrictions by giving a prescribed notice to a governmental agency, the insurance carrier, a mortgagee, an individual, or a person designated to receive such notice for such governmental agency, insurance carrier, or individual shall apply when cancellation is effected under the provisions of this section. The insurer, in accordance with such prescribed notice when it is required to give such notice in behalf of itself or the insured, shall give notice to such governmental agency, person, mortgagee, or individual; and it shall determine and calculate the effective date of cancellation from the day it receives the copy of the notice of cancellation from the premium finance company.
(e) Whenever an insurance contract is canceled in accordance with this section, the insurer shall promptly return the unpaid balance due under the finance contract, up to the gross amount available upon the cancellation of the policy, to the premium finance company and any remaining unearned premium to the agent or the insured, or both, for the benefit of the insured or insureds. The insurer shall notify the insured and the agent of the amount of unearned premium returned to the premium finance company and the amount of unearned commission held by the agent. The premium finance company within 15 days shall notify the insured and the agent of the amount of unearned premium. Within 15 days of receipt of notification from the premium finance company, the agent shall return such amount including any unearned commission to the insured or with the written approval of the insured apply such amount to the purchase of other insurance products regulated by the office. The commission may adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of this subsection.
(f) If an insurance contract is canceled by an insurer upon the receipt of a copy of the cancellation notice from a premium finance company, and if such premium finance company has failed to provide the notice required by this subsection, the insured shall have a cause of action against the premium finance company for damages caused by such failure to provide notice.
(2) Any court of this state rendering or affirming a judgment or decree against a premium finance company and in favor of any named or omnibus insured or beneficiary arising out of a wrongful or improper cancellation of an insurance policy by such premium finance company shall award reasonable attorney's fees to the insured or beneficiary.
(3) The commission shall adopt a standard cancellation notice for use by premium finance companies in canceling insurance policies. The commission shall specify the color of the notice so as to promote usability and standardization.
History.--s. 1, ch. 63-16; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, 6, ch. 80-363; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 611, 612, 809(2nd), ch. 82-243; s. 79, ch. 82-386; s. 23, ch. 83-288; s. 114, ch. 92-318; s. 22, ch. 93-410; s. 11, ch. 96-377; s. 1739, ch. 97-102; s. 3, ch. 97-204; s. 35, ch. 99-3; s. 17, ch. 2000-370; s. 1224, ch. 2003-261.