Section 634.041, Florida Statutes 2009
634.041 Qualifications for license.--To qualify for and hold a license to issue service agreements in this state, a service agreement company must be in compliance with this part, with applicable rules of the commission, with related sections of the Florida Insurance Code, and with its charter powers and must comply with the following:
(1) Any service agreement company applying for a license must be a solvent corporation formed under the laws of this state or of another state or district of the United States and must meet minimum requirements under this section.
(2) The service agreement company must furnish the office with evidence satisfactory to the office that the management of the company is competent and trustworthy and can successfully and lawfully manage its affairs.
(3) The service agreement company must make the deposit required under s. 634.052.
(4) A service agreement company may not be licensed to transact service agreement business in this state unless it maintains the required reserves and the required ratio of liquid assets to the required reserves.
(5) A service agreement company may not be licensed to transact service agreement business in this state if, during the 3 years immediately preceding its application for a license, it has violated any requirement of this part or a rule adopted thereunder.
(6) In order to obtain or maintain a license, a service agreement company must have and maintain minimum net assets of $500,000. However, a service agreement company that maintains a gross written premium of less than $750,000 at all times, that has been licensed in Florida for more than 5 years, and that has never had an administrative complaint filed by the office against its operations under this part may reach this net asset requirement in equal increments over a 5-year period beginning on October 1, 1991.
(7) All assets used to maintain the minimum net asset requirement must be maintained in the United States.
(8)(a) A service agreement company must establish and maintain an unearned premium reserve in accordance with the following:
1. It must consist of unencumbered assets equal to a minimum of 50 percent of the unearned gross written premium on each service agreement and must amortize this reserve pro rata over the duration of the service agreement. Such assets must be held in the form of cash or invested in securities for investment under ss. 625.301-625.340.
2. In addition to the net asset requirements set forth in subsection (6), a company utilizing the 50-percent reserve must not allow its ratio of gross written premium in force to net assets to exceed 10 to 1. For companies that have utilized both contractual liability insurance and the 50-percent reserve, this ratio must be calculated based only on that portion of gross written premium in force which is covered by the 50-percent reserve.
3. A company that uses an unearned premium reserve must deposit with the department securities of the type eligible for deposit by insurers under s. 625.52 equal to 15 percent of the unearned premium reserve. This reserve deposit may be included as an asset for calculating the requirement of subparagraph 1. A request for release of the reserve deposit may be made quarterly only after the office has approved the company's current quarterly or annual financial statement and a statement sworn to by two officers of the company, verifying that the release will not reduce the reserve deposit to less than 15 percent of the unearned premium reserve.
(b) A service agreement company does not have to establish and maintain an unearned premium reserve if it purchases and maintains contractual liability insurance in accordance with the following:
1. The insurance covers 100 percent of its claim exposure and is obtained from an insurer approved by the office which holds a certificate of authority to do business within this state.
2. If the service agreement company does not meet its contractual obligations, the contractual liability insurance policy binds its issuer to pay or cause to be paid to the service agreement holder all legitimate claims and cancellation refunds for all service agreements issued by the service agreement company while the policy was in effect. This requirement also applies to those service agreements for which no premium has been remitted to the insurer.
3. If the issuer of the contractual liability policy is fulfilling the service agreements covered by the contractual liability policy and the service agreement holder cancels the service agreement, the issuer must make a full refund of unearned premium to the consumer, subject to the cancellation fee provisions of s. 634.121(5). The sales representative and agent must refund to the contractual liability policy issuer their unearned pro rata commission.
4. The policy may not be canceled, terminated, or nonrenewed by the insurer or the service agreement company unless a 90-day written notice thereof has been given to the office by the insurer before the date of the cancellation, termination, or nonrenewal.
5. The service agreement company must provide the office with the claims statistics.
All funds or premiums remitted to an insurer by a motor vehicle service agreement company under this part shall remain in the care, custody, and control of the insurer and shall be counted as an asset of the insurer; provided, however, this requirement does not apply when the insurer and the motor vehicle service agreement company are affiliated companies and members of an insurance holding company system. If the motor vehicle service agreement company chooses to comply with this paragraph but also maintains a reserve to pay claims, such reserve shall only be considered an asset of the covered motor vehicle service agreement company and may not be simultaneously counted as an asset of any other entity.
(9)(a) In meeting the requirements of this part, except as provided in paragraph (b), a service agreement company may not utilize both the 50-percent reserve and contractual liability insurance simultaneously. However, a company may have contractual liability coverage on service agreements previously sold and sell new service agreements covered by the 50-percent reserve, and the converse of this is also allowed. A service agreement company must be able to distinguish how each individual service agreement is covered.
(b) A service agreement company that maintains net assets of at least $10 million and that annually files with the office a financial statement audited in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles may use either the 50-percent reserve or the contractual liability coverage for specific blocks of new service agreements. For purposes of this subsection, the term "specific blocks of new service agreements" means the service agreements sold by a single designated licensed salesperson. A service agreement company must be able to distinguish how each individual service agreement is covered. A service agreement company using the 50-percent premium reserve, as permitted under this subsection, must obtain contractual liability insurance coverage for any future deficits in the premium reserve account directly attributable to the specific blocks of new agreements written. Such a contractual liability insurance policy must be filed with the office. Such policies or endorsements to an existing policy must contain language evidencing that the contractual liability insurance policy shall pay claims arising out of such specific blocks of agreements if the service agreement company cannot or will not pay such claims. All contractual liability insurance policies issued to a service agreement company under this part must cover all agreements issued during the term of the policy and, for purposes of this section, the company must obtain and file with the office endorsements to that policy identifying the specific blocks of agreements not covered thereunder.
(10) In addition to information called for and furnished with its annual statement, a service agreement company must furnish to the office, as soon as reasonably possible, any information as to its transactions or affairs that the office requests in writing. All information furnished pursuant to the request of the office must be verified by the oath of two executive officers of the service agreement company.
(11)(a) A service agreement company offering service agreements providing vehicle protection expenses may meet the requirements for this part only by maintaining contractual liability insurance covering 100 percent of its vehicle protection claim exposure in accordance with paragraph (8)(b), which insurance must be issued by an insurance company not affiliated with the service agreement company, unless the insurance company had issued a contractual liability insurance policy to a service agreement company on or before January 1, 2002. Service agreements providing vehicle protection expenses may be sold only to a service agreement holder that has in-force comprehensive motor vehicle insurance coverage for the vehicle to be covered by the service agreement.
(b) Notwithstanding any other requirement of this part, a service agreement company maintaining an unearned premium reserve on all service agreements in accordance with paragraph (8)(a) may offer service agreements providing vehicle protection expenses if it maintains contractual liability insurance only on all service agreements providing vehicle protection expenses and continues to maintain the 50-percent reserve for all service agreements not providing vehicle protection expenses. A service agreement company maintaining contractual liability insurance for all service agreements providing vehicle protection expenses and the 50-percent reserve for all other service agreements must, in the service agreement register as required under s. 634.136(4), distinguish between insured service agreements providing vehicle protection expenses and service agreements not providing vehicle protection expenses.
(12) A motor vehicle manufacturer complying with the provisions of this part must be an entity formed under the laws of this state or of another state or district of the United States and need comply only with subsections (2) and (10). A motor vehicle manufacturer need not submit fingerprints, background information, or biographical statements for any individual except those serving as officers or directors of the applicant entity. A motor vehicle manufacturer need not comply with s. 634.081(5). Motor vehicle manufacturers are subject to all other applicable provisions of this part.
History.--s. 4, ch. 59-110; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 3, ch. 78-231; ss. 2, 3, ch. 80-149; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 32, 33, ch. 82-234; s. 131, ch. 83-216; s. 2, ch. 89-125; s. 1, ch. 90-153; ss. 11, 68, ch. 91-106; ss. 3, 20, ch. 93-195; s. 1, ch. 99-293; s. 2, ch. 2002-86; s. 2, ch. 2003-150; s. 1418, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2005-258; s. 3, ch. 2008-178.