eLaws of Florida

  SECTION 626.9541. Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined.  


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  • 1(1) 2UNFAIR METHODS OF COMPETITION AND UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS.11-12The following are defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices:
    28(a) 29Misrepresentations and false advertising of insurance policies.36-37Knowingly making, issuing, circulating, or causing to be made, issued, or circulated, any estimate, illustration, circular, statement, sales presentation, omission, comparison, or property and casualty certificate of insurance altered after being issued, which:
    701. 71Misrepresents the benefits, advantages, conditions, or terms of any insurance policy.
    822. 83Misrepresents the dividends or share of the surplus to be received on any insurance policy.
    983. 99Makes any false or misleading statements as to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on any insurance policy.
    1194. 120Is misleading, or is a misrepresentation, as to the financial condition of any person or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates.
    1475. 148Uses any name or title of any insurance policy or class of insurance policies misrepresenting the true nature thereof.
    1676. 168Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of inducing, or tending to induce, the lapse, forfeiture, exchange, conversion, or surrender of any insurance policy.
    1917. 192Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of effecting a pledge or assignment of, or effecting a loan against, any insurance policy.
    2138. 214Misrepresents any insurance policy as being shares of stock or misrepresents ownership interest in the company.
    2309. 231Uses any advertisement that would mislead or otherwise cause a reasonable person to believe mistakenly that the state or the Federal Government is responsible for the insurance sales activities of any person or stands behind any person’s credit or that any person, the state, or the Federal Government guarantees any returns on insurance products or is a source of payment of any insurance obligation of or sold by any person.
    301(b) 302False information and advertising generally.307-308Knowingly making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or placing before the public, or causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public:
    3341. 335In a newspaper, magazine, or other publication,
    3422. 343In the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter, or poster,
    3543. 355Over any radio or television station, or
    3624. 363In any other way,

    367an advertisement, announcement, or statement containing any assertion, representation, or statement with respect to the business of insurance, which is untrue, deceptive, or misleading.

    391(c) 392Defamation.393-394Knowingly making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating, directly or indirectly, or aiding, abetting, or encouraging the making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating of, any oral or written statement, or any pamphlet, circular, article, or literature, which is false or maliciously critical of, or derogatory to, any person and which is calculated to injure such person.
    447(d) 448Boycott, coercion, and intimidation.452-453Entering into any agreement to commit, or by any concerted action committing, any act of boycott, coercion, or intimidation resulting in, or tending to result in, unreasonable restraint of, or monopoly in, the business of insurance.
    489(e) 490False statements and entries.494-
    4951. 496Knowingly:
    497a. 498Filing with any supervisory or other public official,
    506b. 507Making, publishing, disseminating, circulating,
    511c. 512Delivering to any person,
    516d. 517Placing before the public,
    521e. 522Causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public,

    541any false material statement.

    5452. 546Knowingly making any false entry of a material fact in any book, report, or statement of any person, or knowingly omitting to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of such person in any book, report, or statement of such person.
    592(f) 593Stock operations and advisory board contracts.599-600Issuing or delivering, promising to issue or deliver, or permitting agents, officers, or employees to issue or deliver, agency company stock or other capital stock, benefit certificates or shares in any common-law corporation, or securities or any special or advisory board contracts or other contracts of any kind promising returns or profits as an inducement to insurance.
    657(g) 658Unfair discrimination.660-
    6611. 662Knowingly making or permitting unfair discrimination between individuals of the same actuarially supportable class and equal expectation of life, in the rates charged for a life insurance or annuity contract, in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other term or condition of such contract.
    7102. 711Knowingly making or permitting unfair discrimination between individuals of the same actuarially supportable class, as determined at the time of initial issuance of the coverage, and essentially the same hazard, in the amount of premium, policy fees, or rates charged for a policy or contract of accident, disability, or health insurance, in the benefits payable thereunder, in the terms or conditions of such contract, or in any other manner.
    7803. 781For a health insurer, life insurer, disability insurer, property and casualty insurer, automobile insurer, or managed care provider to underwrite a policy, or refuse to issue, reissue, or renew a policy, refuse to pay a claim, cancel or otherwise terminate a policy, or increase rates based upon the fact that an insured or applicant who is also the proposed insured has made a claim or sought or should have sought medical or psychological treatment in the past for abuse, protection from abuse, or shelter from abuse, or that a claim was caused in the past by, or might occur as a result of, any future assault, battery, or sexual assault by a family or household member upon another family or household member as defined in s. 907741.28908. A health insurer, life insurer, disability insurer, or managed care provider may refuse to underwrite, issue, or renew a policy based on the applicant’s medical condition, but may not consider whether such condition was caused by an act of abuse. For purposes of this section, the term “abuse” means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts:
    968a. 969Attempting or committing assault, battery, sexual assault, or sexual battery;
    979b. 980Placing another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury by physical menace;
    992c. 993False imprisonment;
    995d. 996Physically or sexually abusing a minor child; or
    1004e. 1005An act of domestic violence as defined in s. 1014741.281015.

    1016This subparagraph does not prohibit a property and casualty insurer or an automobile insurer from excluding coverage for intentional acts by the insured if such exclusion is not an act of unfair discrimination as defined in this paragraph.

    10544. 1055For a personal lines property or personal lines automobile insurer to:
    1066a. 1067Refuse to issue, reissue, or renew a policy; cancel or otherwise terminate a policy; or charge an unfairly discriminatory rate in this state based on the lawful use, possession, or ownership of a firearm or ammunition by the insurance applicant, insured, or a household member of the applicant or insured. This sub-subparagraph does not prevent an insurer from charging a supplemental premium that is not unfairly discriminatory for a separate rider voluntarily requested by the insurance applicant to insure a firearm or a firearm collection whose value exceeds the standard policy coverage.
    1159b. 1160Disclose the lawful ownership or possession of firearms of an insurance applicant, insured, or household member of the applicant or insured to a third party or an affiliated entity of the insurer unless the insurer discloses to the applicant or insured the specific need to disclose the information and the applicant or insured expressly consents to the disclosure, or the disclosure is necessary to quote or bind coverage, continue coverage, or adjust a claim. For purposes of underwriting and issuing insurance coverage, this sub-subparagraph does not prevent the sharing of information between an insurance company and its licensed insurance agent if a separate rider has been voluntarily requested by the policyholder or prospective policyholder to insure a firearm or a firearm collection whose value exceeds the standard policy coverage.
    1289(h) 1290Unlawful rebates.1292-
    12931. 1294Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, or in an applicable filing with the office, knowingly:
    1310a. 1311Permitting, or offering to make, or making, any contract or agreement as to such contract other than as plainly expressed in the insurance contract issued thereon;
    1337b. 1338Paying, allowing, or giving, or offering to pay, allow, or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to such insurance contract, any unlawful rebate of premiums payable on the contract, any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever not specified in the contract;
    1391c. 1392Giving, selling, or purchasing, or offering to give, sell, or purchase, as inducement to such insurance contract or in connection therewith, any stocks, bonds, or other securities of any insurance company or other corporation, association, or partnership, or any dividends or profits accrued thereon, or anything of value whatsoever not specified in the insurance contract.
    14472. 1448Nothing in paragraph (g) or subparagraph 1. of this paragraph shall be construed as including within the definition of discrimination or unlawful rebates:
    1471a. 1472In the case of any contract of life insurance or life annuity, paying bonuses to all policyholders or otherwise abating their premiums in whole or in part out of surplus accumulated from nonparticipating insurance; provided that any such bonuses or abatement of premiums is fair and equitable to all policyholders and for the best interests of the company and its policyholders.
    1533b. 1534In the case of life insurance policies issued on the industrial debit plan, making allowance to policyholders who have continuously for a specified period made premium payments directly to an office of the insurer in an amount which fairly represents the saving in collection expenses.
    1579c. 1580Readjustment of the rate of premium for a group insurance policy based on the loss or expense thereunder, at the end of the first or any subsequent policy year of insurance thereunder, which may be made retroactive only for such policy year.
    1622d. 1623Issuance of life insurance policies or annuity contracts at rates less than the usual rates of premiums for such policies or contracts, as group insurance or employee insurance as defined in this code.
    1656e. 1657Issuing life or disability insurance policies on a salary savings, bank draft, preauthorized check, payroll deduction, or other similar plan at a reduced rate reasonably related to the savings made by the use of such plan.
    16933.a. 1694No title insurer, or any member, employee, attorney, agent, or agency thereof, shall pay, allow, or give, or offer to pay, allow, or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to title insurance, or after such insurance has been effected, any rebate or abatement of the premium or any other charge or fee, or provide any special favor or advantage, or any monetary consideration or inducement whatever.
    1760b. 1761Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed as prohibiting the payment of fees to attorneys at law duly licensed to practice law in the courts of this state, for professional services, or as prohibiting the payment of earned portions of the premium to duly appointed agents or agencies who actually perform services for the title insurer. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed as prohibiting a rebate or abatement of an attorney fee charged for professional services, or that portion of the premium that is not required to be retained by the insurer pursuant to s. 1857627.782(1), 1858or any other agent charge or fee to the person responsible for paying the premium, charge, or fee.
    1876c. 1877No insured named in a policy, or any other person directly or indirectly connected with the transaction involving the issuance of such policy, including, but not limited to, any mortgage broker, real estate broker, builder, or attorney, any employee, agent, agency, or representative thereof, or any other person whatsoever, shall knowingly receive or accept, directly or indirectly, any rebate or abatement of any portion of the title insurance premium or of any other charge or fee or any monetary consideration or inducement whatsoever, except as set forth in sub-subparagraph b.; provided, in no event shall any portion of the attorney fee, any portion of the premium that is not required to be retained by the insurer pursuant to s. 1996627.782(1), 1997any agent charge or fee, or any other monetary consideration or inducement be paid directly or indirectly for the referral of title insurance business.
    2021(i) 2022Unfair claim settlement practices.2026-
    20271. 2028Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application, when serving as a binder or intended to become a part of the policy, or any other material document which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured;
    20702. 2071A material misrepresentation made to an insured or any other person having an interest in the proceeds payable under such contract or policy, for the purpose and with the intent of effecting settlement of such claims, loss, or damage under such contract or policy on less favorable terms than those provided in, and contemplated by, such contract or policy; or
    21313. 2132Committing or performing with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice any of the following:
    2149a. 2150Failing to adopt and implement standards for the proper investigation of claims;
    2162b. 2163Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;
    2175c. 2176Failing to acknowledge and act promptly upon communications with respect to claims;
    2188d. 2189Denying claims without conducting reasonable investigations based upon available information;
    2199e. 2200Failing to affirm or deny full or partial coverage of claims, and, as to partial coverage, the dollar amount or extent of coverage, or failing to provide a written statement that the claim is being investigated, upon the written request of the insured within 30 days after proof-of-loss statements have been completed;
    2252f. 2253Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation in writing to the insured of the basis in the insurance policy, in relation to the facts or applicable law, for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement;
    2293g. 2294Failing to promptly notify the insured of any additional information necessary for the processing of a claim; or
    2312h. 2313Failing to clearly explain the nature of the requested information and the reasons why such information is necessary.
    2331i. 2332Failing to pay personal injury protection insurance claims within the time periods required by s. 2347627.736(4)(b)2348. The office may order the insurer to pay restitution to a policyholder, medical provider, or other claimant, including interest at a rate consistent with the amount set forth in s. 237955.03(1), 2380for the time period within which an insurer fails to pay claims as required by law. Restitution is in addition to any other penalties allowed by law, including, but not limited to, the suspension of the insurer’s certificate of authority.
    24204. 2421Failing to pay undisputed amounts of partial or full benefits owed under first-party property insurance policies within 90 days after an insurer receives notice of a residential property insurance claim, determines the amounts of partial or full benefits, and agrees to coverage, unless payment of the undisputed benefits is prevented by an act of God, prevented by the impossibility of performance, or due to actions by the insured or claimant that constitute fraud, lack of cooperation, or intentional misrepresentation regarding the claim for which benefits are owed.
    2508(j) 2509Failure to maintain complaint-handling procedures.2514-2515Failure of any person to maintain a complete record of all the complaints received since the date of the last examination. For purposes of this paragraph, “complaint” means any written communication primarily expressing a grievance.
    2550(k) 2551Misrepresentation in insurance applications.2555-
    25561. 2557Knowingly making a false or fraudulent written or oral statement or representation on, or relative to, an application or negotiation for an insurance policy for the purpose of obtaining a fee, commission, money, or other benefit from any insurer, agent, broker, or individual.
    26002. 2601Knowingly making a material omission in the comparison of a life, health, or Medicare supplement insurance replacement policy with the policy it replaces for the purpose of obtaining a fee, commission, money, or other benefit from any insurer, agent, broker, or individual. For the purposes of this subparagraph, a material omission includes the failure to advise the insured of the existence and operation of a preexisting condition clause in the replacement policy.
    2673(l) 2674Twisting.2675-2676Knowingly making any misleading representations or incomplete or fraudulent comparisons or fraudulent material omissions of or with respect to any insurance policies or insurers for the purpose of inducing, or tending to induce, any person to lapse, forfeit, surrender, terminate, retain, pledge, assign, borrow on, or convert any insurance policy or to take out a policy of insurance in another insurer.
    2737(m) 2738Advertising gifts permitted.2741-2742No provision of paragraph (f), paragraph (g), or paragraph (h) shall be deemed to prohibit a licensed insurer or its agent from giving to insureds, prospective insureds, and others, for the purpose of advertising, any article of merchandise having a value of not more than $25.
    2788(n) 2789Free insurance prohibited.2792-
    27931. 2794Advertising, offering, or providing free insurance as an inducement to the purchase or sale of real or personal property or of services directly or indirectly connected with such real or personal property.
    28262. 2827For the purposes of this paragraph, “free” insurance is:
    2836a. 2837Insurance for which no identifiable and additional charge is made to the purchaser of such real property, personal property, or services.
    2858b. 2859Insurance for which an identifiable or additional charge is made in an amount less than the cost of such insurance as to the seller or other person, other than the insurer, providing the same.
    28933. 2894Subparagraphs 1. and 2. do not apply to:
    2902a. 2903Insurance of, loss of, or damage to the real or personal property involved in any such sale or services, under a policy covering the interests therein of the seller or vendor.
    2934b. 2935Blanket disability insurance as defined in s. 2942627.6592943.
    2944c. 2945Credit life insurance or credit disability insurance.
    2952d. 2953Any individual, isolated, nonrecurring unadvertised transaction not in the regular course of business.
    2966e. 2967Title insurance.
    2969f. 2970Any purchase agreement involving the purchase of a cemetery lot or lots in which, under stated conditions, any balance due is forgiven upon the death of the purchaser.
    2998g. 2999Life insurance, trip cancellation insurance, or lost baggage insurance offered by a travel agency as part of a travel package offered by and booked through the agency.
    30264. 3027Using the word “free” or words which imply the provision of insurance without a cost to describe life or disability insurance, in connection with the advertising or offering for sale of any kind of goods, merchandise, or services.
    3065(o) 3066Illegal dealings in premiums; excess or reduced charges for insurance.3076-
    30771. 3078Knowingly collecting any sum as a premium or charge for insurance, which is not then provided, or is not in due course to be provided, subject to acceptance of the risk by the insurer, by an insurance policy issued by an insurer as permitted by this code.
    31252. 3126Knowingly collecting as a premium or charge for insurance any sum in excess of or less than the premium or charge applicable to such insurance, in accordance with the applicable classifications and rates as filed with and approved by the office, and as specified in the policy; or, in cases when classifications, premiums, or rates are not required by this code to be so filed and approved, premiums and charges collected from a Florida resident in excess of or less than those specified in the policy and as fixed by the insurer. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit the charging and collection, by surplus lines agents licensed under part VIII of this chapter, of the amount of applicable state and federal taxes, or fees as authorized by s. 3256626.916(4), 3257in addition to the premium required by the insurer or the charging and collection, by licensed agents, of the exact amount of any discount or other such fee charged by a credit card facility in connection with the use of a credit card, as authorized by subparagraph (q)3., in addition to the premium required by the insurer. This subparagraph shall not be construed to prohibit collection of a premium for a universal life or a variable or indeterminate value insurance policy made in accordance with the terms of the contract.
    33473.a. 3348Imposing or requesting an additional premium for a policy of motor vehicle liability, personal injury protection, medical payment, or collision insurance or any combination thereof or refusing to renew the policy solely because the insured was involved in a motor vehicle accident unless the insurer’s file contains information from which the insurer in good faith determines that the insured was substantially at fault in the accident.
    3414b. 3415An insurer which imposes and collects such a surcharge or which refuses to renew such policy shall, in conjunction with the notice of premium due or notice of nonrenewal, notify the named insured that he or she is entitled to reimbursement of such amount or renewal of the policy under the conditions listed below and will subsequently reimburse him or her or renew the policy, if the named insured demonstrates that the operator involved in the accident was:
    3493(I) 3494Lawfully parked;
    3496(II) 3497Reimbursed by, or on behalf of, a person responsible for the accident or has a judgment against such person;
    3516(III) 3517Struck in the rear by another vehicle headed in the same direction and was not convicted of a moving traffic violation in connection with the accident;
    3543(IV) 3544Hit by a “hit-and-run” driver, if the accident was reported to the proper authorities within 24 hours after discovering the accident;
    3565(V) 3566Not convicted of a moving traffic violation in connection with the accident, but the operator of the other automobile involved in such accident was convicted of a moving traffic violation;
    3596(VI) 3597Finally adjudicated not to be liable by a court of competent jurisdiction;
    3609(VII) 3610In receipt of a traffic citation which was dismissed or nolle prossed; or
    3623(VIII) 3624Not at fault as evidenced by a written statement from the insured establishing facts demonstrating lack of fault which are not rebutted by information in the insurer’s file from which the insurer in good faith determines that the insured was substantially at fault.
    3667c. 3668In addition to the other provisions of this subparagraph, an insurer may not fail to renew a policy if the insured has had only one accident in which he or she was at fault within the current 3-year period. However, an insurer may nonrenew a policy for reasons other than accidents in accordance with s. 3723627.7283724. This subparagraph does not prohibit nonrenewal of a policy under which the insured has had three or more accidents, regardless of fault, during the most recent 3-year period.
    37534. 3754Imposing or requesting an additional premium for, or refusing to renew, a policy for motor vehicle insurance solely because the insured committed a noncriminal traffic infraction as described in s. 3784318.14 3785unless the infraction is:
    3789a. 3790A second infraction committed within an 18-month period, or a third or subsequent infraction committed within a 36-month period.
    3809b. 3810A violation of s. 3814316.183, 3815when such violation is a result of exceeding the lawful speed limit by more than 15 miles per hour.
    38345. 3835Upon the request of the insured, the insurer and licensed agent shall supply to the insured the complete proof of fault or other criteria which justifies the additional charge or cancellation.
    38666. 3867No insurer shall impose or request an additional premium for motor vehicle insurance, cancel or refuse to issue a policy, or refuse to renew a policy because the insured or the applicant is a handicapped or physically disabled person, so long as such handicap or physical disability does not substantially impair such person’s mechanically assisted driving ability.
    39247. 3925No insurer may cancel or otherwise terminate any insurance contract or coverage, or require execution of a consent to rate endorsement, during the stated policy term for the purpose of offering to issue, or issuing, a similar or identical contract or coverage to the same insured with the same exposure at a higher premium rate or continuing an existing contract or coverage with the same exposure at an increased premium.
    39958. 3996No insurer may issue a nonrenewal notice on any insurance contract or coverage, or require execution of a consent to rate endorsement, for the purpose of offering to issue, or issuing, a similar or identical contract or coverage to the same insured at a higher premium rate or continuing an existing contract or coverage at an increased premium without meeting any applicable notice requirements.
    40609. 4061No insurer shall, with respect to premiums charged for motor vehicle insurance, unfairly discriminate solely on the basis of age, sex, marital status, or scholastic achievement.
    408710. 4088Imposing or requesting an additional premium for motor vehicle comprehensive or uninsured motorist coverage solely because the insured was involved in a motor vehicle accident or was convicted of a moving traffic violation.
    412111. 4122No insurer shall cancel or issue a nonrenewal notice on any insurance policy or contract without complying with any applicable cancellation or nonrenewal provision required under the Florida Insurance Code.
    415212. 4153No insurer shall impose or request an additional premium, cancel a policy, or issue a nonrenewal notice on any insurance policy or contract because of any traffic infraction when adjudication has been withheld and no points have been assessed pursuant to s. 4195318.14(9) 4196and (10). However, this subparagraph does not apply to traffic infractions involving accidents in which the insurer has incurred a loss due to the fault of the insured.
    4224(p) 4225Insurance cost specified in “price package”.4231-
    42321. 4233When the premium or charge for insurance of or involving such property or merchandise is included in the overall purchase price or financing of the purchase of merchandise or property, the vendor or lender shall separately state and identify the amount charged and to be paid for the insurance, and the classifications, if any, upon which based; and the inclusion or exclusion of the cost of insurance in such purchase price or financing shall not increase, reduce, or otherwise affect any other factor involved in the cost of the merchandise, property, or financing as to the purchaser or borrower.
    43322. 4333This paragraph does not apply to transactions which are subject to the provisions of part I of chapter 520, entitled “The Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act.”
    43593. 4360This paragraph does not apply to credit life or credit disability insurance which is in compliance with s. 4378627.681(4)4379.
    4380(q) 4381Certain insurance transactions through credit card facilities prohibited.4389-
    43901. 4391Except as provided in subparagraph 3., no person shall knowingly solicit or negotiate insurance; seek or accept applications for insurance; issue or deliver any policy; receive, collect, or transmit premiums, to or for an insurer; or otherwise transact insurance in this state, or relative to a subject of insurance resident, located, or to be performed in this state, through the arrangement or facilities of a credit card facility or organization, for the purpose of insuring credit card holders or prospective credit card holders. The term “credit card holder” as used in this paragraph means a person who may pay the charge for purchases or other transactions through the credit card facility or organization, whose credit with such facility or organization is evidenced by a credit card identifying such person as being one whose charges the credit card facility or organization will pay, and who is identified as such upon the credit card by name, account number, symbol, insignia, or other method or device of identification. This subparagraph does not apply as to health insurance or to credit life, credit disability, or credit property insurance.
    45752. 4576If any person does or performs in this state any of the acts in violation of subparagraph 1. for or on behalf of an insurer or credit card facility, such insurer or credit card facility shall be deemed to be doing business in this state and, if an insurer, shall be subject to the same state, county, and municipal taxes as insurers that have been legally qualified and admitted to do business in this state by agents or otherwise are subject, the same to be assessed and collected against such insurers; and such person so doing or performing any of such acts is personally liable for all such taxes.
    46853. 4686A licensed agent or insurer may solicit or negotiate insurance; seek or accept applications for insurance; issue or deliver any policy; receive, collect, or transmit premiums, to or for an insurer; or otherwise transact insurance in this state, or relative to a subject of insurance resident, located, or to be performed in this state, through the arrangement or facilities of a credit card facility or organization, for the purpose of insuring credit card holders or prospective credit card holders if:
    4766a. 4767The insurance or policy which is the subject of the transaction is noncancelable by any person other than the named insured, the policyholder, or the insurer;
    4793b. 4794Any refund of unearned premium is made to the credit card holder by mail or electronic transfer; and
    4812c. 4813The credit card transaction is authorized by the signature of the credit card holder or other person authorized to sign on the credit card account.

    4838The conditions enumerated in sub-subparagraphs a.-c. do not apply to health insurance or to credit life, credit disability, or credit property insurance; and sub-subparagraph c. does not apply to property and casualty insurance if the transaction is authorized by the insured.

    48794. 4880No person may use or disclose information resulting from the use of a credit card in conjunction with the purchase of insurance if such information is to the advantage of the credit card facility or an insurance agent, or is to the detriment of the insured or any other insurance agent; except that this provision does not prohibit a credit card facility from using or disclosing such information in a judicial proceeding or consistent with applicable law on credit reporting.
    49605. 4961Such insurance may not be sold through a credit card facility in conjunction with membership in any automobile club. The term “automobile club” means a legal entity that, in consideration of dues, assessments, or periodic payments of money, promises its members or subscribers to assist them in matters relating to the ownership, operation, use, or maintenance of a motor vehicle; however, the term does not include persons, associations, or corporations that are organized and operated solely for the purpose of conducting, sponsoring, or sanctioning motor vehicle races, exhibitions, or contests upon racetracks, or upon race courses established and marked as such for the duration of such particular event. The words “motor vehicle” used herein shall be the same as defined in chapter 320.
    5084(r) 5085Interlocking ownership and management.5089-
    50901. 5091Any domestic insurer may retain, invest in, or acquire the whole or any part of the capital stock of any other insurer or insurers, or have a common management with any other insurer or insurers, unless such retention, investment, acquisition, or common management is inconsistent with any other provision of this code, or unless by reason thereof the business of such insurers with the public is conducted in a manner which substantially lessens competition generally in the insurance business.
    51702. 5171Any person otherwise qualified may be a director of two or more domestic insurers which are competitors, unless the effect thereof is substantially to lessen competition between insurers generally or materially tend to create a monopoly.
    52073. 5208Any limitation contained in this paragraph does not apply to any person who is a director of two or more insurers under common control or management.
    5234(s) 5235Prohibited arrangements as to funerals.5240-
    52411. 5242No life insurer shall designate in any life insurance policy the person to conduct the funeral of the insured, or organize, promote, or operate any enterprise or plan to enter into any contract with any insured under which the freedom of choice in the open market of the person having the legal right to such choice is restricted as to the purchase, arrangement, and conduct of a funeral service or any part thereof for any individual insured by the insurer. No life insurer shall designate in any life insurance policy the person to conduct the funeral of the insured as the owner of the policy.
    53472. 5348No insurer shall contract or agree to furnish funeral merchandise or services in connection with the disposition of any person upon the death of any person insured by such insurer.
    53783. 5379No insurer shall contract or agree with any funeral director or direct disposer to the effect that such funeral director or direct disposer shall conduct the funeral of any person insured by such insurer.
    54134. 5414No insurer shall provide, in any insurance contract covering the life of any person in this state, for the payment of the proceeds or benefits thereof in other than legal tender of the United States and of this state, or for the withholding of such proceeds or benefits, all for the purpose of either directly or indirectly providing, inducing, or furthering any arrangement or agreement designed to require or induce the employment of a particular person to conduct the funeral of the insured.
    5497(t) 5498Certain life insurance relations with funeral directors prohibited.5506-
    55071. 5508No life insurer shall permit any funeral director or direct disposer to act as its representative, adjuster, claim agent, special claim agent, or agent for such insurer in soliciting, negotiating, or effecting contracts of life insurance on any plan or of any nature issued by such insurer or in collecting premiums for holders of any such contracts except as prescribed in s. 5570626.785(3)5571.
    55722. 5573No life insurer shall:
    5577a. 5578Affix, or permit to be affixed, advertising matter of any kind or character of any licensed funeral director or direct disposer to such policies of insurance.
    5604b. 5605Circulate, or permit to be circulated, any such advertising matter with such insurance policies.
    5619c. 5620Attempt in any manner or form to influence policyholders of the insurer to employ the services of any particular licensed funeral director or direct disposer.
    56453. 5646No such insurer shall maintain, or permit its agent to maintain, an office or place of business in the office, establishment, or place of business of any funeral director or direct disposer in this state.
    5681(u) 5682False claims; obtaining or retaining money dishonestly.5689-
    56901. 5691Any agent, physician, claimant, or other person who causes to be presented to any insurer a false claim for payment, knowing the same to be false; or
    57182. 5719Any agent, collector, or other person who represents any insurer or collects or does business without the authority of the insurer, secures cash advances by false statements, or fails to turn over when required, or satisfactorily account for, all collections of such insurer,

    5762shall, in addition to the other penalties provided in this act, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to the penalties provided by s. 5795775.082 5796or s. 5798775.0835799.

    5800(v) 5801Proposal required.5803-5804If a person simultaneously holds a securities license and a life insurance license, he or she shall prepare and leave with each prospective buyer a written proposal, on or before delivery of any investment plan. “Investment plan” means a mutual funds program, and the proposal shall consist of a prospectus describing the investment feature and a full illustration of any life insurance feature. The proposal shall be prepared in duplicate, dated, and signed by the licensee. The original shall be left with the prospect, the duplicate shall be retained by the licensee for a period of not less than 3 years, and a copy shall be furnished to the department upon its request. In lieu of a duplicate copy, a receipt for standardized proposals filed with the department may be obtained and held by the licensee.
    5940(w) 5941Soliciting or accepting new or renewal insurance risks by insolvent or impaired insurer prohibited; penalty.5956-
    59571. 5958Whether or not delinquency proceedings as to the insurer have been or are to be initiated, but while such insolvency or impairment exists, no director or officer of an insurer, except with the written permission of the office, shall authorize or permit the insurer to solicit or accept new or renewal insurance risks in this state after such director or officer knew, or reasonably should have known, that the insurer was insolvent or impaired. “Impaired” includes impairment of capital or surplus, as defined in s. 6043631.011(12) 6044and (13).
    60462. 6047Any such director or officer, upon conviction of a violation of this paragraph, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 6074775.082, 6075s. 6076775.083, 6077or s. 6079775.0846080.
    6081(x) 6082Refusal to insure.6085-6086In addition to other provisions of this code, the refusal to insure, or continue to insure, any individual or risk solely because of:
    61091. 6110Race, color, creed, marital status, sex, or national origin;
    61192. 6120The residence, age, or lawful occupation of the individual or the location of the risk, unless there is a reasonable relationship between the residence, age, or lawful occupation of the individual or the location of the risk and the coverage issued or to be issued;
    61653. 6166The insured’s or applicant’s failure to agree to place collateral business with any insurer, unless the coverage applied for would provide liability coverage which is excess over that provided in policies maintained on property or motor vehicles;
    62034. 6204The insured’s or applicant’s failure to purchase noninsurance services or commodities, including automobile services as defined in s. 6222624.124;
    62235. 6224The fact that the insured or applicant is a public official; or
    62366. 6237The fact that the insured or applicant had been previously refused insurance coverage by any insurer, when such refusal to insure or continue to insure for this reason occurs with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice.
    6276(y) 6277Powers of attorney.6280-6281Except as provided in s. 6286627.842(2)6287:
    62881. 6289Requiring, as a condition to the purchase or continuation of an insurance policy, that an applicant for insurance or an insured execute a power of attorney in favor of an insurance agent or agency or employee thereof; or
    63272. 6328Presenting to the applicant or the insured, as a routine business practice, a form that authorizes the insurance agent or agency to sign the applicant’s or insured’s name on any insurance-related document or application for the purchase of motor vehicle services as described in s. 6373624.1246374. To be valid, a power of attorney must be an act or practice other than as described in this paragraph, must be a separate writing in a separate document, must be executed with the full knowledge and consent of the applicant or insured who grants the power of attorney, must be in the best interests of the insured or applicant, and a copy of the power of attorney must be provided to the applicant or insured at the time of the transaction.
    6457(z) 6458Sliding.6459-6460Sliding is the act or practice of:
    64671. 6468Representing to the applicant that a specific ancillary coverage or product is required by law in conjunction with the purchase of insurance when such coverage or product is not required;
    64982. 6499Representing to the applicant that a specific ancillary coverage or product is included in the policy applied for without an additional charge when such charge is required; or
    65273. 6528Charging an applicant for a specific ancillary coverage or product, in addition to the cost of the insurance coverage applied for, without the informed consent of the applicant.
    655616557(aa) 6558Churning.6559-
    65601. 6561Churning is the practice whereby policy values in an existing life insurance policy or annuity contract, including, but not limited to, cash, loan values, or dividend values, and in any riders to that policy or contract, are directly or indirectly used to purchase another insurance policy or annuity contract with that same insurer for the purpose of earning additional premiums, fees, commissions, or other compensation:
    6626a. 6627Without an objectively reasonable basis for believing that the replacement or extraction will result in an actual and demonstrable benefit to the policyholder;
    6650b. 6651In a fashion that is fraudulent, deceptive, or otherwise misleading or that involves a deceptive omission;
    6667c. 6668When the applicant is not informed that the policy values including cash values, dividends, and other assets of the existing policy or contract will be reduced, forfeited, or used in the purchase of the replacing or additional policy or contract, if this is the case; or
    6714d. 6715Without informing the applicant that the replacing or additional policy or contract will not be a paid-up policy or that additional premiums will be due, if this is the case.

    6745Churning by an insurer or an agent is an unfair method of competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice.

    67662. 6767Each insurer shall comply with sub-subparagraphs 1.c. and 1.d. by disclosing to the applicant at the time of the offer on a form designed and adopted by rule by the commission if, how, and the extent to which the policy or contract values (including cash value, dividends, and other assets) of a previously issued policy or contract will be used to purchase a replacing or additional policy or contract with the same insurer. The form must include disclosure of the premium, the death benefit of the proposed replacing or additional policy, and the date when the policy values of the existing policy or contract will be insufficient to pay the premiums of the replacing or additional policy or contract.
    68863. 6887Each insurer shall adopt written procedures to reasonably avoid churning of policies or contracts that it has issued, and failure to adopt written procedures sufficient to reasonably avoid churning shall be an unfair method of competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice.
    6931(bb) 6932Deceptive use of name.6936-6937Using the name or logo of a financial institution, as defined in s. 6950655.005(1), 6951or its affiliates or subsidiaries when marketing or soliciting existing or prospective customers if such marketing materials are used without the written consent of the financial institution and in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the material or solicitation originated from, was endorsed by, or is related to or the responsibility of the financial institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries.
    7016(cc) 7017Unfair rate increases for persons in military service.7025-7026Charging an increased premium for reinstating a motor vehicle insurance policy that was canceled or suspended by the insured solely for the reason that he or she was transferred out of this state while serving in the United States Armed Forces or on active duty in the National Guard or United States Armed Forces Reserve. It is also an unfair practice for an insurer to charge an increased premium for a new motor vehicle insurance policy if the applicant for coverage or his or her covered dependents were previously insured with a different insurer and canceled that policy solely for the reason that he or she was transferred out of this state while serving in the United States Armed Forces or on active duty in the National Guard or United States Armed Forces Reserve. For purposes of determining premiums, an insurer shall consider such persons as having maintained continuous coverage.
    7176(dd) 7177Life insurance limitations based on past foreign travel experiences or future foreign travel plans.7191-
    71921. 7193An insurer may not refuse life insurance to; refuse to continue the life insurance of; or limit the amount, extent, or kind of life insurance coverage available to an individual based solely on the individual’s past lawful foreign travel experiences.
    72332. 7234An insurer may not refuse life insurance to; refuse to continue the life insurance of; or limit the amount, extent, or kind of life insurance coverage available to an individual based solely on the individual’s future lawful travel plans unless the insurer can demonstrate and the Office of Insurance Regulation determines that:
    7286a. 7287Individuals who travel are a separate actuarially supportable class whose risk of loss is different from those individuals who do not travel; and
    7310b. 7311Such risk classification is based upon sound actuarial principles and actual or reasonably anticipated experience that correlates to the risk of travel to a specific destination.
    73373. 7338The commission may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 7346120.536(1) 7347and 7348120.54 7349necessary to implement this paragraph and may provide for limited exceptions that are based upon national or international emergency conditions that affect the public health, safety, and welfare and that are consistent with public policy.
    73844. 7385Each market conduct examination of a life insurer conducted pursuant to s. 7397624.3161 7398shall include a review of every application under which such insurer refused to issue life insurance; refused to continue life insurance; or limited the amount, extent, or kind of life insurance issued, based upon future lawful travel plans.
    74365. 7437The administrative fines provided in s. 7443624.4211(2) 7444and (3) shall be trebled for violations of this paragraph.
    74546. 7455The Office of Insurance Regulation shall report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by March 1, 2007, and on the same date annually thereafter, on the implementation of this paragraph. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the number of applications under which life insurance was denied, continuance was refused, or coverage was limited based on future travel plans; the number of insurers taking such action; and the reason for taking each such action.
    753917540(ee) 7541Fraudulent signatures on an application or policy-related document.7549-7550Willfully submitting to an insurer on behalf of a consumer an insurance application or policy-related document bearing a false or fraudulent signature.
    757217573(ff) 7574Unlawful use of designations; misrepresentation of agent qualifications.7582-
    75831. 7584A licensee may not, in any sales presentation or solicitation for insurance, use a designation or title in such a way as to falsely imply that the licensee:
    7612a. 7613Possesses special financial knowledge or has obtained specialized financial training; or
    7624b. 7625Is certified or qualified to provide specialized financial advice to senior citizens.
    76372. 7638A licensee may not use terms such as “financial advisor” in such a way as to falsely imply that the licensee is licensed or qualified to discuss, sell, or recommend financial products other than insurance products.
    76743. 7675A licensee may not, in any sales presentation or solicitation for insurance, falsely imply that he or she is qualified to discuss, recommend, or sell securities or other investment products in addition to insurance products.
    77104. 7711A licensee who also holds a designation as a certified financial planner (CFP), chartered life underwriter (CLU), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), life underwriter training council fellow (LUTC), or the appropriate license to sell securities from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) may inform the customer of those licenses or designations and make recommendations in accordance with those licenses or designations, and in so doing does not violate this paragraph.
    7780(2) 7781ALTERNATIVE RATES OF PAYMENT.7785-7786Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an insurer or insurers from negotiating or entering into contracts with licensed health care providers for alternative rates of payment, or from limiting payments under policies pursuant to agreements with insureds, as long as the insurer offers the benefit of such alternative rates to insureds who select designated providers.
    7844(3) 7845INPATIENT FACILITY NETWORK.7848-7849This section may not be construed to prohibit a Medicare supplement insurer from granting a premium credit to insureds for using an in-network inpatient facility.
    7874(4) 7875PARTICIPATION IN A WELLNESS OR HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.7883-
    7884(a) 7885Authorization to offer rewards or incentives for participation.7893-7894An insurer issuing a group or individual health benefit plan may offer a voluntary wellness or health improvement program and may encourage or reward participation in the program by authorizing rewards or incentives, including, but not limited to, merchandise, gift cards, debit cards, premium discounts, contributions to a member’s health savings account, or modifications to copayment, deductible, or coinsurance amounts. Any advertisement of the program is not subject to the limitations set forth in paragraph (1)(m).
    7970(b) 7971Verification of medical condition by nonparticipants due to medical condition.7981-7982An insurer may require a member of a health benefit plan to provide verification, such as an affirming statement from the member’s physician, that the member’s medical condition makes it unreasonably difficult or inadvisable to participate in the wellness or health improvement program in order for that nonparticipant to receive the reward or incentive.
    8036(c) 8037Disclosure requirement.8039-8040A reward or incentive offered under this subsection shall be disclosed in the policy or certificate.
    8056(d) 8057Other incentives.8059-8060This subsection does not prohibit insurers from offering other incentives or rewards for adherence to a wellness or health improvement program if otherwise authorized by state or federal law.
History.-s. 9, ch. 76-260; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 19, ch. 77-468; s. 1, ch. 78-377; s. 1, ch. 79-289; s. 1, ch. 80-152; s. 1, ch. 80-373; s. 1, ch. 82-235; s. 807, ch. 82-243; s. 90, ch. 83-216; ss. 1, 2, ch. 83-342; s. 1, ch. 84-157; s. 14, ch. 85-62; s. 3, ch. 85-182; s. 1, ch. 85-233; s. 4, ch. 86-160; s. 27, ch. 87-226; s. 13, ch. 88-370; ss. 60, 65, ch. 89-360; s. 1, ch. 90-85; s. 33, ch. 90-119; ss. 186, 206, 207, ch. 90-363; s. 58, ch. 91-110; s. 256, ch. 91-224; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 38, ch. 92-146; s. 6, ch. 95-187; s. 1, ch. 95-219; s. 314, ch. 97-102; s. 24, ch. 99-3; s. 5, ch. 99-286; s. 1, ch. 99-388; s. 2, ch. 2000-192; s. 1, ch. 2001-178; s. 2, ch. 2002-25; s. 7, ch. 2002-55; s. 65, ch. 2002-206; s. 88, ch. 2003-1; s. 2, ch. 2003-139; s. 1028, ch. 2003-261; ss. 4, 65, ch. 2003-267; ss. 58, 80, ch. 2003-281; s. 4, ch. 2004-340; s. 87, ch. 2004-390; s. 1, ch. 2005-41; s. 2, ch. 2006-277; s. 2, ch. 2007-44; s. 8, ch. 2008-66; s. 7, ch. 2008-237; s. 6, ch. 2010-175; s. 1, ch. 2011-167; s. 10, ch. 2012-151; s. 5, ch. 2012-197; s. 7, ch. 2014-103; s. 1, ch. 2014-180.

Note

Note.-Section 12, ch. 2008-237, provides in part that “[e]ffective [June 30, 2008,] the Department of Financial Services may adopt rules to implement this act.”