Legislative Victories

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We never stop fighting to protect your career and our industry – those who would do harm to us never stop. 

Others have fought these battles in the past – now it is our turn!

Drafted and implemented legislation mandating that “Navigators” authorized under PPACA are trained, regulated, and can be prevented from selling insurance on the open market in Florida.  The legislation clearly delineates what an insurance agent may do and what a Navigator is limited to doing.  Limits Navigator activities to working on the exchange and disallows them from recommending the cancellation of plans purchased outside the exchange.  NAIFA-Florida fought off an amendment that would have essentially gutted the regulation of navigators. Labor and consumer groups offered the amendment which sought to require only a handful of Navigator “entities” to be regulated, reduce fines and penalties for those caught violating the new Navigator regulations.

Enacted Citizens Clearinghouse.  NAIFA-Florida was a central figure in formulating the Clearinghouse.  This  program was established to divert policies from Citizens to private market insurers.  It requires insurers to appoint independent or “exclusive” agents with a limited or full agency agreement and permanently eject from the clearinghouse.  State Farm and other exclusive agents will be allowed to place policies directly with private market insurers.  The legislation does not allow a fee to be charged to an agent or mandate insurer involvement.

Stopped examination of life insurers in Stranger-Originated Life Insurance study.  Despite the life insurance industry’s opposition, a study on STOLI was inserted into the budget and was enacted.  Earlier versions of the study required the OIR to examine life insurance companies, and NAIFA-Florida was able to stop that approach.  Instead the OIR will review Florida law only, and not life insurers.

Crafted language for annuity legislation allowing accredited investors to exceed cap.  Legislation expanding the scope of suitability law to include all ages of consumers purchasing annuities.  The legislation requires that such charges must be reduced so that no surrender or deferred sales charge exists after the end of the 10th policy year or 10 years after the premium is paid, whichever is later, for senior consumers over age 65, but the legislation includes language drafted by NAIFA-Florida to allow senior’s that are accredited investors to exceed the cap in the bill.

Instrumental in blocking self-appointed life insurance agent amendment.  NAIFA-Florida was successful in stopping an amendment allowing self-appointment of life insurance agents before it could get onto any substantive bill.  The proposed amendment would have allowed a licensed agent with no company appointment to self appoint, and insert themselves between insurer appointed agents and their customers.

Worked with Governor to declare September Life Insurance Awareness Month and put out formal proclamation declaring it such for every year.

Passed 2010 legislation to provide increased protections for owners of annuities.  NAIFA-Florida drafted and passed legislation to raise the limits from $100,000 to $250,000 in cash values on annuity claims that the Florida Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association (FLHIGA) will pay in order to mirror the increased guaranty by the FDIC on bank deposits.

Removed statutory requirement in 2010 that all life agents must complete 3 hours of annuity suitability training as part of their required CE training if they certified to DFS they have no active individual life or annuity contracts during the CE cycle.

Launched a political action plan when a Commission attempted to put a sales tax on services on the ballot and intervened when services taxes came up in 2009. We were instrumental in defeating a proposed sales tax on agents’ commissions and insurance products, on several occasions.

Greatly extended surrender periods and percentages in 2009 FL Senate annuity suitability bill. Intervened when a 2008 annuity task force was formed without agent representation.  Within one day the CFO added a NAIFA-Florida member.  Also greatly limited legislation requiring substantial suitability standards that would have extended to sale of traditional life insurance products such as term coverage.

Fought for language to allow insurers to give a discount on auto if that agent also maintains the home owner policy – even if that policy is placed with Citizens.  NAIFA-Florida amended this “multi-line discount” provision to assure the discount is available even if the policy is removed from Citizens by a takeout company.

Worked with House members in 2008 to take out many harmful provisions contained in SB 2860  which was an attack on property insurance and inserted many provisions that are beneficial to the industry.

Amended language in SB 2012 to require enhanced public adjuster continuing education and licensing requirements; increased disclosure to policyholders and felony penalties for fraud; limited ability of public adjusters to solicit insureds after incident causing a claim and promulgated a “cool down” period for policyholder to cancel contracts.  It also put limits on amount public adjusters can charge and prohibits them from seeking compensation for settled claims when reopening claims.

Intervened to thwart effort to require 2 additional hours of Long Term Care Continuing Education, in 2008, for those who had already completed eight hours initial LTC. Previously we secured a six-month extension to allow long term care agents to obtain 8 hours of training necessary to sell qualifying “part­nership” long term care policies. Without the extension many agents would have had to stop selling ALL long term care as they could not have completed the requirements.

Blocked plans in 2008 to change agent commissions for micro-group health plans – having lawmakers address agent commission AT ALL is a slippery slope we zealously oppose. Previously we stopped Citizens Property Insurance Corporation from substantially reducing agents’ commissions on residential coverage. NAIFA-Florida worked with other agent groups to stop Citizens and the legislature from reducing the already low average residential commission of 6.9% for agents on Citizens policies.

Stopped unaffiliated consultants from selling insurance without a license.  NAIFA-Florida killed a proposal which would have allowed attorneys, risk managers, and certain college degree holders to “advise” commercial clients on insurance purchases, yet none of these individu­als would be required to have a license.

Stopping Stranger Owned Life Insurance (STOLI) schemes use annuity and life insurance issued on the lives of wealthy strangers with no insurable interest to pay investment returns to investors.  NAIFA-Florida killed legislation to authorize these deals in Florida and backed efforts to strengthen our insurable interest laws.  Turning life insurance into a commodity will cause Congress to reconsider the tax-free status of life insurance and annuity products.  This continues to be a prominent issue for NAIFA and NAIFA-Florida.

Passed legislation for Agency “registration” versus “licensure.”  The Legislature passed a new law requiring every single location where insurance is sold to be licensed as an insurance agency.  A license can be revoked, so NAIFA-Florida drafted and passed legislation allowing agent-owned agency locations and companies to simply be “registered” instead of licensed.  If regulators ever examine your agency, or take action against an agent in your agency; they won’t have leverage over you by trying to revoke your agency license.

Saw numerous full editorials published in most major Florida newspapers and in state and nationwide industry publications.  We were quoted on hundreds of industry stories on statewide TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines.

(These do not include the great work of NAIFA on the federal level in Washington DC)