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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes

Chapter 632
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F.S. 632.621
632.621 The benefit contract.
(1) Every society authorized to do business in this state shall issue to each owner of a benefit contract a certificate with an identifying number specifying the amount of benefits provided thereby. The certificate, together with any riders or endorsements, the application for insurance and declaration of insurability, if any, signed by the applicant, and all amendments to each thereof, shall be attached to and shall constitute the benefit contract as of the date of issuance between the society and the owner, and the certificate shall so state. The certificate shall also incorporate by reference the laws of the society, and the society shall maintain for inspection by the benefit member a copy of such laws at each lodge and shall furnish a copy of such laws to each benefit member upon request. All statements on the application shall be representations and not warranties. Any waiver of the provision of this subsection shall be void.
(2) Any changes, additions, or amendments to the laws of the society duly made or enacted subsequent to the issuance of the certificate shall bind the owner and the beneficiaries and shall govern and control the benefit contract in all respects the same as though such changes, additions, or amendments had been made prior to, and were in force at the time of, the application for insurance, except that no change, addition, or amendment shall destroy or diminish benefits which the society contracted to give the owner as of the date of issuance.
(3) Any person upon whose life a benefit contract is issued prior to attaining the age of majority shall be bound by the terms of the application and certificate and by all the laws and rules of the society to the same extent as though the age of majority had been attained at the time of application.
(4) A society shall provide in its laws that if its reserves as to all or any class of certificates become impaired, its board of directors or corresponding body may require that there shall be paid by the owner to the society the amount of the owner’s equitable proportion of such deficiency as ascertained by its board or corresponding body, and that if the payment is not made, either:
(a) It shall stand as an indebtedness against the certificate and draw interest not to exceed the rate specified for certificate loans under the certificates; or
(b) In lieu of or in combination with the provisions of paragraph (a), the owner may accept a proportionate reduction in benefits under the certificate.

The society may specify the manner of the election and which alternative is to be presumed if no election is made.

(5) Copies of any of the documents mentioned in this section, certified by the secretary or corresponding officer of the society, shall be received in evidence of the terms and conditions thereof.
(6) No certificate shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless a copy of the form has been filed with the office in the manner provided for like policies issued by life insurers in this state. Every life, accident, health, or disability insurance certificate and every annuity certificate issued on or after one year from June 24, 1986, shall meet the standard contract provision requirements not inconsistent with this chapter for like policies issued by life insurers in this state, except that a society may provide for a grace period for payment of premiums of 1 full month in its certificates. The certificate shall also contain a provision stating the amount of premiums which are payable under the certificate and a provision reciting or setting forth the substance of any sections of the society’s laws or rules in force at the time of issuance of the certificate which, if violated, will result in the termination or reduction of benefits payable under the certificate. If the laws of the society provide for expulsion or suspension of a member, the certificate shall also contain a provision that any member so expelled or suspended, except for nonpayment of a premium or within the contestable period for material misrepresentation in the application for membership or insurance, shall have the privilege of maintaining the certificate in force by continuing payment of the required premium.
(7) Benefit contracts issued on the lives of persons below the society’s minimum age for adult membership may provide for transfer of control or ownership to the insured at an age specified in the certificate. A society shall not require approval of an application for membership in order to effect this transfer. Ownership rights prior to such transfer shall be specified in the certificate. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect the right of fraternal benefit societies to determine eligibility requirements for membership.
(8) A society may specify the terms and conditions on which benefit contracts may be assigned. 4, 6, ch. 86-140; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1382, ch. 2003-261.