626.112 License and appointment required; agents, customer representatives, adjusters, insurance agencies, service representatives, managing general agents.—
(1)(a) No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is currently licensed by the department and appointed by an appropriate appointing entity or person.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (6) or in applicable department rules, and in addition to other conduct described in this chapter with respect to particular types of agents, a license as an insurance agent, service representative, customer representative, or limited customer representative is required in order to engage in the solicitation of insurance. For purposes of this requirement, as applicable to any of the license types described in this section, the solicitation of insurance is the attempt to persuade any person to purchase an insurance product by:
1. Describing the benefits or terms of insurance coverage, including premiums or rates of return;
2. Distributing an invitation to contract to prospective purchasers;
3. Making general or specific recommendations as to insurance products;
4. Completing orders or applications for insurance products;
5. Comparing insurance products, advising as to insurance matters, or interpreting policies or coverages; or
6. Offering or attempting to negotiate on behalf of another person a viatical settlement contract as defined in s. 626.9911.
However, an employee leasing company licensed pursuant to chapter 468 which is seeking to enter into a contract with an employer that identifies products and services offered to employees may deliver proposals for the purchase of employee leasing services to prospective clients of the employee leasing company setting forth the terms and conditions of doing business; classify employees as permitted by s. 468.529; collect information from prospective clients and other sources as necessary to perform due diligence on the prospective client and to prepare a proposal for services; provide and receive enrollment forms, plans, and other documents; and discuss or explain in general terms the conditions, limitations, options, or exclusions of insurance benefit plans available to the client or employees of the employee leasing company were the client to contract with the employee leasing company. Any advertising materials or other documents describing specific insurance coverages must identify and be from a licensed insurer or its licensed agent or a licensed and appointed agent employed by the employee leasing company. The employee leasing company may not advise or inform the prospective business client or individual employees of specific coverage provisions, exclusions, or limitations of particular plans. As to clients for which the employee leasing company is providing services pursuant to s. 468.525(4), the employee leasing company may engage in activities permitted by ss. 626.7315, 626.7845, and 626.8305, subject to the restrictions specified in those sections. If a prospective client requests more specific information concerning the insurance provided by the employee leasing company, the employee leasing company must refer the prospective business client to the insurer or its licensed agent or to a licensed and appointed agent employed by the employee leasing company.
(2) No agent or customer representative shall solicit or otherwise transact as agent or customer representative, or represent or hold himself or herself out to be an agent or customer representative as to, any kind or kinds of insurance as to which he or she is not then licensed and appointed.
(3) No person shall act as an adjuster as to any class of business for which he or she is not then licensed and appointed.
(4) No person shall be, act as, or represent or hold himself or herself out to be a service representative unless he or she then holds a currently effective service representative license and appointment. This subsection does not apply as to similar representatives or employees of casualty insurers whose duties are restricted to health insurance.
(5) No person shall be, act as, or represent or hold himself or herself out to be a managing general agent unless he or she then holds a currently effective managing general agent license and appointment.
(6) An individual employed by a life or health insurer as an officer or other salaried representative may solicit and effect contracts of life insurance or annuities or of health insurance, without being licensed as an agent, when and only when he or she is accompanied by and solicits for and on the behalf of a licensed and appointed agent.
(7)(a) An individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other entity shall not act in its own name or under a trade name, directly or indirectly, as an insurance agency unless it complies with s. 626.172 with respect to possessing an insurance agency license for each place of business at which it engages in an activity that may be performed only by a licensed insurance agent. However, an insurance agency that is owned and operated by a single licensed agent conducting business in his or her individual name and not employing or otherwise using the services of or appointing other licensees shall be exempt from the agency licensing requirements of this subsection.
(b) A branch place of business that is established by a licensed agency is considered a branch agency and is not required to be licensed so long as it transacts business under the same name and federal tax identification number as the licensed agency and has designated with the department a licensed agent in charge of the branch location as required by s. 626.0428 and the address and telephone number of the branch location have been submitted to the department for inclusion in the licensing record of the licensed agency within 30 days after insurance transactions begin at the branch location.
(c) If an agency is required to be licensed but fails to file an application for licensure in accordance with this section, the department shall impose on the agency an administrative penalty of up to $10,000.
(d) Effective October 1, 2015, the department must automatically convert the registration of an approved registered insurance agency to an insurance agency license.
(8) No insurance agent, insurance agency, or other person licensed under the Insurance Code may pay any fee or other consideration to an unlicensed person other than an insurance agency for the referral of prospective purchasers to an insurance agent which is in any way dependent upon whether the referral results in the purchase of an insurance product.
(9) Any person who knowingly transacts insurance or otherwise engages in insurance activities in this state without a license in violation of this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 190, ch. 59-205; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 3, ch. 81-282; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 154, 217, 807, 810, ch. 82-243; s. 16, ch. 87-226; s. 56, ch. 89-360; ss. 13, 206, 207, ch. 90-363; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 211, ch. 97-102; s. 8, ch. 98-199; s. 45, ch. 2001-63; s. 3, ch. 2001-142; ss. 8, 48, ch. 2002-206; s. 78, ch. 2003-1; s. 910, ch. 2003-261; s. 22, ch. 2003-267; s. 15, ch. 2003-281; s. 20, ch. 2004-390; s. 117, ch. 2005-2; s. 8, ch. 2005-237; s. 7, ch. 2005-257; s. 8, ch. 2006-305; s. 1, ch. 2007-199; s. 7, ch. 2014-123.