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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 647
TRAVEL INSURANCE
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CHAPTER 647
CHAPTER 647
TRAVEL INSURANCE
647.01 Purpose and scope.
647.02 Definitions.
647.03 Premium tax.
647.04 Travel protection plans.
647.05 Sales practices.
647.06 Travel administrators.
647.07 Travel insurance policy.
647.08 Rulemaking authority.
647.01 Purpose and scope.
(1) The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public welfare by creating a comprehensive legal framework within which travel insurance may be sold in this state.
(2) This chapter applies to:
(a) Travel insurance that covers any resident of this state and that is sold, solicited, negotiated, or offered in this state.
(b) Policies and certificates that are delivered or issued for delivery in this state.

This chapter does not apply to cancellation fee waivers or travel assistance services, except as expressly provided in this chapter.

(3) All other applicable provisions of the insurance laws of this state continue to apply to travel insurance, except that the specific provisions of this chapter shall supersede any general provisions of law that would otherwise be applicable to travel insurance.
History.s. 15, ch. 2020-63.
647.02 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Aggregator site” means a website that provides access to information regarding insurance products from more than one insurer, including product and insurer information, for use in comparison shopping.
(2) “Blanket travel insurance” means a policy of travel insurance issued to an eligible group providing coverage to all members of the eligible group without a separate charge to individual members of the eligible group.
(3) “Cancellation fee waiver” means a contractual agreement between a supplier of travel services and its customer to waive some or all of the nonrefundable cancellation fee provisions of the supplier’s underlying travel contract with or without regard to the reason for the cancellation or form of reimbursement. A cancellation fee waiver is not insurance.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Financial Services.
(5) “Eligible group,” solely for the purposes of travel insurance, means two or more persons who are engaged in a common enterprise or who have an economic, educational, or social affinity or relationship, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(a) An entity engaged in the business of providing travel or travel services, including, but not limited to:
1. A tour operator, lodging provider, vacation property owner, hotel, resort, travel club, travel agency, property manager, and cultural exchange program.
2. An operator, owner, or lessor of a means of transportation of passengers, including, but not limited to, a common carrier, airline, cruise line, railroad, steamship company, and public bus carrier.

With regard to any particular travel or type of travel or travelers, all members or customers of the group must have a common exposure to risk attendant to such travel.

(b) A university, college, school, or other institution of learning, covering students, teachers, employees, or volunteers.
(c) An employer covering any group of employees, volunteers, contractors, board of directors, dependents, or guests.
(d) A sports team or camp, or a sponsor thereof, covering participants, members, campers, employees, officials, supervisors, or volunteers.
(e) A religious, charitable, recreational, educational, or civic organization, or a branch thereof, covering any group of members, participants, or volunteers.
(f) A financial institution or financial institution vendor, or a parent holding company, trustee, or agent of or designated by one or more financial institutions or financial institution vendors, including account holders, credit card holders, debtors, guarantors, or purchasers.
(g) An incorporated or unincorporated association, including a labor union, having a common interest and constitution and bylaws, which is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance coverage for its members or participants.
(h) A trust or the trustees of a fund that covers its members, employees, or customers and is established, created, or maintained for the benefit of its members, employees, or customers, subject to:
1. The department’s authorizing the use of a trust.
2. The premium tax provisions in s. 647.03 applicable to incorporated or unincorporated associations that have a common interest and constitution and bylaws and that are organized and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance coverage for their members, employees, or customers.
(i) An entertainment production company covering any group of participants, volunteers, audience members, contestants, or workers.
(j) A volunteer fire department, ambulance, rescue, police, court, first-aid, civil defense, or other such volunteer group.
(k) A preschool, daycare institution for children or adults, or senior citizen club.
(l) An automobile or truck rental or leasing company covering a group of individuals who may become renters, lessees, or passengers as defined by their travel status on the rented or leased vehicles. The common carrier, the operator, owner, or lessor of a means of transportation, or the motor vehicle or truck rental or leasing company is the policyholder under a policy to which this section applies.
(m) Any other group for which the department has made the following determinations:
1. The group members are engaged in a common enterprise or have an economic, educational, or social affinity or relationship.
2. Issuance of the travel insurance policy is not contrary to the public interest.
(6) “Fulfillment materials” means documentation sent to the purchaser of a travel protection plan confirming the purchase and providing the travel protection plan’s coverage and assistance details.
(7) “Group travel insurance” means travel insurance issued to an eligible group.
(8) “Limited lines travel insurance producer” means:
(a) A licensed or third-party administrator;
(b) A licensed insurance producer, including a limited lines producer; or
(c) A travel administrator.
(9) “Travel administrator” means a person who directly or indirectly underwrites policies for; collects charges, collateral, or premiums from; or adjusts or settles claims made by residents of this state in connection with travel insurance, except that a person is not considered a travel administrator if the person is:
(a) A person working for a travel administrator, to the extent that the person’s activities are subject to the supervision and control of the travel administrator;
(b) An insurance producer selling insurance or engaged in administrative and claims-related activities within the scope of the producer’s license;
(c) A travel retailer, as defined in s. 626.321(1)(c)2., offering and disseminating travel insurance and registered under the license of a limited lines travel insurance producer in accordance with s. 626.321(1)(c);
(d) A person adjusting or settling claims in the normal course of the person’s practice or employment as an attorney at law, without collecting charges or premiums in connection with insurance coverage; or
(e) A business entity that is affiliated with a licensed insurer while acting as a travel administrator for the direct and assumed insurance business of the affiliated insurer.
(10) “Travel assistance services” means noninsurance services for which the consumer is not indemnified based on a fortuitous event, and the provision of which does not result in the transfer or shifting of risk which would constitute the business of insurance. The term includes, but is not limited to, security advisories, destination information, vaccination and immunization information services, travel reservation services, entertainment, activity and event planning, translation assistance, emergency messaging, international legal and medical referrals, medical case monitoring, coordination of transportation arrangements, emergency cash transfer assistance, medical prescription replacement assistance, passport and travel document replacement assistance, lost luggage assistance, concierge services, and any other service that is furnished in connection with planned travel. Travel assistance services are not insurance and are not related to insurance.
(11) “Travel insurance” means insurance coverage for personal risks incidental to planned travel, including:
(a) Interruption or cancellation of trip or event;
(b) Loss of baggage or personal effects;
(c) Damages to accommodations or rental vehicles;
(d) Sickness, accident, disability, or death occurring during travel;
(e) Emergency evacuation;
(f) Repatriation of remains; or
(g) Any other contractual obligations to indemnify or pay a specified amount to the traveler upon determinable contingencies related to travel, as determined by the office.

The term does not include major medical plans that provide comprehensive medical protection for travelers with trips lasting longer than 6 months, including major medical plans for those working or residing overseas as expatriates, or any other product that requires a specific insurance producer license.

(12) “Travel protection plan” means a plan that provides one or more of the following: travel insurance, travel assistance services, and cancellation fee waivers.
History.s. 16, ch. 2020-63; s. 50, ch. 2021-51.
647.03 Premium tax.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Primary certificateholder” means an individual who purchases travel insurance under a group policy.
(b) “Primary policyholder” means an individual who purchases individual travel insurance.
(2) A travel insurer shall pay the premium tax, as required under s. 624.509, on travel insurance premiums paid by any of the following:
(a) A primary policyholder who is a resident of this state.
(b) A primary certificateholder who is a resident of this state.
(c) A blanket travel insurance policyholder:
1. Who is a resident in this state;
2. Who has his or her principal place of business in this state; or
3. Whose affiliate or subsidiary who has purchased blanket travel insurance for eligible blanket group members has his or her principal place of business in this state.

The premium tax under this subsection is subject to any apportionment rules that apply to an insurer across multiple taxing jurisdictions or that authorize an insurer to allocate premium on an apportioned basis in a reasonable and equitable manner in those jurisdictions.

(3) A travel insurer shall:
(a) Document the state of residence or principal place of business of the policyholder or certificateholder, or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof, as required under subsection (2).
(b) Report as premium only the amount allocable to travel insurance and not any amounts received for travel assistance services or cancellation fee waivers.
History.s. 17, ch. 2020-63.
647.04 Travel protection plans.A travel protection plan may be offered for one price for the combined features that the travel protection plan offers in this state if the travel protection plan meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The travel protection plan clearly discloses to the consumer, at or before the time of purchase, that it includes travel insurance, travel assistance services, and cancellation fee waivers, as applicable, and provides information and an opportunity, at or before the time of purchase, for the consumer to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each.
(2) The fulfillment materials:
(a) Describe and delineate the travel insurance, travel assistance services, and cancellation fee waivers in the travel protection plan.
(b) Include the travel insurance disclosures required in this chapter, the contact information for persons providing travel assistance services, and cancellation fee waivers, as applicable.
History.s. 18, ch. 2020-63.
647.05 Sales practices.
(1)(a) All documents provided to a consumer before the purchase of travel insurance, including, but not limited to, sales materials, advertising materials, and marketing materials, must be consistent with the travel insurance policy, including, but not limited to, forms, endorsements, policies, rate filings, and certificates of insurance.
(b) For travel insurance policies or certificates that contain preexisting condition exclusions, information and an opportunity to learn more about the preexisting condition exclusions must be provided any time before the purchase. Information on the exclusions and the opportunity to learn more about these exclusions must be included in the coverage’s fulfillment materials.
(c) The fulfillment materials and the information described in s. 626.321(1)(c)3.a. must be provided to a policyholder or certificateholder as soon as practicable after the purchase of a travel protection plan. Unless the insured has started a covered trip or filed a claim under the travel insurance coverage, the policyholder or certificateholder may cancel a policy or certificate for a full refund of the travel protection plan price from the date of purchase of a travel protection plan until at least:
1. Fifteen days after the date of delivery of the travel protection plan’s fulfillment materials by postal mail; or
2. Ten days after the date of delivery of the travel protection plan’s fulfillment materials by means other than postal mail.

For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “delivery” means handing fulfillment materials to the policyholder or certificateholder or sending fulfillment materials by postal mail or electronic means to the policyholder or certificateholder.

(d) An insurer shall disclose in the policy documentation and fulfillment materials whether the travel insurance is primary or secondary to other applicable coverage.
(e) If travel insurance is marketed directly to a consumer through an insurer’s website or by others through an aggregator site, it is not an unfair trade practice or other violation of law if the following requirements are met:
1. The web page provides an accurate summary or short description of the coverage.
2. The consumer has access to the full provisions of the policy through electronic means.
(2) A person offering, soliciting, or negotiating travel insurance or travel protection plans on an individual or group basis may not do so by using a negative or opt-out option that would require a consumer to take an affirmative action to deselect coverage, such as unchecking a box on an electronic form, when the consumer purchases a trip.
(3) If a consumer’s destination jurisdiction requires insurance coverage, it is not an unfair trade practice to require that the consumer choose between the following options as a condition of purchasing a trip or travel package:
(a) Purchasing the coverage required by the destination jurisdiction through the travel retailer, as defined in s. 626.321(1)(c)2., or limited lines travel insurance producer supplying the trip or travel package; or
(b) Agreeing to obtain and provide proof of coverage that meets the destination jurisdiction’s requirements before departure.
(4)(a) A person offering travel insurance to residents of this state is subject to part IX of chapter 626, the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. If a conflict arises between this chapter and the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act regarding the sale and marketing of travel insurance and travel protection plans, the provisions of this chapter shall control.
(b) A person commits an unfair insurance trade practice under the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act if the person:
1. Offers or sells a travel insurance policy that could never result in payment of any claims for any insured under the policy; or
2. Markets blanket travel insurance coverage as free.
History.s. 19, ch. 2020-63; s. 51, ch. 2021-51.
647.06 Travel administrators.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Florida Insurance Code, a person may not act or represent himself or herself as a travel administrator in this state unless the person:
(a) Is a licensed and appointed property and casualty insurance producer in this state for activities authorized under that producer license;
(b) Is a licensed insurance agency, appointed as a managing general agent in this state; or
(c) Holds a valid third-party administrator license in this state.
(2) A travel administrator and its employees are exempt from the licensing requirements of part VI of chapter 626 for the travel insurance it administers.
(3) An insurer is responsible for ensuring that a travel administrator administering travel insurance underwritten by the insurer:
(a) Acts in accordance with this chapter.
(b) Maintains all books and records that are relevant to the insurer and makes these books and records available to the department upon request.
History.s. 20, ch. 2020-63.
647.07 Travel insurance policy.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Florida Insurance Code, travel insurance shall be classified and filed for purposes of rates and forms under the inland marine line of insurance; however, travel insurance that provides coverage for sickness, accident, disability, or death occurring during travel, either exclusively or in conjunction with related coverages of emergency evacuation or repatriation of remains, or incidental limited property and casualty benefits, such as baggage or trip cancellation, may be classified and filed for purposes of rates and forms under either the accident and health line of insurance or the inland marine line of insurance.
(2) Travel insurance may be in the form of an individual, group, or blanket policy. Group or blanket policies are classified as commercial inland marine insurance under s. 627.021(2)(d). Travel insurance policies not issued to a commercial entity and primarily used for personal, family, or household purposes are considered personal inland marine insurance and shall not be subject to s. 627.062. Sections of policies or endorsements for travel insurance which are considered personal inland marine insurance consisting of travel assistance services or cancellation fee waivers are not subject to s. 627.410.
(3) Travel insurance programs may be developed and provided based on travel protection plans designed for individual or identified marketing or distribution channels.
History.s. 21, ch. 2020-63.
647.08 Rulemaking authority.The department shall adopt rules to administer this chapter.
History.s. 22, ch. 2020-63.