What is the purpose of the office?
The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR)
ensures that insurance companies licensed to do business in Florida are financially viable, operating within the laws and regulations governing the industry, and offering insurance policy products at fair and adequate rates that do not unfairly discriminate against the public.
What regulatory functions does the office perform?
The Office of Insurance Regulation has responsibility for the regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. These regulatory functions are performed primarily through the units listed below.
- Company Admissions Section receives company applications and coordinates the review of these applications to determine whether to license companies to sell insurance in Florida.
- Life and Health Financial Oversight Unit monitors the financial condition of life and health insurers using internal financial analysis and on-site examinations. The unit is also responsible for the admissions process for new life and health entities as well as those proposing to expand into additional lines of business.
- Life and Health Product Review Unit reviews and approves life and health insurance policy forms and rates to ensure compliance with statutes and rules.
- Market Regulation Unit examines and investigates business practices and alleged violations of the Florida Insurance Code.
- Market Research and Technology Unit is responsible for data collection, data analysis, market research and reporting, application maintenance and support, and technology innovation and planning.
- Property and Casualty Financial Oversight Unit monitors the financial stability of property and casualty insurers, title insurers, and self-insurance funds by conducting financial examinations and ongoing financial analysis.
- Property and Casualty Product Review Unit reviews property and casualty contracts and rate filings to ensure compliance with actuarial standards, statutes, and rules.
- Specialty Product Administration Unit provides regulation and oversight to various insurance-related industries including continuing care retirement communities, motor vehicle and home service warranty associations, premium finance companies, legal expense insurers, viatical settlement providers, and third party administrators. The unit licenses and monitors these entities for compliance with statutes and rules and monitors their financial condition to protect the public from insolvency risks and unethical business practices.
What type of companies does the office regulate?
The Office of Insurance Regulation regulates and provides oversight for all insurance companies and insurance-related entities licensed to do business in Florida as described above.
Additionally, the office provides oversight to residual markets, which provide insurance to consumers who are unable to obtain coverage in the private market. Examples of these entities include Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
and the Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association
What is Citizens Property Insurance Corporation?
is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt government corporation whose purpose is to provide insurance protection to Florida property owners who otherwise might not be able to find coverage. The corporation is under the direction of a board of governors with members appointed by the Governor, President of the Florida Senate, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and Chief Financial Officer. Citizens offers three types of property and casualty insurance-personal lines, commercial lines, and coastal.
When Citizens incurs a deficit due to policyholder losses exceeding its reserves, Florida law requires Citizens to levy assessments against Citizens policyholders, as well as non-Citizens policyholders if the Citizens policyholder assessment is insufficient to cover the deficit. Citizens is also required by law to create programs to help return its policies to the private market and reduce the risk of additional assessments. As such, the Citizens depopulation program works with private-market insurance companies that would like to offer coverage to Citizens policyholders, subject to the approval of the Office of Insurance Regulation. As of March 2019, Citizens provided coverage to approximately 420,000 policyholders and had an exposure of $107 billion.
How do I find out whether a company is authorized to conduct business in Florida?
- The Office of Insurance Regulation maintains a searchable online database of companies authorized to conduct business in the state.
- The Department of Financial Services maintains a searchable database of individuals licensed to conduct insurance business in the state. This site also offers information on recent enforcement actions taken by the department against licensees, registrants, and other entities.
- A toll-free helpline (1-877-693-5236) is available for consumers.
How are consumer interests represented in insurance matters?
Are life insurance companies required to search for beneficiaries when an insured person has died but no claim has been filed?
As a result of legislation enacted in 2016 (Ch. 2016-219
, Laws of Florida
), insurers are required to compare the records of their insureds' life or endowment insurance policies, annuity contracts that provide a death benefit, and retained asset accounts that were in force on or after January 1, 1992, against the Social Security Administration's Death Master File. Insurers are also required to make such comparisons on at least an annual basis. No later than 120 days upon learning of the death of an insured, insurers must determine whether benefits may be due under a policy, annuity, or retained asset account and complete an effort to locate and contact the beneficiary.
that a 2009 investigation revealed that life insurance companies were not taking adequate steps to try to pay out policies where information in the companies' possession indicated that the insured had died but no claim had been filed. According to OIR, these companies were using information from the Social Security Administration's Death Master File to stop paying a deceased person's annuity, but not using the master file to search for beneficiaries of life insurance policies. This finding was the basis of a multi-state task force, with Florida, California, Illinois, North Dakota, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania serving as lead states for examinations of the 40 largest insurance groups
. To date, Florida has regulatory agreements with 27 life insurance companies; these agreements generally stipulate that the companies agree to compare their records against the master file. Insurers that have been unsuccessful in locating a Florida beneficiary remit applicable funds to the Department of Financial Services' Division of Unclaimed Property, where families can search
for the funds.
How are these activities funded?
The office is funded by taxes and fees charged to the insurance industry.
Homeowner's Insurance Policy Disclosures.
The 2019 Legislature enacted Chapter 2019-82
, Laws of Florida
, which requires insurers to disclose information in homeowner's insurance policies that do not provide flood insurance that damage resulting from flood is not covered, even if hurricane winds and rain caused the flood to occur. In addition, without separate flood coverage, the homeowner may have uncovered losses caused by flood. Policyholders are encouraged to discuss the need to purchase separate flood insurance coverage with their insurance agent. Long-Term Care Insurer Impairments and Insolvencies.
The 2019 Legislature enacted Chapter 2019-83
, Laws of Florida
, which amends laws relating to long-term care insurer impairments and insolvencies. Among other provisions, the law expands the assessment base of the Florida Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association to fund long-term care insurer impairments and insolvencies by including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), life insurers, and annuity insurers. Assessments related to long-term care insurers will be allocated 50% to health member insurers and HMOs, and the remaining 50% to life and annuity member insurers. Total assessments on member insurers and HMOs are capped at 0.5% of premiums per year. Various Changes Regarding Insurance.
The 2019 Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 2019-108
, Laws of Florida
, which amends laws relating to insurance. Among other provisions, the law
- provides that workers' compensation insurance applicants and their agents are not required to have their sworn statements notarized;
- authorizes retail agents to charge a reasonable per-policy fee for placement of a surplus lines policy; such fee must be itemized separately to the customer; and
- reduces the amount of binder an insurer or agent must collect to initially issue a motor vehicle policy from two months' premium to one month's premium.
Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?
A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website
Where can I get more information?
Other Reports Annual Reports, Office of Insurance Regulation Office of Insurance Regulation - Office of Inspector General's Internal Audit Activity - For the Review Period July 2017 Through June 2018, Auditor General Report No. 2019-033, October 2018. Office of Insurance Regulation - Insurer Rate Filing Review Process and Prior Audit Follow-Up - Operational Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2017-050, November 2016. The Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact and Consumer Protections Under Florida Law, Office of Insurance Regulation, January 2014. Office of Insurance Regulation - Operational Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2014-009, August 2013. Principle-Based Reforms for Florida's Property Insurance Market, Office of Insurance Regulation, January 2013. Citizens Property Insurance, Florida Senate, Issue Brief 2012-226, September 2011. Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Florida Senate, Issue Brief 2012-203, August 2011. Office of Insurance Regulation - Property and Casualty Insurers - Financial Analyses Process and Information Technology Controls - Operational Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2011-181
, April 2011. Websites of Interest American Property Casualty Insurance Association Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Florida Insurance Council National Association of Insurance Commissioners National Conference of Insurance Legislators Society of Insurance ResearchPerformance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan
What are the applicable statutes?
, Florida Statutes.
Whom do I contact for help?
Office of Insurance Regulation, 850-413-3140 Website