In the aftermath of the Florida amendments regarding the insurance framework, there are noticeable changes in the industry. With the flurry of amendments, the paradigm has shifted from the initial set-up to favoring adjusters and producers. These amendments have personalized continuing education requirements and have simplified the confusing structure. Today, licensees can apply and reapply for licenses with greater ease. Not only that, but it has also proved to be pivotal in mitigating the burden on the existing producers and adjusters regarding the workload. The key focus areas in the CE requirements have eased the reinstating and obtaining of the agents’ appointments. You can see more information by clicking here.
Prior to these amendments the industry was facing a lot of issues in terms of meeting the requisite compliance standards. The provisions for specialized training etc. for the producers were not accurate. The industry in general was lagging in terms of professional commitment and level of the producers.
It is also a setback in terms of the level of knowledge and proficiency in the standards of the producers. Though the continuous education commitments are required since the 1993 Insurance Code the effectiveness of these CE courses are found today.
In the compliance period ending 31 October 2014, anyone who has a license to solicit or sell insurance has certain compliance standards. The said insurance producer must mandatorily undergo 5 hours of CE as approved by the department. The commitment hours of the compliance includes Law & Ethics.
This is specially important for both residents and non-residents who fulfill the criteria to appear for license renewal. Apart from the usual amendments to hours and course selections specialized training for specialized subjects is also a valuable addition. It helps to keep the professional standards at par the expectation of the consumers.
A brief look at the core features of the health insurance CE compliance requirements are as follows
Long Term Care Training
All health agents have to undergo training for 8 hours for long term care insurance. Additionally, they are also required to complete 4 hours of training for every 24 month compliance period. The Appointing Insurers have to confirm the training requirements met by the agents.
Flood Insurance Requirements
The state of Florida has also laid down express guidelines vide a notice. This notification states that the licensees who sell Flood Related Insurance must comply with a minimum of 3 hours of training requirements as per the FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program.
A producer or an adjuster who has been licensed for a term not more than six years must complete 24 hours training. This 24 hour CE requirement includes a mandatory 5 hour of Law and Ethics and 19 hours of elective credits. Licensees are required to undergo the CE requirement every two years.
A licensee, whether an adjuster or a producer licensed for six years and above, should complete 20 hours instead of the prescribed 24. These 20 hours of training include 15 hours of elective credit and 5 hours of Ethics and Law. These compliance cycles are for agents whose license is obtained on or after 31 October 2014 or later.
The total hours of a licensee’s training commitments include a mandatory 5 hour of Law and ethics course update after every two years, which is related to the licensee’s specific type of license. Licensees holding different insurance licenses should go through a course related to at least one of the licenses held by the licensee. Otherwise, all remaining requisite hours of CE are elective and may comprise any CE course.
Non-resident Florida licensees compliant with the Continuing education criteria in their home state are exempt from the Florida CE. Similarly, non-resident adjusters must comply with their home state’s CE requirements or any other state whose adjuster license they have. Non-resident agents are also required to be compliant with the LTC training. This compliance pertains to this state or any other state which meets the criteria laid down within the NAIC LTC model outline.
Courses cannot be repeated for credits, and a course has to be taken only once within two years calculated from the completion date.
Online Certification exams follow closed books. This means that the course materials are not available to the examinees in the duration of the exam. Candidates seeking CE credit must secure a 70% or higher aggregate to pass. There is no express bar on the number of attempts that a candidate can take, and therefore students can take any number of retakes to qualify.
Licensees must recognize that the course examination must be completed without any assistance from any person whatsoever. In this regard, student acknowledgment includes the further understanding that the violation could cost a loss of course credit and administrative sanction by the Department of Financial Services of Florida state.
Florida resident licensees should fulfill the CE criteria every 2 years until their’ birth month’s last day. If the licensee has not been licensed for a complete two year by the initial deadline? It will get a 1 year extension.
Students can carry over their excess hours up to 24 hours to the next compliance period.
To report within 21 days of completion of the CE requirements, candidates would require an agent’s license number.
Individuals who fulfill their roles in the capacity of instructors for Continuing Education courses can receive the same amount of CE credit that their students receive.
Ultimately, the insurance agents must find out electives that are better suited for their license types and course credit requirements. Adjusters and producers alike need to be equally proactive in identifying the targets for CE requirements and fulfilling them satisfactorily. It is also crucial for adjusters to recognize the importance of proficiency as well as commitment hours. Ultimately it reflects well on their customers and their practice as well.