Last week, Florida Governor Charlie Christ signed into law House Bill 853, previously discussed here, which exempts surplus lines insurers entirely from the provisions of Chapter 627, except where specifically stated otherwise. Chapter 627 contains Florida's rate and form filing statutes. House Bill 853 is retroactive to October 1, 1988, and also creates four new insurance statutes specifically applicable to surplus lines insurers regulating: (1) payment of premiums and claims; (2) information disclosures required to be provided to liability insurance claimants; (3) attorney’s fees; and (4) disclosures of insureds’ liability for policies with deductibles or co-pays. Additionally, House Bill 853 requires surplus lines insurers to add specific disclosure languages to policies stating that the insurer’s rates and forms are not approved by any Florida regulatory agency.

Click here for a copy of House Bill 853.