What Are the Continuing Education Requirements for Insurance Agents in Florida?

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Since 1993 the Florida Insurance Code requires agents to complete a Continuing Education course to be legally able to renew appointments. The continuing education requirements since the time have become mandatory for any and all agents seeking to apply for a license or who are sitting for the licensing examination.

However, in 2012 amendments were made to the existing framework in favor of the industrial trends. Florida’s recent CE requirements have been revised with the intention to reduce the burden on the insurance producers and adjusters alike. With the sole exception of “dental representatives” who have a limited health agent license, it applies universally to all other agents.

The Florida 215 ce courses prescribe the following new requirements.

5-Hour Update

Any person who has a license to solicit and sell insurance in the Florida state has to complete the 5 hours of continuing education mandatorily. As per the department, the 5-hours within the CE requirements are owing to the Ethics and Legal Training. With effect from October 2014, the new requirements for the 5-hour Ethics and Legal Training are not subject to any concession in the otherwise 20-hour training.

LTCP

Long Term Care Partnerships are suggested for those producers and staff members who are required to comprehend the federal regulations. It is equally important for those who understand the role of state plans in providing essential funding for public and private long-term care. The course is specified and designed in such a way so as to meet the NAIC guidelines adopted by the state of Florida.

According to the guidelines, agents are required to spend an 8-hour training additionally. This especially pertains to those agents who sell such partnership policies and require four credits in every compliance period.

Compliance Period

The Florida DFS guidelines require agents to complete the required continuing education credits by the last day of the agent’s birth month. Such an agent must be holding the license for the past 24 months. After complying with the same, continuing education requirements must be met for every 24 months from thereon.

The department is also known to grant a 90-day extension to the prescribed compliance time limit. However, this relaxation is accorded only in a case for “good cause.” A “Good cause” is a situation that is essentially beyond the control of the agent, such as illness, short-term disability, accidents, emergencies, or even military duty.

This extension applies only to a present commitment period and does not apply to the subsequent periods. For each of such periods, a separate case for “good cause” has to be made.

Non-Compliance

Merely completing CE credits in itself does not make the agent suitable for license maintenance. The agent must also require active appointments to protect their license from lapsing or becoming legally defunct.

Failure to complete the prescribed requirements can cause all the appointments and further reinstate the existing ones to lapse. It also weakens the non-renewal of existing appointments.

Additionally, the department reserves the right to levy an additional fine for such non-compliance. When the agent’s license secures cancellation, they might have to redo the whole process again. This includes the re-application for the license, including the examination and the pre-licensing courses, etc.

Credits Requirement

Agents who have recently procured their licenses from the Florida state DFS must compulsorily comply with 24 continuing education credits. This compliance earlier required 28 credits; however, the recent amendments have lowered the requisition.

The agents with a license in good stead for 25 years and above and a CLU or CPCU designation can opt for a reduced requirement of 14 hours in each compliance period.

Similarly, agents holding a college degree in risk management or have managed to complete a minimum of 18 hours of upper-level insurance-related courses enjoy a reduction in requirements.

Non-Residents

Non-resident agents do not need to comply with the continuing education guidelines and requirements of Florida state. This is only if the agent’s home state has imposed a continuing education requirement. Similarly, a non-resident whose home state has had a reciprocal arrangement with the state of Florida and who can certify the agent’s compliance with CE requirements enjoy the exemption.

If either of such cases is not met, then the non-resident agent will also be held as per the standards of Florida’s CE requirements. Since 2000, Florida has had a reciprocal arrangement with 43 states, and therefore, non-resident agents must contact their home state to determine the CE requirements.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the agents have to fulfill the criteria for evaluation. However, this is notwithstanding their previous compliance periods. Agents must be proactive in researching the various courses and the course requirements. Since 2014 there have been multiple reforms brought in the industrial practice of the insurance sector, and therefore agents and producers must keep themselves abreast of the latest developments.

 

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