*This text is copied from Florida’s
Department of Financial Services online publication,
“Insurance Insights”, Volume 2, No. 4, May 2013

CS/CS/SB 166 – The bill substantially revises Florida consumer protection laws relating to sales of annuities by incorporating the 2010 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) model regulation on annuity protections(annuities suitability rights). The bill expands the scope of the consumer protection laws to generally include all consumers purchasing annuities. Current law only applies the protections to consumers aged 65 and older. The bill also retains current law limiting the surrender charges and deferred sales charges that may be imposed upon senior consumers.

The following are primary consumer protections contained in the bill:

Suitability of Annuities –The bill requires an insurer or insurance agent recommending the purchase or exchange of an annuity that results in an insurance transaction to have reasonable grounds for believing the recommendation is suitable for the consumer, based on the consumer’s suitability information. The bill imposes additional duties on insurers and insurance agents when a transaction involves the exchange or replacement of an annuity.

Documentation of Sales Transaction –The bill requires agents and agent representatives to record recommendations made to a consumer.

Prohibitions on Agents –The bill prohibits agents from dissuading or attempting to dissuade a consumer from truthfully responding to the insurer’s request for suitability information, filing a complaint, or cooperating with the investigation of a complaint.

Unconditional Refund Period – The bill expands to 21 from 14 days the unconditional refund period for all purchasers of fixed and variable annuities suitability rights.