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Pub. Rec./Insurance Fraud Information/DFS


   

CS/HB 1009

p. 1, §626.9891(9) 

Creates a public records exemption that makes the following information, when submitted to the Division of Forensic Services (DIFS) within the Department of Financial Services (DFS), exempt from §119.07(1), F.S., and §24(a), Article I of the Florida Constitution:

  • The description of an insurer’s anti-fraud education and training;
  • The description of an insurer’s anti-fraud investigative unit (Unit);
  • The insurer’s rationale for the level of staffing and resources for the Unit;
  • The number of claims referred to the Unit;
  • The number of other insurance fraud matters referred to the Unit that were not claim related;
  • The number of claims accepted or investigated by the Unit;
  • The number of other insurance fraud matters investigated by or accepted by the Unit that were not claim related; and
  • The estimated dollar amount or range of damages on cases referred to the DIFS or other agencies.

The exemption applies to records held before, on, or after the effective date of the exemption. Unless renewed or saved from repeal by the Legislature, the exemption will expire on October 2, 2022.

Subsection (2) of the bill sets forth the rationale for keeping the provisions exempt from the public records laws. It provides the public disclosure of this information would allow criminal elements to use such information to identify fraud prevention or detection strategies employed by insurers and use this information to commit insurance fraud. It would also allow persons suspected of fraud to be alerted to a potential or ongoing investigation and alter their behavior to impede an investigation. It provides that information already in the possession of the DFS is retroactively protected by the exemption. Finally, the Legislature found that public disclosure of information relating to the number and type of claims, as well as the dollar amount of such claims, could injure a business in the marketplace by providing its competitors with detailed insights into the claim investigative process, thereby diminishing the advantage that the business maintains over competitors that do not possess such information. Without this exemption, insurers might refrain from providing accurate, unbiased information to the department. 

Effective date: June 27, 2017
Chapter No. 2017-179, LOF
 

 
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