How Do Florida Insurance Adjusters Stay Compliant with Continuing Education?
Birthdays are a cause for celebration! Maybe you go out to a special dinner, take a trip, or just enjoy your favorite things with your favorite people. Some folks prefer to celebrate their birthday all month long. But for Florida insurance adjusters, every other year, your birthday month can be full of dread and cramming Continuing Education courses as your bi-annual CE requirement comes due. If you would rather enjoy your birthday month celebrating a life well-lived, here are some tips to make sure your birthday month is always a happy one.
It may be obvious, but seriously stop it. The biggest impediment to a licensee maintaining their CE compliance is procrastination. The Florida CFO Department reports that too often they see licensees falling out of compliance because they completed a course after midnight on their due date. Hours taken after your due date will still post on your compliance evaluation screen, but they are noted as “Late”. Even if you meet your hours requirement, late completion of your continuing education requirement will result in penalties.
When this happens, you might start scrambling and want to ask for some concessions. The department says the only assistance they can offer at that point is if the individual qualifies for an extension by meeting “Good Cause” (see Rule 69B-228.230, F.A.C. for more details). If you qualify for an extension, they ask that you please do your best to submit those requests on the approved form, a minimum of 30 days before your due date and include supporting documentation.
Keep Your Profile Up To Date
Another all too frequent cause of a missed deadline is because reminder notifications are being sent to an invalid email address. If you do not have an active email address on file, it is easy to miss CE reminders or other important messages from the Department. Not only can this cause issues with CE compliance, it is also a violation of statute (see ss. 626.551and 648.421, F.S.) All licensees are required to update their demographic information in their My Profile account within 30 days of a change, except Bail Bond agents must update this information within 10 days. Failure to do so can result in enforcement action by the Department, including monetary penalties.
Check For Updated CE Requirements
CE requirements change. You should regularly review your CE status through your MyProfile account. Your total hours have specific allocation requirements that must be met. Be sure to take all the right categories of CE courses.
Check Your Transcripts Periodically
Because many factors may affect your continuing education requirement (e.g. licenses held, number of years licensed, etc.), we encourage you to periodically check your MyProfile account and transcripts to determine your individual continuing education compliance requirements and status. For example, you cannot take the same course with the same provider within a two-year period and receive credit. This is noted on your transcript as a duplicate course. You will need to take a different course to meet your CE requirement.
Additional items to review on your transcript:
Confirm Courses You’ve Taken Were Reported
While you are working towards completing your required hours of CE, check your transcript to confirm that the hours for a recently completed course were reported. If they were not, there are a few things to know, and next steps you should take.
First, it is important to know that under Rule 69B-228.100, FAC, CE Providers are given 21 days to report course completions to the Department of Financial Services. AE21 always reports CE credits within 1-3 business days following the completion of an online CE course. If you completed a CE course less than 21 days ago and the course is not appearing on your transcript, the first thing you should do is contact the Provider and ask for them to report your completed course to the Department of Financial Services. You may find that you did not complete a required affidavit or did not complete the final exam on a self-study course, which would prevent a Provider from reporting a course completion. Another common mistake is failing to indicate to the Provider which state you would like the course completion reported to.
If you made a mistake or oversight which prevented the Provider from reporting the hours, the issue must be resolved within the 21 day reporting period. This is why it is so important to pay close attention while registering for a CE course, because mistakes can cost you credits if you do not address them in a timely manner.
Check Prior Evaluation Periods
Always check previous compliance periods to make sure you are not delinquent for a prior period. Be sure to click on “View Enforcement Notice” just below the “Not Compliant” text to check for any outstanding fines.
Take Classes With an Approved Provider and Correct Course Authority
As an approved Provider, AE21 offers all your Continuing Education requirements to help you remain compliant and knowledgeable in an ever-changing insurance market.
Make sure you do not take your 4-Hour Update course with the wrong course authority. Please take notice of your license type and the course authority for the 4 Hour-Update course you are interested in taking and make sure they match. Otherwise, you could end up with those precious hours being allocated to your Electives and not satisfying your CE compliance cycle.
No one wants to be in a situation where they must pay a fine to preserve their appointments or tell their carriers they lost the appointment because they couldn’t get their CE done on time. AE21 looks forward to helping make sure your license is renewed and your birthday month is always your favorite month.