Despite living in the digital age, paper records continue to be necessary in some instances and unavoidable. The question we are all faced with is, how long must an insurance agency retain customer policy and claims information?
The Florida Statute [F.S.626.561 (2)] requires records pertaining to a premium payment be kept for at least 3 years after payment. This 3 year requirement does not apply to insurance binders when no policy is ultimately issued and no premium is collected.
Statute [F.S. 626.748] is intended to address all other documentation, not related to premium related items. Although, the statute does not specify a definitive time frame for maintaining your customer’s records, it does state you must have all documentation readily available to provide to your policyholders and to the Department of Financial Services upon request.
When disposing of documentation, the most effective and secure method is shredding. Your agency may elect to hire a professional paper shredding company, as many can ensure a security breach will not occur. In addition, all employees should be educated on the importance of protecting documents and how to manage and dispose of documents properly.
Whether you strive to manage a paperless office and maintain all records in electronic format, or you have paper files, you must ensure access to all this information to avoid any E&O risks.
626.561(2) The licensee shall keep and make available to the department or office books, accounts, and records as will enable the department or office to determine whether such licensee is complying with the provisions of this code. Every licensee shall preserve books, accounts, and records pertaining to a premium payment for at least 3 years after payment; provided, however, the preservation of records by computer or photographic reproductions or records in photographic form shall constitute compliance with this requirement.
626.748 Agent’s records.—Every agent transacting any insurance policy must maintain in his or her office, or have readily accessible by electronic or photographic means, such records of policies transacted by him or her as to enable the policyholders and department to obtain all necessary information, including daily reports, applications, change endorsements, or documents signed or initialed by the insured concerning such policies.
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