The following are instances in which licensees or other persons violated the Florida Insurance Code and the administrative action the Department has taken against them. Note: All administrative investigations are subject to referral to the Division of Insurance Fraud for criminal investigation.
Case: An investigation found a general lines
agent systematically overcharged her clients for homeowners insurance premiums,
resulting in numerous unsuspecting clients paying hundreds of dollars in
fraudulent charges. To conceal the overcharges, the agent falsified a variety of
insurance documents to reflect the fraudulently increased premiums.
Disposition: Suspended six months, ordered to pay restitution to the consumers and complete 10 hours of coursework in ethics.
Case: During an agency inspection, investigators
found 89 entries made in a binder log by an unlicensed agency employee, whose
Customer Representative's license had expired eight years earlier. The entries
corresponded to multiple consumers, policies, and policy transactions over a
period of six months. Documents obtained during the investigation confirmed the
employee had requested insurance quotes, uploaded endorsements, and submitted
new insurance business to insurance companies while unlicensed to do so.
Consumers contacted by investigators confirmed the unlicensed employee had
provided quotes, wrote their insurance applications, and explained insurance
coverage to them.
Disposition: Immediately and permanently removed from the insurance business in the state of Florida. The Division of Insurance Fraud arrested the employee for transacting insurance without a license and appointment, a third-degree felony.
Case: An investigation determined a life,
health, and variable annuity agent failed to report administrative action taken
against him by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in which he
was barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.
Disposition: License surrendered.
Case: An investigation into “termination for
cause” of an agent by an insurance company determined a life, health and
variable annuity agent had unlawfully paid insurance premiums for a client and
rebated part of the commission to the client. The agent sold life insurance to a
consumer, and after two years, instructed the consumer to name a partnership as
the owner and beneficiary of the policy. The agent had previously convinced the
client to set up the partnership with him. The agent owned 90% of the
partnership and the client, 10%. The agent also facilitated the purchase of an
immediate annuity by the partnership to fund the life insurance premium, and
unlawfully designated himself as the beneficiary for the life insurance policy.
Disposition: License surrendered.
Case: An investigation initiated due to consumer
complaints determined an agency owner failed to ensure premiums were remitted to
insurers on a timely basis resulting in the lapse or non-issue of insurance
coverage, failed to return unearned premiums to consumers, and allowed an
unlicensed person to transact insurance business. The agency owner also failed
to properly designate an agent in charge for all agencies.
Disposition: Fined $7,500, placed on probation for one year.
Case: An investigation into a bail bond agent's
records revealed he failed to remit $7,216 in bail bond premiums to a surety
company, to provide records to the surety company for audit, and failed to
notify the Department he had closed his bail bond agency.
Disposition: Suspended for 18 months and ordered to remit the unpaid premiums. The agent must show proof the unpaid premiums were remitted to be eligible to reapply for his license after 18 months.
Case: An investigation into the activities of a
School Official and course Instructor found he developed and distributed
unauthorized course manuals to teach the state required pre-licensing courses
for the Life, Health and Variable annuity license.
Disposition: Fined $1,500, required to pay department investigative costs of $1,000 and $750 in restitution.
Case: An investigation into administrative
action taken against a life, health and variable annuity agent by his home state
determined the agent failed to report the action within 30 days of the action to
the department or the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).
Disposition: Fined $750. The agent failed pay the fine in 30 days as agreed and was automatically suspended for 60 days.
Case: An investigation was initiated related to
an agency's advertising. Investigators determined the agency had obtained an
approved advertisement from an insurer, but made changes to the ad that violated
insurance laws. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the
agency was not properly licensed.
Disposition: Fined $1,500 each and placed on probation for one year