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 of a general lines agent,
who owned an insurance agency, revealed he met with proposed insureds and
accepted funds for payment towards commercial, homeowner and automobile
insurance policies. Unbeknownst to the insureds, the agent pocketed the premium
funds and established fraudulent premium finance contracts for their policies.
The agent made some payments on the fraudulently financed policies; however,
they all fell into arrears resulting in the cancellation of the consumers'
Disposition: License revoked and he is permanently barred from the insurance industry. He was arrested by the Division of Insurance Fraud and charged with presenting false certificates of insurance and misappropriation of insurance funds to which he pled guilty. Also, he was ordered to pay restitution to the victims. The insurance agency's license was surrendered.
Case: An investigation of a life & health
agent revealed that he sold a long term care policy to a developmentally
disabled consumer who did not need the coverage as she was already residing in a
group home. Compounding matters, the agent made sure not to disclose this fact
on the application among other glaring omissions. The agent was looking to
collect more than $16,000 in commissions. Adding insult to injury, the agent
even made unauthorized withdrawals from an annuity belonging to the same victim
so he could finance his lavish lifestyle.
Disposition: License revoked. He was arrested and charged with financial exploitation of a disabled adult to which he was convicted.
Case: The Department received notification from
another state Department of Insurance that a customer representative was working
out of her home here in Florida for an agent located in Pennsylvania. She had
been licensed as a customer representative for many years; however, along with
working outside of an agency, her license expired as she failed to have a valid
appointment for 48 months. For months, the customer representative was
unlicensed while working out of her home. During the time that her license was
expired, it was revealed that she signed six applications for insurance that
were submitted to the insurance companies for coverage. She later applied for a
general lines license.
Disposition: License revoked and her application for the general lines license was denied. She is no longer eligible to apply for or hold a customer representative license.
Case: An investigation of a title agency
revealed that an individual at the agency mishandled escrow funds in excess of
$100,000, and placed said funds in an interest-bearing account without the
consent of the buyer or seller. Premiums were not remitted, in a timely manner,
to the title insurance company. It was also discovered that there were excessive
fees charged for title-related services as well as failure to properly maintain
Disposition: License surrendered for two years.
Case: An investigation of a customer
representative revealed that she told a consumer looking for auto coverage that
she was going to add her vehicle, and her as a driver, to her own personal auto
policy for a few months until the agency got with a cheaper insurance company
and would charge her $60 each month. The consumer made deposits directly into
the customer representative's personal bank account. A couple of months later
the consumer had an accident, totaling her car, and found that she had no
Disposition: License suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete six additional hours of continuing education covering ethics. If her license is reinstated after the suspension, it will be placed on probation for 12 months. She was arrested by the Division of Insurance Fraud. She pled to petit theft and was ordered to pay investigative costs and to make restitution to the consumer.
Case: An investigation of a life agent was
opened based on a complaint from an insurance company alleging she, as their
debit life agent, failed to remit nearly $2,000 in premiums she collected from
policyholders. The investigation included sworn statements from multiple
policyholders stating they paid their cash premium directly to the agent, none
of which ever made it to the insurance company.
Disposition: License suspended for 12 months.
Case: A complaint was received from a consumer
who discovered that he did not have homeowners insurance coverage in effect
after he suffered a loss. The investigation revealed that a customer
representative had issued certificates of insurance to the mortgage company
indicating that the insured had homeowners insurance coverage with an insurance
company for two policy terms. The agency bank account revealed that the premiums
for both policy terms were deposited into the agency bank account, but the
policies were not placed. The insured pursued this matter in civil court and the
case was settled for $22,500. The consumer was refunded $6,990.56, which
represented the premiums for two years. Lastly, the investigation revealed that
the owner/agent was operating the agency without a general lines agent in
full-time charge of the agency.
Disposition: The license of the customer representative was suspended for 12 months. The owner/agent and insurance agency's licenses were both suspended for three months.
Case: An investigation of a life & variable
annuity agent revealed that he was the subject of an administrative proceeding
by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He failed to report the
administrative action to the Department within 30 days after the final
disposition. He also failed to notify the Department within 30 days of a change
to his email address.
Disposition: License revoked.
Case: A referral was received from an insurance
company regarding a violation by a customer representative. Apparently, she had
misappropriated fiduciary funds collected in the normal course of business and
failed to notify the Department in writing within 30 days after a change of
contact information. The insurance company advised that the customer
representative admitted to using cash payments made by customers to pay her own
personal expenses. Approximately $1,689.29 was misappropriated by the
representative. No criminal charges were filed due to the fact that all funds
Disposition: License suspended for 12 months.