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: Despite being ordered by the Department to
pay an administrative penalty of $20,000 and comply with a three-month
suspension for misrepresentation, a life and health agent remained undeterred.
In fact, it was business as usual until the Department conducted a follow-up
inspection of his agency. It was then that the Department learned he was still
soliciting insurance business and discussing coverage with clients and
underwriters. Those were just a few of the many activities the agent continued
to participate in and all required an active license.
Disposition: License was suspended an additional three months.
Case: During an investigation into possible
unlicensed activity by an agency owner who applied for an agency license after
the original license expired, investigators discovered the designated agent in
charge (AIC) had never worked at the agency. The designated AIC was not aware
that her name was listed as the AIC of the agency, and confirmed that she had
not given authorization to anyone to use her name for that purpose or to
transact insurance business. Several consumers confirmed that the person they
purchased insurance from at the agency was, in fact, the unlicensed agency
Disposition: License of the agency was revoked. The agency owner has been charged with organized Fraud, Grand theft, acting as an Insurance agent without a license, fraudulently using personal identification and insurance claims fraud, all felonies.
Case: A Customer Representative (CR)
misappropriated policyholder premiums and embezzled funds from her employer
totaling more than $15,000. The CR was entrusted with making the agency’s bank
deposits for a number of years and had possession of three signed blank agency
checks to be used for emergencies. The CR became involved in a romance scam with
a person from another country and bought him an iPhone and other items. When he
needed money for a "short time" the CR used the agency’s petty cash funds,
misappropriated customer cash payments, and used the three "emergency" checks to
embezzle funds from her employer.
Disposition: License revoked and ordered to pay $16,296 in restitution. She was also arrested by the Division of Insurance Fraud and charged with Grand Theft.
Case: In the course of investigating a complaint
against a non-resident life, health and variable annuity agent, investigators
discovered the agent had failed to report a prior administrative action taken
Disposition: Fined $3,000 and placed on probation for one year.
Case: A general lines agent operated a
nonadmitted surety company, an unlicensed entity. The Florida Insurance Code
prohibits the operation of unauthorized entities. The Department found the agent
demonstrated a lack of knowledge and technical competence to engage in the
Disposition: License revoked.
Case: A general lines agent, who was also an
owner and agent in charge of the agency, submitted a homeowners application
without the knowledge, consent, or true signatures of the named insureds. The
consumer contacted the agency twice to discuss replacement coverage for their
non-renewing homeowners policy but never received a satisfactory response so
they decided to obtain coverage elsewhere. The consumer's escrow account was
debited twice to pay for the policy they purchased and the one the general lines
agent procured without their knowledge.
Disposition: Fined $5,000 and placed on probation for one year.
Case: The department became aware that a life,
health and variable annuity agent had been barred by the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for impersonating a customer to obtain access to
the customer’s account and making a false statement to his firm to further the
impersonation scheme. The customer’s account balance fell from $3 million to
$629,000. The agent failed to notify the department of this action being taken
Disposition: License revoked.
Case: A judgment was issued against a bail bond
agent after he executed a bond and the defendant failed to appear in court. The
bail bond agent failed to pay the judgment when due and continued to execute
bail bonds for several weeks before paying the judgment violating Florida
Statutes by executing bonds with an unpaid judgement.
Case: A consumer entered into a contract with a
public adjuster and her adjusting firm to handle a homeowners insurance claim.
When the insurance company issued the settlement check, it was payable to
multiple parties, including the adjusting firm. The consumer gave the check to
the public adjuster to obtain the required endorsements to allow the consumer to
negotiate the check. The public adjuster never returned the check to the
consumer. After several fruitless attempts to get the check returned, the
consumer contacted the insurance company and was told that the check was cashed.
The consumer immediately contacted the public adjusting firm demanding payment
and was told the firm had no money to pay her. After the firm learned that the
consumer filed a complaint with the Department, the firm paid the
Disposition: Suspended for three months. The formerly licensed public adjuster can apply for reinstatement following the suspension but is required to retake and pass the pubic adjuster exam first.