Volume 1 Number 47
November 22, 2004










TEXT VERSION

 


ELEVEN INSURANCE COMPANIES SUBPOENAED

Investigative subpoenas were issued to eleven insurance companies in Florida by state regulators and investigators. The subpoenas require insurance companies to submit records and documents related to their contractual relationships and commission arrangements.

“We need to determine if insurance companies and brokers are manipulating the law for financial gain rather than what is in the best interest of the insurance-buying public,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “We will certainly take immediate action if we uncover any evidence of bid-rigging, kickbacks or improper fees.”

Subpoenas were issued to: National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, PA; American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co.; Continental Casualty Co.; Lexington Insurance Co.; Scottsdale Insurance Co.; Federal Insurance Co.; Ace American Insurance Co.; Zurich American Insurance Co.; St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co.; State Farm Florida Insurance Co.; and Twin City Fire Insurance Co.

“The kinds of practices and problems recently uncovered elsewhere often increase the costs to businesses, and in the end, to consumers. We need to determine if that is the case here in Florida,” said Kevin McCarty, Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation. “If it is taking place, we need to rectify the situation.”

Gallagher applauded the coordinated efforts of the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Office of Insurance Regulation and the Attorney General’s Office.

Today’s subpoenas stem from a legal task force Gallagher established last month to investigate whether any of the activities outlined in New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s recent civil suit are taking place among insurance brokerages and companies in Florida. The suit alleges civil and criminal misconduct involving insurance brokers steering business to insurance companies for a commission.
 

The skyline for November is beautiful downtown Lakeland in Polk County.