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CFO Sink Notifies Travel Agencies to Stop Representing Unauthorized Travel Insurers

3/12/2009

CONTACT: Nina Banister or Jayme O’Rourke
                (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE–As a result of ongoing investigations into complaints about the sale of unauthorized travel insurance in Florida, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has notified three travel agencies that she intends to order them to stop selling insurance on behalf of Colorado-based Prime Travel Protection Services, Inc. and any other unlicensed travel insurer. Prime Travel Protection Services, Inc. was run by Jerry Watson in Colorado.
 
Sink issued legal notices to Palm Coast Travel, of Lake Worth; Vacation Superstore Network, Inc., DBA Best Price Cruises, of Port St. Lucie; and Legendary Journeys, Inc., of Sarasota, charging that they violated state law by selling insurance for Prime Travel, which is not licensed in Florida to sell insurance.  The travel agencies have 21 days from the receipt of the Notice to respond. Other travel agencies are currently under investigation and may be named for selling this product. 
 
Travel insurance can protect consumers against costs from unforeseeable circumstances, including trip cancellation, early return and emergency medical needs.  Sink advises consumers to get confirmation that the insurer providing travel insurance protection is licensed by the State of Florida (Office of Insurance Regulation) before purchasing the product. 
 
Consumers should also read the fine print before making a purchase, as the policies often contain exclusions for coverage, and obtain a schedule of benefits and a certificate of coverage.  If the insurer providing travel insurance coverage is not licensed, claims may not be honored.  
 
Floridians are encouraged to “verify before they buy” and contact the Department of Financial Services with any insurance questions or concerns.  To verify licensure or to file a complaint, log on to www.MyFloridaCFO.com or call 1-877-My-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).