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Division Director

Greg Thomas

Insurance Agent and Agency Services
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0318
Bureau of Licensing
(850) 413-3137
Bureau of Investigation
(850) 413-3136

Industry Warning: Automobile Dealerships

Recently, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has uncovered increased instances of unlicensed insurance transactions by automobile dealership personnel. Along with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, DFS is providing this informational notice on the legal requirements regarding insurance transactions.

It is illegal to solicit or transact automobile insurance at dealership locations without possessing a property and casualty license or a personal lines agent license. Last year, the unlicensed transaction of insurance was elevated to a third degree felony. In addition to the possibility of the unlicensed person(s) facing felony charges for transacting insurance without a license, the dealership could jeopardize any licenses that have been issued by the DFS, such as a warranty or service agreement license, for allowing personnel to engage in the unlicensed transaction of insurance. DON’T SELL INSURANCE ILLEGALLY

Below are important Florida statutes on this topic:

  • Section 624.11(a), Florida Statutes, states, “No person shall transact insurance in this state, or relative to a subject of insurance resident, located, or to be performed in this state, without complying with the applicable provisions of [the] code.”
  • Section 626.112(1)(a) Florida Statutes states, “No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold himself or herself out to be an insurance agent … unless he or she is currently licensed by the department and appointed by an appropriate appointing entity or person. ...”
  • Section 626.112(1)(b) Florida Statutes states in part, “the solicitation of insurance is the attempt to persuade any person to purchase an insurance product by:
  1. Describing the benefits or terms of insurance coverage, including premiums or rates of return;
  2. Distributing an invitation to contract to prospective purchasers;
  3. Making general or specific recommendations as to insurance products;
  4. Completing orders or applications for insurance products;
  5. Comparing insurance products, advising as to insurance matters, or interpreting policies or coverages; …”
  • Section 626.112(9) states, “Any person who knowingly transacts insurance or otherwise engages in insurance activities in this state without a license in violation of this section commits a felony of the third degree. …”

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If you have any questions, please contact the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Agent and Agency Services, Bureau of Licensing Helpline: 1-850-413-3137.