Volume 1 Number 28
July 12, 2004










TEXT VERSION

 

JACKSONVILLE AGENT SUSPENDED FOR AIDING AND ABETTING UNLICENSED INSURANCE SALES AND “SLIDING”

The Florida Department of Financial Services has suspended the insurance license of Jennifer L. Faloon, of the John Beck Insurance agency in Jacksonville, for aiding and abetting an unlicensed person in the sale of insurance and for selling an insurance customer a non-insurance product without the customer’s informed consent.

“Insurance agents who sell coverage without a license or sell coverage from an unlicensed insurance company jeopardize their customers’ insurance,” said Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the department.  “We will hold these agents accountable for their actions, to protect Florida’s consumers.”

Department investigators obtained evidence that Faloon allowed an unlicensed employee of the insurance agency to transact insurance business with a customer.  The investigation also revealed that a customer was tricked into unknowingly purchasing a product besides the insurance policy, in this case a “towing and rental contract,” at an additional charge.  This offense, known as “sliding,” is considered an unfair and deceptive business practice. 

Based on this investigation, the department filed an administrative complaint and a hearing was held in February 2004.  Following recommendations by the administrative law judge, the Department issued a final order suspending the insurance license of Faloon for a period of nine months, followed by a two-year probation.

“It’s critical that consumers verify they are dealing with a licensed insurance agent and company,” Gallagher said.  “Verify Before You Buy.”

For more than three years, the department has conducted a statewide public education campaign urging Floridians to verify that they are dealing with a licensed insurance agent and company.  Consumers can call the department’s toll-free consumer helpline at 1-800-342-2762 to “Verify Before You Buy.”