Volume 4 Number 38
September 21, 2007


The Florida Financial Services Commission, which is comprised of Gov. Charlie Crist and members of the Cabinet, adopted a Rule proposed by Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty that will protect active duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces from dishonest and predatory insurance sales practices in Florida.

This new Rule defines as deceptive behavior the solicitation of soldiers by insurers to purchase life insurance coverage. In the multi-state case, the insurer solicited soldiers on base urging them to purchase more life insurance when in fact nearly all soldiers already had $250,000 in low-cost life insurance provided and partially subsidized by the federal government.

“Florida was part of a $70 million multi-state settlement last year against a Texas-based company accused of improper sales of insurance and investment products to U.S. military personnel,” McCarty said. “We want to make sure we have the appropriate regulations in place to prevent this from happening again to Florida residents.”

The adoption of the Florida Rule follows the creation of a similar Model Law adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in June that states may adopt to prohibit the same behavior. Florida’s Rule, however, goes further than the NAIC Model Law in that it applies to every active duty service member, regardless of rank and has a broader definition of active duty than the NAIC model.

“It is truly unthinkable that some would use misleading sales tactics upon our brave military men and women,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “I am proud to implement these rules today to increase protections for Florida’s servicemen and women, who deserve to receive only the best financial services and products.”

A copy of the complete Rule is available for your review.

About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. Business units within the Office are organized based on regulatory expertise and include the areas of life and health, property and casualty, specialty lines and other regulated insurance entities. It is within the Office that the mission of public protection is implemented through regulatory oversight of insurance company solvency, policy forms and rates, market conduct performance and new company entrants to the Florida market.