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Second Agent with Beck Insurance Agency Suspended

8/6/2004

CONTACT: Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842


JACKSONVILLE-In another case involving John Beck Insurance Inc., in Jacksonville, the Florida Department of Financial Services has suspended the insurance license of Anna Mack for aiding and abetting an unlicensed person in the sale of insurance and for selling a product without the consumer's informed consent, a tactic known as "sliding."

"Insurance agents who sell coverage without a license or sell coverage from an unlicensed insurance company jeopardize their customers' financial well-being," said Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the department. "These agents will be held accountable."

Investigators obtained evidence that Mack, 34, 8726 Atlantic Blvd., allowed an unlicensed employee of the insurance agency to sell insurance to a customer. The investigation also revealed that the 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. Mack was also found to have sold a product outside the scope of her license authority.

Based on this investigation, the department filed an administrative complaint, and administrative hearings were held in February and March of 2004. Following the proceedings, the department suspended Mack's insurance license for one year, to be followed by a two-year probation.

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."