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Gallagher Bans Miami Agent for Fraudulently Providing Insurance Certificate to Accident Victim

4/19/2006

CONTACT: Bob Lotane
(850) 413-2842        
   
 TALLAHASSEE – Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer, has revoked the license of a Miami area insurance agent who sold a fraudulent certificate of insurance to a woman who was subsequently injured in a car accident.   Francois Noel, 46, of North Miami, has been banned from selling insurance in Florida. 
 
"My heart goes out to this victim.  She sustained serious injuries in a car crash and learned from a hospital bed that the insurance she paid for was bogus," said Gallagher.  "It is reprehensible to me that this poor victim is facing unpaid medical bills and lost wages as a result of this agent's actions."
 
Investigators from the Department of Financial Services found that Noel not only took money for coverage he did not place with an insurance company, he was not even authorized to sell insurance for the company from which he wrote the phony certificate.  An appeal of the charges to a state court has been denied.  
 
"This is a tragic reminder that it may not be enough to review the documents, you may need to follow up with the insurance company to ensure coverage is in place," Gallagher said. "Also, never pay in cash and never write a check to the insurance agent or agency.  Always make the check payable to the insurance company that will provide the coverage."
 
The Department of Financial Services, Division of Agent and Agency Services, investigates insurance agents and agencies concerning violations of the Florida insurance regulations. Anyone with information or questions about this case should call the department's Consumer Assistance Hotline at 1-800-342-2762.