Titular de Insurance Insights
Volume 4, No. 2 - February 2015

Noticias Útiles

- Updating you on what's going on

Arresto de 11 Contratistas Sin Licencia de Varias Agencias en Operación Encubierta en el Condado de Manatee

The Florida Department of Financial Services announced the recent arrest of 11 individuals in Manatee County for unlicensed contracting and engaging in construction work without workers’ compensation insurance. The Division of Insurance Fraud, in partnership with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Holmes Police Department and Manatee County Code Enforcement executed the sting over a three-day period, calling for contractors to perform services at an uninhabited home in Manatee County.
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El Departamento de Servicios Financieros de la Florida Anuncia Resolución Final en el Caso de Estafa Hipotecaria por $35 Millones en Florida Central

Una investigación conjunta realizada por la División de Fraude de Seguros de la Florida y la Oficina Federal de Investigaciones, que luego fue procesada por la Oficina del Fiscal del Estado para el Distrito Central de la Florida, culminó esta semana con la restitución final solicitada de más de $12 millones y sentencias para James Sotolongo, Christopher Mencis y Stephanie Musselwhite por participar en una estafa hipotecaria que defraudó a prestamistas por más de $35 millones.
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El Departamento de Servicios Financieros de la Florida Está Preparado para Asistir a los Consumidores Afectados por Filtración de Datos de Anthem

In response to a cyber security breach of the national health insurance company Anthem Inc., the Florida Department of Financial Services has taken proactive steps to provide consumer information regarding potential scams that may arise as a result of the data breach. The Department’s Consumer Helpline, which provides consumer information on insurance-related matters, has taken measures to accommodate anticipated higher call volumes and has added information on the breach to its Consumer Alerts web page.
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El Departamento de Servicios Financieros Anuncia el Arresto de Agente de Fianzas de Orange Park

The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud announced the arrest of an Orange Park bail bondsman after an agency investigation revealed that David Gartenbush, Jr. allegedly engaged in illegal activity by acting as a bail bondsman without an active license. In addition to being charged with unlicensed activity, charges of false imprisonment and aggravated assault have also been filed against him. Two others were charged with assisting him and the agency's Division of Agent & Agency Services will be suspending their professional licenses.
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El Departamento de Servicios Financieros Anuncia Revocación de Licencia y Multa de $140,000 a Agente de Seguros de Fort Myers por Tergiversaciones que Sufrieron Adultos Mayores de la Florida

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the revocation of Fort Myers insurance agent Gregory Sample’s license after an investigation revealed that Sample engaged in unethical and illegal business practices that ultimately duped several of his clients, most of whom are seniors, to lose money from their annuity contracts. In addition to having his license revoked, the action will render Sample permanently barred from both direct and indirect participation of any kind in the insurance industry and ordered to pay a $140,000 fine. The Division of Administrative Hearings determined that he made willful misrepresentations and is not trustworthy. Sample has appealed the ruling.
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Unfair Insurance Trade Practices - Sliding Travel Insurance

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“Office”) recently issued an informational memorandum reminding insurers of the Florida Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act ("Act") and its requirement that insurers refrain from engaging in practices that constitute unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices, including the act of "sliding."

The Office has been made aware that some insurers, offering travel insurance through retail travel agencies in conjunction with travel purchases made via websites, require consumers to opt out of purchasing ancillary travel insurance by deselecting a radio button or check box. If a consumer does not deselect the insurance offering on the website, the cost of the coverage is automatically added to the consumer’s total purchase.

"Sliding" is defined in the Act as "charging an applicant for a specific coverage or product, in addition to the cost of the insurance coverage applied for, without the informed consent of the applicant." The practice of automatically charging consumers for ancillary travel insurance unless consumers take action to decline coverage does not comply with the requirement of "informed consent." Consumers must be given the opportunity to affirmatively accept travel insurance or any other insurance coverage.

Insurers are liable for the actions of agents and others selling their products that engage in sliding, or otherwise fail to comply with the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act.
Click here to read the informational memorandum >>

Make Sure You Don't Miss Important Information From Us

We highly recommend that licensees routinely check their Mi Perfil account(s) for messages from the Department. We send an email notification at the same time to remind you to check your Mi Perfil account but on rare occasions you may not receive that email. For that reason, we suggest you add our domain MyFloridaCFO.com to your email software's Trusted or Safe Senders List to ensure you are able to receive email notifications from us. Licensees who have a valid email address on file with the Department, as required by law, are sent important email notifications when something that affects their application, license, continuing education, or appointment(s) occurs. Additionally, we will keep you informed with warnings regarding new schemes and scams being marketed to licensees. You can update your contact information through your Mi Perfil account. We want to keep you informed in a timely manner of pertinent information. You are still required to abide by the Florida Insurance Code regardless of whether you read the information we provide or attempt to provide.