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Life Health > Life Insurance

Sunshine State Alleges Military Sales Violations

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Florida insurance regulators are asking 2 life insurers about solicitations of business from U.S. military personnel.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has issued an “order to show cause” to American Fidelity Life Insurance Company, Pensacola, Fla., and Trans World Assurance Company, San Mateo, Calif.

In the order, which requires the insurers named to show why Florida should not suspend their right to do business in Florida, regulators allege that American Fidelity or Trans World may have sold insurance products to U.S. military personnel in December 2007 and January 2008 after offering prizes, such as Xbox video game systems, valued at over $25.

Florida regulators also say one company, or both companies:

- Employed a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps as a driver who used his military identification to gain access to the military base to pick up military personnel and take them to the companies’ offices.

- Misrepresented that they were affiliated with the U.S. military in the sale of their insurance products.

Marilyn Hess, president of American Fidelity, says the company has not seen any documentation of the allegations in the order to show cause.

At this point, “we don’t believe we have an agent who sells at the site that they’re talking about,” Hess says. “We have had no complaints about this prior to this.”

Hess says American Fidelity handles administrative work for Trans World but is a separate company and cannot speak for Trans World.

Representatives for Trans World were not immediately available to comment on the Florida order.

In September 2007, the Florida Financial Services Commission adopted military sales practices regulations similar to those outlined in a model law adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., in June 2007, Florida officials say.

The Florida rules apply to all active-duty service members and use a broader definition of “active duty” than the definition that the NAIC model uses, officials say.


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