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Fla. Alleges Discrimination

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Florida insurance regulators have accused a life insurer of violating state laws prohibiting discrimination based on travel plans and national origin.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has issued an order asking Liberty National Life Insurance Company, Birmingham, Ala., a unit of Torchmark Corp., McKinney, Tex., to respond to the allegations within 21 days.

Investigators from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation found 1,053 apparent violations when they reviewed 7,000 life applications at Liberty National’s Birmingham offices from June 23, 2008, to Nov. 14, 2008, Florida officials say.

The majority of the alleged violations involve Section 626.9541 of Florida’s Unfair Practices law, which concerns refusals to sell life insurance policies based on national origin, potential lawful travel, and citizenship, officials say.

Many of the individuals affected by the alleged violations were of Haitian descent, officials say.

Torchmark has no comment, because it has not yet seen the order or a report on the results of the market conduct investigation, a company spokesman says.


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