Florida Office Of Insurance Regulation Issues Immediate Final Order
Contact: Valerie Beynon, APR
Tallahassee – Florida Insurance Regulation Commissioner Kevin McCarty issued an immediate final order to a Graham, Washington company to immediately cease operations in Florida. The Global Healing Society has been selling auto bonds as a substitute for auto insurance. Global Healing is unlicensed and unauthorized to transact bond or insurance business in Florida.
Global Healing's activities were uncovered when the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation became aware of certain websites allegedly belonging to the group offering potential buyers the ability to purchase a bond through its group in order to satisfy the Financial Responsibility Laws of various states, including Florida. By purchasing an "AutoBond," any claim made as a result of an accident would be considered paid by Global Healing depending on whether enough purchasers were in place.
"Although the websites claimed that the AutoBond was not insurance, the product considered paying a claim upon determinable contingencies," McCarty said. Florida law defines insurance as a contract whereby one undertakes to indemnify another or pay or allow a specified amount or a determinable benefit upon determinable contingencies.
The company sold several bonds to new immigrants especially in the Haitian community in South Florida. According to the company, over 1050 bonds have been sold nationwide with 425 of these sold in Florida.
As recently as February 2005, a driver involved in a traffic accident in Broward County produced an AutoBond as proof of financial responsibility.
In issuing the cease and desist order against Global Healing, Commissioner McCarty, urged all Florida businesses and consumers to make sure any company selling insurance products are authorized to operate in Florida: "By making a simple check, customers can be assured they are receiving the consumer protections and solvency standards required of authorized companies."
The Department of Financial Services advises consumers to "Verify Before You Buy." Prior to any transaction, consumers and agents are urged to call the department's consumer helpline at 1-800-342-2762 or visit www.fldfs.com
to be sure an insurance company is authorized to conduct insurance business in Florida.