Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of the Office
– Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled in favor of the Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) in its litigation with Coventry First, LLC, (Coventry) Florida. The Court affirmed the right of the Office to review non-Florida related records for viatical providers. The Office sought a full review of all of the company’s records to determine which files were subject to Florida laws, not just those files asserted by Coventry.
Coventry entered into litigation with the Office over the issue of whether Section 626.9922, Florida Statutes, allowed the Office to examine non-Florida books and records, or whether this legal authority was limited to Florida-only records.
"This is a win for consumers. I commend the diligent work of our attorneys to protect consumers by ensuring companies comply with Florida's insurance regulations," stated Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. "The Court’s findings have ramifications for all viatical providers operating in Florida."
Historically, viatical settlement providers purchased life insurance policies from terminally ill policyholders who needed to cash in their life insurance policies to pay for medical expenses. However, the industry has been evolving to include elderly people, or people who simply desire to cash in their life insurance policies for financial reasons. In both cases, the viatical providers pay a policyholder a portion of the policy’s face value in exchange for becoming the policyholder’s life insurance beneficiary.
There are presently 14 licensed viatical settlement providers operating in Florida.