Florida regulators this morning cracked down on two more travel agencies as part of their expanding investigation into illegal travel insurance. It brings the total number of companies charged with selling fake travel insurance to seven since January. More enforcement actions are believed to be on the way.
Notices of intent to issue a cease and desist orders were filed against Atlantis International Limited, a St. Petersburg, Fla., travel agency, and Cruises R Us of Plantation, Fla., which also used the name Cruisequick.com.
Uncovering a pattern of illegal travel insurance
Cruisequick is familiar to readers of this site. A few years ago, it allegedly sold another unauthorized travel policy to reader Don Filiault. Several states, including California and Florida, later issued a cease and desist order against his insurance company, Trip Assured.
If the current allegations against it are true, then Cruises R Us/Cruisequick sold illegal insurance after the cease and desist. (Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance.)
As for Atlantis, it hasn’t even bothered removing the references to Trip Assured from its Web site.
Florida’s charges against both companies are similar to those of leveled against other agencies since the beginning of the year — Ahoy Cruises of Jacksonville, Fla., JB Travel of Boynton Beach, Fla., St. Lucie West Travel of Port St. Lucie, Fla., Four Seasons Tours and Cruises in Largo, Fla., Diana’s Travel South of Spring Hill, Fla., and Sandra Demore.
The big questions now is: Did these agencies have something in common, other than that they were apparently selling fake insurance? Was there a middleman, and if so, who was it?
Stay tuned for the answer.