Looks as if the unlicensed insurance scandal — that’s right, the one that got me sued for defamation earlier this year — isn’t over yet.
As I reported earlier this week, Florida appeared to conclude its investigation with a surprise consent order against Revelex, an online booking company.
But now Revelex, as well as several individuals and travel agencies who are alleged to have been involved in the sale of these unlicensed insurance products are on the receiving end of a class action lawsuit (PDF) filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court (case number BC447277).
The list of defendants is long, but it includes some names that will be familiar to readers of this site, including Prime Travel Protection, Smart Travel Group and Vacation Superstore Network, as well as their principals.
The case, which has been filed by Edwin Stewart Trebbe and seeks class action status, alleges certain companies named in his suit knowingly sold a “phony travel insurance policy”. Trebbe, a California resident, bought a Prime Travel Protection policy and claims that he suffered a loss covered under the terms of the plan “and has made a claim for benefits thereunder which has not been paid in full,” according to the complaint. Others are alleged to have been negligent in selling what they should have known was a phony product, the suit also says.
Read more “Victims of unlicensed travel insurance strike back in class action suit”
Florida’s campaign to stop unlicensed travel insurance appears to be at a crossroads. State regulators yesterday sent a two-count notice to Vacation Superstore Network/Best Price Cruises, with the by-now familiar charges: selling travel insurance without a required license, employing agents who didn’t have the necessary paperwork, and, of course, identifying customers who were affected by the alleged purchase of unlicensed insurance.
Here’s the document (PDF).
Read more “Prime Travel Protection investigation at crossroads after Vacation Superstore/Best Price Cruises filing”
It’s our turn.
Almost three months after filing a lawsuit against one of its customers and me, our lawyers have answered Palm Coast Travel’s charges in two separate motions for dismissal.
Here’s Peter Lay’s motion (PDF); here’s mine (PDF).
Read more “Motions to dismiss Palm Coast Travel lawsuit filed with court”
Looks like Palm Coast Travel, the Boca Raton, Fla., agency accused by the state of Florida of selling unauthorized travel insurance, while at the same time trying to sue one of its own customers and me into silence, has quietly negotiated a settlement with insurance regulators.
Under the agreement (PDF), which was signed today, Palm Coast Travel, which also does business online as Smartcruiser.com, has agreed to cease and desist selling unauthorized insurance and will pay a $2,500 fine as well as restitution to its customers affected by the purchase of an unauthorized insurance policy. It will be placed on 18 months’ probation and has agreed not to sell unauthorized insurance in the future.
The consent order is practically identical to a draft settlement agreement (PDF) that has been circulating between Palm Coast Travel and insurance regulators since last summer, and which I obtained after filing a public records request.
Read more “Palm Coast Travel fined $2,500 and placed on probation for selling unauthorized travel insurance”
A fresh round of public records released by the state of Florida’s Department of Financial Service this morning reveals the number of consumer complaints against travel agencies alleged to have sold illegal travel insurance, as well as the claims paid and their estimated value.
Palm Coast Travel had just three claims worth $27,787 — far below those of other large travel agencies such as Vacation Superstore (33 claims worth $131,061) and Legendary Journeys (174 claims worth $503,957). That figure suggests Palm Coast Travel, which also does business as Smartcruiser.com, aggressively moved to settle claims related to its alleged sale of illegal Prime Travel Protection products even before Florida regulators stepped in.
Read more “Internal report shows Palm Coast Travel had $27,787 in outstanding travel insurance claims”