Insurance broker out $2.6 mil in Florida

John O'Brien Jul. 17, 2007, 2:53pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The State of Florida and national insurance broker Willis Group Holdings have reached an agreement that will result in $2.6 million in reimbursement to consumers who alleged the company improperly collected undisclosed fees or commissions.

Willis will also be required to disclose all commissions in the state. The settlement concludes an investigation by Attorney General Bill McCollum's Antitrust Division and the Department of Financial Services.

"Honesty and accountability are of paramount importance in the insurance industry and the Attorney General's office will continue working to ensure such characteristics are in place," McCollum said. "I am pleased the agencies involved in today's settlement were able to achieve this success for the Florida entities due the reimbursements."

Willis denied any wrongdoing despite the settlement. McCollum alleges that Willis brokered several insurance contracts from 1999-2004 and unfairly charged the clients they represented.

The 14 clients who will be reimbursed are public entities. They are: Bay County School Board, Charlotte County Board of Commissioners, City of Haines City, City of Oldsmar, City of Safety Harbor, Collier County Government, Collier County School Board, Glades County Economic Development Council, Hendry County Economic Development Council, Hillsborough County School District, Orange County Public Schools, Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Pinellas County Schools and The Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Willis will also pay the costs of the investigation. A copy of the agreement can be found here.

Willis was also targeted by former New York Attorney General and current Gov. Eliot Spitzer, resulting in a $50 million agreement in 2005 that settled charges the company steered clients to insurance companies with which it had arrangements.

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New York Attorney General
99 Washington Square
Albany, NY 12205

State of Florida
400 S Monroe St
Tallahassee, FL 32301

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