S.B. from Broward County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We purchased condo insurance thru an insurance agent that is now going out of business. Is the broker who sold us the policy responsible for this? Or are we out of luck with the premium? We paid in full for one year.
Mister Condo replies:
S.B., I am sorry you find yourself in this position. Nothing worse than giving your hard-earned money to a business that is no more. I need to ask you a few more questions before I can give you my friendly answer. My first question is the most obvious – the broker went out of business but did the underwriter? Brokers typically purchase your insurance for a period of time – typically a year as is your case and collect your premium to forward (less their commission) to the underwriter. Was the underwriter paid? If so, you still have insurance and this broker’s demise is not your problem. Did the broker take your money and not pay the underwriter? My understanding is that would be a criminal action. Brokers need licenses in the State of Florida and the Florida Chief Financial Officer oversees their actions and might be the place to complain if you have been swindled. Check out the online resource at https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/agents/licensure/general/. They also have a phone number for the Bureau of Investigation at 1-850-413-3136. Definitely worth a call. The bottom line is that if you don’t have insurance, you are likely in default of your mortgage provision to maintain insurance and even your condo by-laws that you maintain insurance so you may, in fact, have to purchase another policy ASAP. If you have been swindled, act now to get your money back but whatever you do, make sure you are properly covered. All the best!