That fake travel insurance story just won't go away.
Florida regulators today filed a revised notice of intent to issue a cease and desist order against Legendary Journeys, a Sarasota, Fla., travel agency, as part of its investigation into Prime Travel Protection. It appears to be the state's biggest action against a single company, with 17 counts and half a million dollars in outstanding claims, according to a government report.
Remember the Prime Travel Protection scandal? You know, the one involving fraudulent insurance policies, scores of denied claims and an investigation by state regulators?
What do the recent intents to file cease and desist orders by Florida against three travel agencies -- Vacation Superstore, Legendary Journeys and Palm Coast Travel -- mean for travelers? I asked Barry Resnick, who has become something of an expert on the sale of unauthorized travel protection insurance plans. Resnick's mother held a policy with Trip Assured, a Tennessee company that sold unauthorized trip protection plans, and I featured his comments in my MSNBC column last week.
Legendary Journeys apologizes for selling Prime Travel Protection policies, plans lawsuit against Watson
The state of Florida notified three large travel agencies earlier this week that insurance offered by Prime Travel Protection might be illegal. What does its actions mean for agencies and their customers, particularly those with policies underwritten by Prime Travel Protection and other companies owned by Jerry Watson? For an insider's view, I turned to Al Ferguson, a vice president at Legendary Journeys, one of the agencies named in the orders.
Florida has warned three travel agencies that sold insurance policies offered by bankrupt Prime Travel Protection Services of Arvada, Colo., that its activities may run afoul of state statues. State authorities on March 5 issued an intent to order a cease and desist against Port St. Lucie, Fla.-based Vacation Superstore, which operates Best Price Cruises; Sarasota, Fla.-based Legendary Journeys and Lake Worth, Fla.-based Palm Coast Travel, which owns the site Smartcruiser.com.
Kay Schroll says she lost $6,820 -- the price of two cruises -- when she bought travel insurance through Legendary Journeys, but then had to cancel her vacations for health reasons. Her case is just one of many that have landed on my desk since the bankruptcy of Prime Travel Protection, the Colorado company that offered these unlicensed policies.