Water Craft Insurer Ordered to Halt Fla. Operations; Agent Faces License Revocation

October 16, 2003

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has ordered a Canadian company to stop selling unauthorized insurance in the state, and a Venice agent is facing revocation of his license for reportedly selling the bogus coverage.

In an Immediate Final Order issued by Office of Insurance Regulation Director Kevin McCarty, North American Marine General Insurance Co., Ltd. (North American), has been ordered to stop transacting unauthorized coverage for personal watercraft, commercial charters, liability and towing. North American, with addresses in Canada and the Republic of Panama, reportedly has no authorization to transact insurance in Florida.

The reported bogus coverage was marketed through the International Water Safety Foundation (IWSF), of London, England and Quebec, Canada. IWSF also is reportedly not authorized to engage in the insurance business in Florida and also is ordered to stop marketing the product.

“It has come to my attention that this entity has not only been engaging in this illegal activity in Florida, but has also been ordered to cease the activity in other states,” said McCarty. “I consider them to be a danger to the public welfare.”

In a separate action, the Department of Financial Services issued an administrative complaint against Leonard LoCastro III, president of LoCastro Insurance Services, Inc., in Venice.

The complaint alleges LoCastro sold a policy to the owner of a jet ski rental business in Englewood. The policy was reportedly sold as a benefit of membership in the IWSF, and LoCastro was paid a referral fee. He faces suspension or revocation of his license, and could be held liable for any unpaid claims.

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