WFSU News Team
Wed February 20, 2013
Senior Citizen Advocates Urge Lawmakers Not To Repeal Protections Against Life Insurance Fraud
A Florida lawmaker is hoping to persuade others in the Florida Legislature to reject any attempts to bolster a market that targets life insurance policies for older Floridians. A group of advocates for seniors and veterans are also spreading the word about making sure consumer protections remain in place against what’s called the “STOLI market.”
Republican Representative Bryan Nelson of Apopka says the Stranger originated Life insurance or STOLI market typically targets seniors over the age of 65 and encourages them to take out a large and unneeded life insurance policy. He says there have been several attempts in years past to take away protections against these “schemes” in state law. But they’ve been blocked by the Legislature before, and he hopes the same could be said again this year.
“We’ve got 120 members that we need to inform them about what it really does because it sounds good. They can get cash for their policies and it’s great for the seniors," said Nelson.
"But, it’s going to take the folks like in this room, and other members of the Legislature who are informed about the issue and say ‘ok, what does this really do?’”
“So, this session, our coalition is urging lawmakers to actively watch out for any proposed changes to the current law that would promote STOLI schemes and remove consumer protections that Florida seniors benefit from," added Paul Brawner, a life insurance agent.
"They’re vulnerable to predatory investment schemes and we need to be on the lookout for any schemes that would address that.”
Both Brawner and Representative Nelson fear there will be a late-filed amendment tucked into legislation in the late hours of the Legislative Session, which starts March 5th. It's estimated that more than half the states in the nation have laws in place to deter the life insurance fraud that targets senior citizens.
They made their remarks at a press conference Wednesday in the Florida Capitol and are all part of a coalition for senior advocates called STANDUP.
For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.