Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Insurers, Bankers Eye Insurance Regulations

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Insurers, Bankers Eye Insurance Regulations

Article excerpt

Some insurance agents think it is going to take a year for

regulators, and the insurance and banking industries to sort out

what the rules should be for insurance sales in branches by

banks.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this summer that

Jacksonville-based Barnett Banks Inc. -- and by extension other

banks -- could sell insurance.

The banks' basic position is that there are already plenty of

consumer protection rules in place that would cover insurance

sales and so not many new ones, if any, are needed.

Meanwhile, insurance agents want to make sure that banks don't

get an unfair advantage in pitching new business since they have

access to the customer information from loan applications.

Herb Morgan, executive director of the Florida Association of

Life Underwriters, said the process will take about a year to

get all the parties involved in agreement.

And he also pointed to what he thinks is an additional need for

more rules.

The banks need them for their own self-protection.

His reasoning?

In today's litigation-happy society the banks need rules to

follow so they can demonstrate -- in a courtroom if need be --

that they are following all the rules. And watching the banks'

every move will be thousands of insurance agents across the

state.

In the meantime, Barnett Banks is test marketing insurance

sales using direct mail and telemarketing, which it can do

legally without the new rules.

First Union National Bank of Florida must be pleased with how

its marketing battle for the Florida consumer is going.

Eighteen months after joining Jacksonville-based First Union

National Bank of Florida to head up the bank's marketing efforts

in the tightly contested Florida market, Debra Clark has been

promoted from vice president to senior vice president and

director of marketing. …

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