DFS Reminds Agencies of Name Requirements
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a reminder to prospective insurance agency licensees to use caution when selecting their agency names. DFS notes that by law, it may disapprove the use of any true or fictitious name, other than the bona fide name of an individual, if the name violates certain guidelines. Specifically, an agency name cannot:
◦ Mislead the public in any respect;
◦ Interfere with or be too similar to another name already being used by another agency or insurance company; or
◦ State or imply the agency is an insurer, motor club, hospital service plan, state or federal agency, charitable organization, or entity that primarily provides advice and counsel rather than selling or soliciting insurance, or is entitled to engage in insurance activities not permitted under the license you hold or have applied for.
Agencies are not prohibited from using the word “state” or “states” in their names because those terms, unto themselves, are not inherently deemed to imply that an insurance agency is a state agency. The statute governing DFS’ authority to regulate agency names is section 626.602, Florida Statutes.