Liberty National Life Insurance could have its license suspended or revoked in Florida for refusing to write life policies based on nationality or travel to certain countries, state insurance regulators said Thursday.
Investigators from Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation spent nearly five months reviewing life insurance policy applications from Florida residents and found that consumers of Haitian descent were more likely than others to have their applications denied.
The OIR order to Liberty National gives the company 21 days to provide proof that it didn't violate state laws that prohibit discrimination.
Liberty National, based in Birmingham, Ala., didn't return a call from The Miami Herald asking for comment on Thursday's order.
According to OIR's order, 52.6 percent of Haitian applicants were denied compared to 18.2 percent of other foreign-born applications. For instance, although Liberty National's life insurance application asks if consumers have lived in the United States for more than a year, it applied a selective 10-year residency requirement to customers born in certain countries such as Haiti or Colombia.
Applicants with plans to travel to such countries as Haiti, Liberia or Honduras were also denied.
Investigators reviewed some 7,000 applications and found 1,149 violations, including 1,053 involving discriminatory practices.
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