Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. last week paid a $4.3 million fine to the state of Florida's insurance department following an investigation in which MetLife sales agents were found to have used deceptive sales practices in selling whole life insurance policies.
Nationally, MetLife has been fined $20 million by a total of 47 states for similar practices, said a Florida insurance department spokesman. Florida will receive the largest share, the spokesman said.
In addition, state regulators have ordered MetLife to pay as much as $76 million in restitution to 60,000 policyholders.
Since 1987, 18,000 nurses in 38 states bought the "MetLife Nurses' Guaranteed Retirement Savings Program." The nurses paid about $20 million for the program, which they were led to believe was a lucrative retirement plan.
The policies were likened by sales representatives to money market accounts. Authorities said that, in effect, they were less-desirable life insurance policies (Nov. 1, 1993, p. 64).