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Terry Bollea sues insurance broker for 'malpractice'

Terry Bollea’s lawyer calls this a case of “broker malpractice.”

Terry Bollea’s lawyer calls this a case of “broker malpractice.”

Professional wrestler Terry Bollea, a.k.a. Hulk Hogan, is suing his insurance broker, saying the company did not provide him an umbrella policy that would have protected his net worth after the accident that injured his son's friend, John Graziano.

Bollea who lives in Pinellas County, has filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

Bollea, had third-party auto liability insurance with a $250,000 limit per person injured, but that itself was not the problem, said his attorney, Wil Florin. The problem was that Wells Fargo should have recommended the umbrella policy, he said.

Florin said it's well understood that a person with a high net worth should have an umbrella policy that provides liability insurance above and beyond their other policies, such as auto insurance. Insurance brokers are required by law to advise clients about such issues, Florin said.

"The layman's way to put it is, this is broker malpractice," he said.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said officials had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

Although it's commonly known that wealthy people need to protect their assets, Bollea did not realize he needed an umbrella policy, Florin said.

"He delegated all of that to the trust of his insurance broker."

Didn't Bollea have a personal responsibility to investigate on his own what he needed to do to protect his multimillion-dollar net worth?

"Not if you put your trust in your broker," Florin said.

"This isn't a personal responsibility case," Florin said. "This is a professional responsibility case."

In a highly publicized 2007 accident, Bollea's son, Nick Bollea crashed his Toyota Supra into a palm tree during a street race in Clearwater. Nick's friend and passenger, Graziano, suffered catastrophic injuries.

Bollea recently paid a confidential settlement in that case. He is seeking to recover the money he was "unnecessarily required to pay as a result of the defendant's negligence," Florin's law firm said in a statement.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at (727) 893-8232 or ckrueger@sptimes.com.

Terry Bollea sues insurance broker for 'malpractice' 04/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 23, 2010 10:00am]
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