Published: Oct 20, 2011 10:39 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 20, 2011 11:36 PM EDT

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- A Port Charlotte insurance agent faces charges for allegedly selling fake boat insurance.

Jack Alexander, owner of Insurance Depot of Charlotte County and employee Kristin Decker-Hopkins, face third-degree felony charges for allegedly selling fake boat insurance to over 20 clients.

One of Insurance Depot's former clients tried to file a claim last year, only to find out the policy he bought wasn't legitimate.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater's agency investigated the crime.

"As insurance consumers, Floridians place trust in their insurance professional and these individuals deliberately broke that trust," Atwater said in a statement.

Alexander declined to go on-camera, but told WINK News he bought boat policies from Quebec-based International Water Safety Foundation for years and only found out they weren't legitimate, when the state pressed charges against him.

Alexander says he invested in the company after they solicited him and offered competitive prices for boat policies.

Fort Myers insurance agent Tim Shaw's been in the business for 37 years. He recommends consumers check the licensing of agents and insurance companies before buying in.

"If you're dealing with a reputable agent, you're dealing with someone who handles your family's insurance products, you probably don't have anything to worry about. But when you go price shopping, that's a different story. You could become the victim, real easy," Shaw said Thursday.

For more information on an insurance agent or company's licensing, visit