Washington Insurance Commissioner Fines State Farm, Others

February 20, 2017

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in January totaling $15,000 against insurance companies, agents and brokers for violating state insurance regulations.

Following are the entities, the fines and Kreidler’s reasoning for issuing those fines:

State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., Bloomington, Ill.; fined $10,000

State Farm failed to notify 151 farm-ranch homeowner policyholders that flood damage was not covered by their policies. The company also failed to notify 141,001 people who purchased homeowner, renter, condominium unit or manufactured home policies, but later provided notification when the policies renewed.

Health Alliance Northwest Health Plan, Wenatchee, Wash.; fined $5,000

Washington law requires health carriers to indemnify certain healthcare services with an insurance policy, bond, securities or cash deposit. The company allowed the surety bond it was using to meet this requirement to lapse and did not replace it with another form of indemnity until the insurance commissioner contacted the company. It ultimately corrected the problem by depositing funds in a special trust account that met the indemnity requirement.

Walmart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark.; ordered to cease and desist

Walmart sold tire warranties to consumers without being a registered service contract provider. It sold 112,561 warranties worth $1.1 million to Washington consumers from June 2014 through July 2016. As of the date of this order, the company has not yet registered as a service contract provider in Washington and has stopped selling the warranty to Washington consumers.

Thomas C. Johnson, Tacoma, Wash.; issued probationary license

Johnson applied for a Washington insurance producer’s license in October 2016 to sell life insurance. He disclosed two military offenses in 2005 on his application. The probationary license means he must be accompanied by another licensed insurance agent or broker anytime he meets with a client; he must submit a list of clients he met with quarterly to the insurance commissioner; and his license will be revoked if he violates any insurance or state laws other than minor traffic violations.

Since 2001, Kreidler’s office has reportedly assessed $21.9 million in fines, which are deposited in the state’s general fund.

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Insurance Journal West February 20, 2017
February 20, 2017
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