Pennsylvania regulators announced on Thursday their quarterly enforcement actions for the 2012 first quarter.
The Pennsylvania insurance department said its office of market regulation closed 27 enforcement actions and market conduct examinations and 3,211 written consumer complaint and inquiries in the first quarter. The department also collected more than $71,000 in penalties and fines, as well as over $3.4 million in restitution.
The regulators explained that action is taken after an investigation reveals violations of Pennsylvania laws or regulations, or after the completion of a market conduct examination. Enforcement actions conclude with the issuance of a consent order, a settlement agreement or an order and adjudication.
The results of the market actions are as follows:
• Fourteen insurance licenses were suspended, revoked or surrendered to the department.
• Eleven licenses were placed under various periods of supervision.
• One waiver was issued, placing an individual under indefinite supervision due to a prior felony conviction.
The reasons for the actions were the result of companies and/or individuals engaging in following activities:
• Lying on license applications or renewal forms;
• Using fake insurance contracts;
• Misappropriating funds from client accounts;
• Forging or altering signatures of policyholder applications;
• Failing to disclose prior felony and misdemeanor convictions;
• Doing business with an unlicensed individual or entity;
• Delaying the approval or denial for medical claims;
• Failing to keep health insurance claimants apprised of claims status;
• Failing to return unearned premium; and/or
• Overcharging auto premiums by not using approved rates.
The department also said that, during the first quarter, it was the lead agency in a multi-state exam of Prudential, involving payment of death benefits to beneficiaries of life policies. The settlement requires Prudential to pay $1.1 million to Pennsylvania and to implement stricter search requirements to find beneficiaries.
A comprehensive list of enforcement actions taken by the department is available online in the consumer protection section at www.insurance.pa.gov.
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