Washington Issues Multiple Enforcement Actions

The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner has initiated the following enforcement actions:

* Issued a $150,000 fine ($75,000 suspended) against Western National Assurance Co., Edina, Minn., for multiple violations discovered during the course of a market conduct examination covering a one-year period ending June 30, 2004. Violations included the use of unapproved rates that resulted in the company refunding $61,048 in premium overcharges to policyholders. Western National writes property, casualty, vehicle, surety and marine transportation insurance.

* Reinstated a previously revoked certificate of authority for SCOR Life US Re Insurance Co., Addison, Texas, imposing a $14,800 penalty.

* Fined Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Oregon, Portland, $14,000 fine for failing to renew seven small group policies in Skamania and Klickitat counties in violation of state law.

* Fined KPS Health Plans, Bremerton, $8,000 ($6,000 suspended) for improperly reducing preventative care and well-baby care coverage to policyholders without proper notification in violation of state law. The insurer also agreed to execute a compliance plan to improve its regulatory compliance, including the hiring of special consultants to assist and advise the company.

* Levied a $500 fine against insurance agent Michael J. Eriksson, Edmonds, for multiple violations including, commingling premium monies with personal and business funds, failing to deposit insurance premiums properly and failing to pay return premiums to consumers when due.

* Fined insurance agent Nancy M. Sotendahl, Concord, Calif., $500 for failing to respond to a request for a replacement fingerprint card.

* Revoked an insurance adjuster’s license for Elisa M. Kissinger of Spokane, for failing to respond to an inquiry concerning past criminal history.

* Fined Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore., $250 for issuing charitable gift annuities before receiving a certificate of exemption.

Source: Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner