Washington Commissioner Fines Pet Insurer $25K

April 16, 2019

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in March totaling $158,000 against insurance companies, agents and brokers for violating state insurance regulations, including one fine of $25,000 levied against a pet insurer.

Fines issued last month from Kreidler’s office included:

Insurance companies

United States Fire Insurance Co., Wilmington, Del.; fined $25,000

United States Fire Insurance Co. sells pet insurance under the brand name ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. In 2016, Kreidler fined the company $50,000 for several law violations, including charging customers the wrong rate, selling policies through unlicensed producers, issuing incorrect policy forms to customers and not disclosing the underwriter’s name to customers. At the time, Kreidler suspended $25,000 of the fine as long as the company followed a compliance plan to correct the violations.

Kreidler determined that the company has violated the compliance plan and is levying the remaining $25,000 fine. As recently as November 2018, the company continues to let unlicensed producers sell its pet insurance product and is selling pet insurance through an unappointed marketing website, www.policygenius.com, according to the commissioner’s office.

Kreidler fined the following insurance companies for violating state insurance laws and rules:

  • Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., Fort Wayne, Ind.; fined $100,000
  • IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co., De Pere, Wisc.; fined $7,500
  • USI Insurance Services National, Inc.; Seattle; ordered to pay premium taxes
  • Banner Life Insurance Co., Frederick, Md.; ordered to cease and desist

Agents and brokers

  • Paul Curtis Rhoton, Burien, Wash.; license revoked
  • Jack J. Barry, Vancouver, Wash.; license revoked
  • JetClosing, Inc., Seattle; fined $250
  • Noelia Clemons, Pickerington, OH; fined $250
  • Steven N. Farah, West Linn, Ore.; license revoked
  • Christopher Todd Price, Overland Park, Kan.; revocation rescinded, fined $500
  • Highland Health Direct and Daniel Strikowski, Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Ian McCauslin, Boca Raton, Fla..; fined $1,000
  • Stephanie F. Miller, Reading, Penn.; fined $250
  • Tabak Insurance Agency PLLC, Sugar Land, Texas; fined $250
  • Socius Insurance Services, Inc., San Francisco; fined $250
  • Hanna Perez, Phoenix; license revoked

Other organizations

  • International Hole in One Association dba Hole in One International, Reno, Nev.; ordered to cease and desist, fined $15,000 and ordered to pay premium tax
  • First Automotive Service Corp., Albuquerque, N.M.; fined $3,250
  • Apex Longevity, Avon, Ohio; fined $3,000
  • National Rural Letter Carriers Association, Alexandria, Va.; ordered to cease and desist
  • Landcar Agency, Inc., Sandy, Utah; ordered to cease and desist
  • BKL Holdings Inc. dba Insurance License Coach, Baton Rouge, La.; fined $1,500

Since 2001, Kreidler has assessed more than $27 million in fines, which are deposited in the state’s general fund to pay for state services.

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