Washington Cracks Down on Insurers

May 12, 2009

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has issued nearly $300,000 in fines and pulled several insurance agents’ licenses when they failed to follow the rules in the first few months of the year.

  • Warrantech Home Service Co. of Bedford, Texas, was fined $10,000 for selling service contracts without a Washington license.

  • Insurance Training Associates of Portland, Ore., was fined $1,000 for using licensee information for commercial purposes.

  • Physicians Insurance of Seattle was fined $2,500 for a series of technical issues. The entire amount was suspended on the condition of future compliance.

  • The following agents had their licenses suspended or revoked:
    * Cynthia L. Larsen of Gig Harbor.
    * Justina Y. Espinoza of Yakima.
    * Charles P. Vick and Senior Life Planning Services of Maple Valley.
    * Sung H. Kim of Federal Way.

  • AMT Warranty Corp of New York was fined $100,000, with $25,000 suspended, for applying for a license and doing business for approximately a year under a different name. The company changed its name prior to applying for its license, but applied and sold service contracts under its old name.

  • Premera Blue Cross and Lifewise Health Plans of Washington in Mountlake Terrace were fined $80,000, with $50,000 suspended, when a routine examination uncovered instances of misleading advertising, using unapproved rates and contracts, and failing to provide consumers with required information.

  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest in Portland, OR, was fined $70,000, with $55,000 suspended, for using provider contracts it did not file. The contracts were used for several years.

  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest and Kaiser Permanente Health Alternatives in Portland, Ore.,, were fined $30,000, with $20,000 suspended, for a series of violations related to claims, agents and plans.

The Insurance Commissioner’s Office collected a total of $1,210,231 in fines in 2008. This money was deposited into the state’s general fund to pay for other state services.

Source: OIC

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