Ohio Insurance Director Ann Womer Benjamin ordered International Water Marine Safety Foundation and North American Marine General Insurance Co. to stop writing insurance policies in Ohio. The property and casualty insurers are reportedly not licensed to conduct business in the state and issued at least two insurance policies covering watercraft through an Ohio-licensed agent, according to a statement released by the Ohio Insurance Department.
The insurance agent involved was solicited through a fax advertising, “Immediate Access to Boat Insurance Quotes & Discounts.” The agent then sold policies to consumers without knowing that the companies were not licensed in Ohio.
“This is a blatant attempt to circumvent Ohio’s law, which requires all insurers to be licensed to conduct business in this state,” Womer Benjamin said. “I urge insurance agents and consumers to be diligent in checking with the Ohio Department of Insurance to verify that companies are licensed before the agents or consumers buy or sell policies.”
Under Ohio law, International Water Marine Safety Foundation and North American Marine General Insurance Co. may contest the cease and desist order through an administrative hearing to be held at the Department on Wednesday, June 4. This hearing will determine if the cease and desist order will become permanent.
Cease and desist orders against International Water Marine Safety Foundation have also been issued by the Texas Department of Insurance and the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
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