Auditor Reminds Insurance Companies That Consumers Choose Shop

December 21, 2007

A Michigan-based insurer received a $230,000-fine by the state Department of Insurance for failing to make sure agents were licensed and appointed to sell policies in Connecticut.

Foremost Insurance Co., which specializes in selling insurance for travel trailers and motor homes, said it was “surprised and disappointed by the amount of the fine.”

“However, steps are being taken to make sure that all Foremost agents, including agency staff members, writing business for Foremost in Connecticut are properly licensed and appointed to prevent this from happening in the future,” the company said.

The Insurance Department, which did not accuse Foremost of harming consumers, said it found that during 2006, Foremost had 205 agents in Connecticut who were not appointed to represent the company. The state said ten other Foremost agents were not licensed to sell insurance there.

In an order signed by Insurance Commissioner Thomas R. Sullivan, Foremost, based in Caledonia, Mich., failed to report 18 total losses of motor vehicles to the National Insurance Crime Bureau as required by state law.

Sullivan said Foremost acted quickly to resolve the violations. In a stipulation with the state, the company admitted to the allegations and agreed to “undertake a complete review of its practices and procedures to ensure the areas of concern … are compliant with Connecticut statutes.”

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