Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Robert Wooley announced that a Lafayette insurance agent was served a cease and desist order and his insurance license was suspended for allegedly misappropriating insurance premiums while selling bogus insurance coverage on Ultralight aircraft for an apparently nonexistent insurance company.
Thomas Carlyle Mahoney, age 53, last known business address: Mahoney Insurance Agency, 200 Polk St., Ste. 201, Lafayette, La. 70501, is accused of selling bogus liability and accidental death policies to owners or pilots of Ultralight planes and pocketing the premium in a number of instances beginning in 2000 and continuing into 2003.
He had held an active property and casualty insurance licence from November 1997 until it was suspended by the issuance of the C&D this week, Wooley said. The property and casualty insurance license would not have authorized Mahoney to sell liability and accidental death policies on aircraft, even if he had been representing a legitimate insurance company.
When this kind of activity occurs, Wooley said, the damage is much greater than the loss of the premium dollars that are involved. “In this case, a pilot was killed in a crash, and there was no company to pay the $50,000 accidental death claim on the policy the deceased man had bought in good faith. The beneficiaries of the bogus policy were robbed of the $50,000 in accidental death insurance coverage. Add to that the potential for thousands of dollars in liability claims that would have been covered in such a crash under a valid policy.”
Policyholders who have purchased Ultralight aircraft insurance from Mahoney should call the Department of Insurance Fraud Unit at (800) 259-5300 or (225) 342-4956. Consumers who have bought other types of insurance from him should call their insurance company to verify their coverage.
“If they have trouble reaching their insurance company, they should call the Department of Insurance for assistance,” Wooley added. The commissioner also urges policyholders who feel uneasy about any other insurance-related transactions to call the Department of Insurance Fraud Unit.
“Consumers are one of our best sources of information concerning fraudulent activity,” Wooley said. “Callers to the Fraud Unit can ask that their calls be kept confidential.
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