Oklahoma Battles Fake Workers’ Comp Policies

March 2, 2004

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher announced he has issued an order preventing an unlicensed Georgia firm from selling workers’ compensation insurance in Oklahoma.

Fisher’s order targets Atlanta-based Exceptional Personnel Inc., which also does business as EPI. The company sold a bogus workers’ compensation insurance policy to a company that had earlier been a target of an order by Fisher. EPI does not even claim to be an insurance company but is an employee leasing firm.

According to the Oklahoma Insurance Department, under an agreement with Oklahoma City-based LaborSource, the Georgia firm was to provide workers’ compensation coverage from Realm National Insurance Co. through American Insurance Managers.

Realm is a New York insurance company that previously used Atlanta-based AIM to sell insurance policies.

Officials with EPI claimed the policy in question was actually written by Realm through AIM. When contacted by department officials, representatives of both insurance concerns said the policy certificates were not valid.

Realm and AIM were earlier the targets of an investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department concerning the use of fraudulent workers’ compensation insurance certificates. At the time, officials with Realm said AIM was unauthorized to sell its workers’ compensation policies. Realm officials said they have since severed all ties with AIM.

EPI claimed to have provided workers’ compensation coverage for Oklahoma City-based LaborSource through an employee leasing arrangement in which both were co-employers of the firm’s temporary work force. Ironically, LaborSource officials contacted EPI for help obtaining workers’ compensation insurance after Fisher ordered the company to obtain new coverage.

“Here we have three companies who were previously investigated by my staff who, as luck would have it, were scammed by a fourth,” Fisher said. “It’s frustrating to try to do the right thing only to have someone try to take advantage of you for questionable purposes.”

Under Fisher’s order, if any of the companies try to sell fake insurance policies, they can be fined $25,000.

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