No ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ for Oregon Co.

May 1, 2003

Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter A. Bell ordered an unlicensed Oregon company marketing medical malpractice insurance to physicians and hospitals in his state to terminate all activities there.

The formal cease and desist order was filed against First Actual American Insurance, which is headquartered in Canby, Ore., and also has offices in Victorville, Calif.

“If you want to do business in Alabama, you must have a license to do business in Alabama,” Commissioner Bell said. “It’s the same way in the other 49 states.”

Alabama becomes at least the third state to order First Actual American to terminate activities in the state. Oregon and Georgia regulators have done the same. In March, Bell issued a warning to the state’s physicians and hospitals to be on alert from solicitations from First Actual American because it was under investigation. The insurance department is asking physicians and hospitals that have paid premiums to First Actual American to contact the department.

Bell also reminded Alabama citizens to ask basic questions when seeking any kind of insurance:
— Has the company licensed to do business in Alabama?
— Has the policy that is being offered been approved by the Alabama Department of Insurance?
— Is the producer, or sales agent, licensed to do business in

“In the case of First Actual American, the answer to all three questions was ‘no,'” Bell said.

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