Ala. DOI Files Complaint Against Goff Group

July 30, 2004

The Alabama Department of Insurance has filed an administrative complaint against a well-known Montgomery-based insurance company and its president, accusing the Goff Group and John W. Goff of wrongdoing involving customers’ insurance payments.

The complaint accuses Goff of collecting more than $800,000 from Alabama customers and agents and not passing along the money to companies that were actually writing the insurance.

Company attorney Tommy Gallion said the company disputes the complaint, but it has nearly wrecked the company.

“We are fighting it as hard as we can fight it,” he said.

John Goff and his company are licensed by the DOI to provide insurance through a variety of companies. Goff describes itself as “one of the largest third-party administrators in the Southeast.”

At issue in the complaint are workers’ compensation and employers liability insurance provided through XL Specialty Insurance and Greenwich Insurance.

The complaint, filed July 2, accuses Goff and his company of “fraudulent, coercive or dishonest practices.” It lists 50 businesses, churches, colleges and charities across the state that it says paid more than $800,000 for insurance in 2002, but Goff never gave XL and Greenwich their share.

Gallion said no Alabama customers lost any money. He said the DOI jumped into the middle of a civil dispute between Goff, XL and Greenwich without waiting for it to be resolved in the courts.

The legal dispute between Goff, XL and Greenwich went to arbitration in Pennsylvania. On March 10, three arbitrators awarded more than $4 million to XL and Greenwich. Gallion said Goff is appealing that decision, which involved more than just customers in Alabama.

Ingram said the DOI began investigating the company about a year ago when policyholders complained about getting notices from the insurance carriers that bills hadn’t been paid and the insurance was being canceled.

Ingram said the next step is for Goff to respond to the DOI’s complaint in writing. Then the state insurance commissioner, Walter Bell, will hold a hearing. If he decides Goff and his company have acted improperly, he can suspend or revoke their state licenses and fine them up to $10,000 on each of the 60 counts included in the complaint.

The 50 customers listed in the complaint include Auburn University, Springhill College, Children’s Harbor, Bethel Baptist Church in Dothan, First Baptist Church of Foley, Fairhope United Methodist Church, and Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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