N.C. Agency Doors Closed; DOI Reports Policyholders May Not Have Coverage

April 15, 2005

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Jim Long recently announced the closure of Roberts & Associates Insurance Agency of 925 S. Kerr Avenue, Suite D-1, in Wilmington.

A target audit of this agency recently completed by the Department of Insurance reportedly revealed that agency owner Robert A. Roberts failed to remit premium payments for commercial policies, possibly in amounts exceeding $500,000. An expected 100 policyholders in the Wilmington area could be affected.

Roberts allegedly collected premiums from policyholders but did not send those premiums on to the insurance companies. Failure to remit premiums resulted in cancellation of the coverage, and Long worries that policyholders who believe they have insurance are not aware that their policies have been cancelled.

“This is an ugly situation, where innocent people may have been duped into paying for insurance they don’t really have,” Long said. “Department auditors have already identified some potential victims, but I strongly urge anyone having done business with Roberts & Associates to contact the Department immediately.”

Citizens should call their insurance company or the Department of Insurance at 1-800-546-5664 to learn more about how this case may affect them.

Department officials are communicating with the insurance companies and premium finance companies with which Roberts did business. These companies include Capital City (800-256-5531), Piedmont Transportation (800-572-8181), Jackson Sumner (800-342-5572), Universal (800-288-8050), TAPCO (800-334-5579) and the North Carolina Joint Underwriter Association (919-821-1299).

“Based on the evidence uncovered by our auditors, this case is being handed over to our criminal investigators,” said Long. “Depending on what the investigation reveals, we may pursue charges.”

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