Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi announced that the California Department of Insurance (CDI) served a Cease and Desist Order on Oriska Insurance Company based in Oriskany, New York, following an investigation that revealed the company illegally sold workers’ compensation insurance in California.
According to investigators, Oriska Insurance Company does not hold a certificate of authority in California and is not authorized to transact insurance in California. CDI is warning all business owners that workers’ compensation coverage with Oriska is not in compliance with the California Insurance Code or California Labor Code, which stipulates a workers’ compensation insurer must be duly authorized to write workers’ compensation insurance in this state.
Employers found to have workers’ compensation insurance with Oriska could face penalties from the Department of Industrial Relations, including fines and criminal charges. CDI encourages all employers to verify their workers’ compensation coverage for compliance of all laws and regulations.
“Because of the current hard market and high premium rates in workers’ comp, employers are driven to find the best deal. It is imperative that employers protect themselves by verifying that their insurance company has authority to write insurance in California,” said Garamendi.
If Oriska continues to write insurance in violation of the cease and desist order, the Commissioner has authority to impose a fine of up to $5,000 for each day of infraction. The department urges employers insured with Oriska Insurance Company who have not been contacted by the Investigations Division to call CDI’s hotline.
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