The Director of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Insurance Division, Cory Steisinger, reported that American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin has entered into a stipulation agreement, based on an enforcement action by the Department.
According to a statement by the Department, American Standard, with a principal business address located in Madison, Wis., has been licensed in Oregon as a foreign insurer since Aug. 1997. In July 2005, “the company denied a third-party motor vehicle liability claim based solely on its insured’s and the claimant’s statements when the insured denied there being an accident, the claimant did not witness the alleged accident, and both the insured and the claimant informed the company of the names of four possible witnesses but the company refused to contact the witnesses” until after the claimant filed a complaint with the Insurance Division.
The Department took enforcement action against the company because state statutes prohibit an insurer or other person from refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based on all information. As part of the agreement, American Standard has been assessed a civil penalty of $3,000, and the company has waived its rights to an administrative hearing and judicial review.
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