Glass Company Ordered to Stop Windshield Rebates in Wash.

February 23, 2007

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has ordered a national glass company to stop offering rebates to consumers who have their damaged vehicle windshields replaced by the company because the rebates violate state insurance laws.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner ordered Cascade Auto Glass of Vancouver, Wash., to cease and desist from the practice of rebating up to $150 to customers who had their damaged windshields replaced by the glass company.

The Insurance Commissioner initiated an investigation last year after receiving a complaint that the rebates provided Cascade with an unfair advantage over competitors. Essentially, the rebates allowed Cascade customers to recover a portion of their insurance deductible at the expense of the insurance company – a violation of state law, OIC said.

Cascade is a national company based in Vancouver with 24 Washington locations.

In unrelated enforcement actions, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner:

* Levied a $25,000 fine against Safeco Insurance Co. of America, Seattle, for the unlawful use of credit information to determine insurance premiums and other violations. The violations included the use of an unapproved scoring model that used the number of credit inquiries as a component of the score. The company said that 21,260 Washington policyholders were involved, including 965 who were adversely affected and received refunds totaling more than $170,000.

* Ordered BLIS Insurance Co.; Creative Solutions, SPC; Arthur G. Richards and Reginald G. Schindler, Portland, Ore., to stop transacting insurance business in Washington without a license.

* Ordered Dayspring Management LLC; Premier Club Benefits; Premier Club Services; RJ Wilson and Associates, Ltd., and Medical Benefits Administrators of Maryland Inc., Abingdon, Md., to stop transacting insurance business without a license.

* Revoked the license of Michael A. Howell, and Michael A. Howell Insurance Agency, of Moses Lake, for commingling and failing to separate and account for funds received for premiums. The revocation was stayed, pending the agent’s requested hearing on the revocation.

* Fined Foster Dahl Miller & Associates Inc., of Ephrata, $5,000 for allowing agents to act as brokers (collect a fee) on behalf of licensee, failure to maintain separate premium and individual accounts, and other violations. The agency suspended $2,000 of the fine on condition the agency corrects the violations.

* Rescinded a previously issued order against American Resources Insurance Co., and Michael Brady of Mobile, Ala.., that directed the company to cease and desist from transacting insurance business in Washington without a license. It was determined that the company never transacted insurance business in Washington.

The agency also fined the following companies for failing to file specified information and documentation:

* Auto Club Life Insurance Co., Dearborn, Mich., ($375)
* Capitol Life Insurance Co., Golden, Colo., ($3,125)
* Dentists Benefits Insurance Co., Milwaukie, Ore., ($2,000)
* HHC Insurance Co., Indianapolis, Ind., ($750)
* Scottish Re Life Corp., Wilmington, Del., ($3,250)
* Scottish Re US, Inc., Wilmington, Del., ($4,000)
* State Mutual Insurance Co., Rome, Ga., ($1,500)
* US Specialty Insurance Co., Houston, Texas, ($1,000)

And Carleton College of Northfield, Minn., was fined for unlawfully issuing charitable gift annuities without proper authorization.

Details of individual enforcement actions can be viewed at

Source: OIC

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