Kreidler fines insurers $167,000 for violations, including overcharging customers

Fines and disciplinary actions so far this year include:

  • Aetna Life Insurance Co., of Hartford, Conn., was fined $65,000 for violations, including unreasonably denying 220 claims for acupuncture treatment. The company also refunded $16,427 to policyholders.
  • Ace American Insurance Co., of Philadelphia, Penn., was fined $50,000 for violations, including using rates that it had not filed with the state.
  • Progressive American Insurance Co., Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co, and Progressive Max Insurance Co, all of Mayfield Village, Ohio, were fined $30,000 for improperly deducting sales tax and fees from cash value calculations in more than 1,700 auto claims. The company also refunded $415,299 to customers.
  • Homesite Insurance Company of the Midwest, of Mandan, N. Dakota, was fined $12,000 for overcharging more than 300 policyholders for renter’s insurance. The policyholders are receiving refunds.
    • Austin Mutual Insurance Co., of Maple Grove, MN, was fined $10,000 for issuing insurance policies that weren’t in accordance with the rates it had filed with the state. As a result, 324 policyholders were overcharged a total of $26,200. The company also agreed to refund the overcharges to policyholders within 60 days.
    • Doctors and Surgeons Benefit Association, of Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies;  and several related entities were ordered to stop selling unauthorized insurance in Washington state.

 

In addition, Kreidler also took the following actions against agents or brokers:

 

  • Mitchell A. Steitz, of Cashmere: License revoked, effective March 31, for misappropriating $12,500 from clients and spending it himself, rather than investing it.
  • Allen D. James, of Sumner, agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for failing to promptly pay a premium refund to a client.

Enforcement actions like these are often prompted by consumer complaints to the insurance commissioner’s office. Anyone with a complaint against an insurer, agent or broker can contact the office at 1-800-562-6900 or file a complaint online at www.insurance.wa.gov.

Orders and other documentation about these cases are posted online at http://www.insurance.wa.gov/orders/enforcement.asp.

 

Note: In some cases, the fines were larger, but a portion was suspended on the condition that the companies follow compliance plans to remedy the problems. The fines listed above are what’s actually being paid.