Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler took enforcement action and issued fines in April 2018 totaling $159,600 against insurance companies, producers and others who violated state insurance regulations.
Those cases included:
A fine of $65,000 for Sears Protection Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill. (order 18-0105) after Sears illegally sold a tire warranty product called Road Hazard Plus to Washington consumers from 2010 to 2017. It was not registered to sell stand-alone wheel and tire warranties. It sold more than 53,000 warranties worth $2.3 million. The insurance commissioner ordered the company to cease and desist in September 2017; the company became registered to sell the products in January 2018.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) was ordered to cease and desist, (order 18-0109) after it solicited insurance in Washington state without an insurance producer license. A consumer filed a complaint that the NRA listed four liability insurance products called Carry Guard on its website, with premiums varying from $155 to $550 per year. The product was only licensed to be sold in Georgia, but the NRA advertised it nationally.
Joshua A. Farris, Puyallup, had his license revoked, (order 18-0128) after a consumer filed a complaint when she paid Farris for a burial policy that she never received, and she never received a refund. Later, the insurer, Lincoln Heritage, terminated Farris’ appointment for low sales and reported he owed $10,000 in advance commissions on canceled policies.
Joshua R. Christensen, Fircrest, had his license revoked, (order 18-0133) after Farmers Insurance notified the insurance commissioner that it terminated Christensen’s appointment when it determined he issued and then canceled 41 commercial insurance policies in order to collect more than $21,000 in commissions. Farmers recovered all but $1,000 of the commissions. Eight of the 10 businesses Christensen wrote policies for had never spoken to him or requested policies from him.
Kreidler’s office oversees Washington’s insurance industry to ensure that companies, agents and brokers follow state laws. Since 2001, Kreidler has assessed more than $23 million in fines, which are deposited in the state’s general fund to pay for other state services.
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner publishes disciplinary orders against companies, agents and brokers. Consumers can also look up complaints against insurance companies. For an insurance question or complaint, contact Kreidler’s consumer advocates online or by phone at 800-562-6900.