August 12, 2015
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in July totaling $13,750 against insurance companies, agents, brokers and others who violated state insurance regulations.
The names are linked to the disciplinary order that contains more information about each action.
Allstate Indemnity Co., Allstate Insurance Co., Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co., Northbrook, IL; fined $10,000
Allstate customer service and agents sent solicitation letters to Washington homeowners that contained an estimated premium for a homeowner’s policy that did not identify which Allstate company would issue the policy. The company could not identify how many letters were mailed in total; however, it mailed more than 9,700 letters in 2012 that had an incorrect company name and/or no address, which violates state insurance law. It violated several other laws, including times when companies are allowed to use other business names, tracking the number of solicitation letters it sent and failure to respond to the Insurance Commissioner’s request for information.
Agents and brokers
Gary D. Blatter, Olympia; fined $500
Blatter intentionally falsified an insurance policy application for a commercial building by stating the property was masonry construction when it was a wood-frame construction in order to provide $1.2 million in coverage. The maximum coverage Blatter could obtain for the existing building was $900,000.
Sondra Earley, Bellevue; fined $250
Earley enrolled clients, a husband and wife, in an AARP Medicare supplemental medical plan they did not qualify for. The wife was not 65 years old, so she did not qualify for Medicare or any supplemental plans. The husband’s AARP membership had expired, so Earley paid the renewal fee to avoid the insurance application from being rejected. In effect, she enrolled the consumer in AARP without his knowledge or consent, and her payment of his membership fee constitutes a rebate, which is illegal.
Home Safety Association of America, Los Angeles; order to cease and desist
Home Safety Association of America sold service contracts to homeowners for home repairs and personal security services. It is not licensed to sell insurance in Washington, which is required by state insurance law. It is ordered to stop selling service contracts, which are considered a form of insurance under state law, until it is licensed to do so.
Michael Tanner, Camas; fined $1,000
Tanner filed a form to transfer a consumer’s annuity into an annuity with another insurance company and incorrectly indicated on the form that the new contract was not replacing an existing annuity. He also had the consumer sign a blank form to surrender the old annuity and filled it in later without the consumer’s knowledge of what was in the form.
Continuing licensing education
Society of Financial Service Professionals, Newtown Square, PA; fined $2,000
The Society of Financial Service Professionals is licensed to provide continuing education to Washington-licensed insurance producers. Continuing education is required for insurance producers to maintain their license.
The society is required to submit rosters of people who attend its continuing education classes to prove they attended, including the times they sign in and out of classes. It submitted rosters to the Insurance Commissioner that showed people didn’t attend the full classes, even though the society gave them credit for attending. It also failed to meet documentation deadlines of 10 days after the end of classes.
About the Office
Kreidler’s office oversees Washington’s insurance industry to ensure that companies, agents and brokers follow state laws. Since 2001, Kreidler's office has assessed more than $18 million in fines, which are deposited in the state's general fund to pay for other state services.
For an insurance question or complaint, contact the Insurance Commissioner’s consumer advocates at 800-562-6900 or online.
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Release No. 15-37