February 6, 2015
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in January totaling $8,750 against insurance companies, agents and brokers who violated state insurance regulations.
The names are linked to the disciplinary order that contains more information about each action.
Bowen Scarff Ford Sales Inc. was licensed to sell insurance until September 2011. Three consumers purchased life insurance policies worth a total of $87,000 from the company in 2009, paying nearly $4,600 in premiums. However, Bowen Scarff was no longer an appointed agent for the insurer, so the insurer canceled the policies and the consumers were uninsured without their knowledge. One consumer died in 2012 and a beneficiary discovered the insurance was not in effect when the $33,500 claim was filed. The three policies ultimately were honored by the subsequent company that Bowen Scarff was appointed to sell for. Bowen Scarff is no longer selling life insurance policies to its customers.
The Insurance Commissioner revoked Koch’s license in 2011 when she applied for a license and her payment of the licensing fee did not clear the bank and she did not respond to multiple attempts to contact her. In 2014, Koch sought an insurance producer’s license and agrees to pay the fine for violating state law in 2011.
Oregon revoked Vue’s license after she was convicted of identity theft. Vue used another person’s identity to liquidate certificates of deposit and did not notify Oregon or Washington regulators of the conviction.
Columbia Title sells title insurance and was licensed to do business in Washington until April 2014. Tolliver is the company’s designated responsible licensed person, or licensee who is responsible for making sure the business follows state insurance laws and rules. Columbia Title attempted to conduct business after a required fidelity bond was revoked and failed to deposit an earnest money check into a separate account in a timely manner.
The company sells title insurance; its license expired in August 2014, during which time it was under investigation for violating state insurance laws. The company mishandled escrow accounts, allowed them to be overdrawn and was late on customer payments. The company failed to report to the Insurance Commissioner enforcement action taken by the state of Idaho for insurance law violations of a similar nature.
Performance Automotive is registered with the Insurance Commissioner to sell guaranteed asset protection (GAP) waivers in Washington. For an additional charge, consumers who are financing a vehicle can purchase a policy that requires the lender to pay off or waive all or part of the balance of the loan if the car is totaled or stolen. Performance Automotive lost its certificate of authority with the Washington Secretary of State to conduct business in Washington and failed to report it to the Insurance Commissioner. During the time it was not authorized to conduct business in Washington, it sold six GAP waiver contracts.
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, please contact the OIC’s consumer advocates at 800-562-6900 or online.