March 9, 2015
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in February totaling $10,500 against insurance companies and agents who violated state insurance regulations.
The names are linked to the disciplinary order that contains more information about each action.
Time Insurance Co., Milwaukee; fined $10,000
A consumer complained to the Insurance Commissioner’s consumer advocates that Time Insurance Co. didn’t respond to an appeal within the 30 days required by state insurance law (the law provides a 14-day review with an optional 16-day extension). The Insurance Commissioner asked Time to provide the number of consumers who did not receive a timely appeal process from the company. Eventually, the company disclosed that nearly 300 Washington consumers did not receive a timely appeal. The company agreed to pay a fine of $20,000 with $10,000 suspended; the commissioner can impose the suspended amount at any time if the company fails to comply with state insurance laws and rules or if it fails to follow its compliance plan to ensure it processes consumer appeals in a timely manner.
Marlon V. Canda, Bothell; fined $500
Canda signed three annuity contracts without meeting the consumer who was purchasing the annuities. Canda signed the contracts on behalf of another agent, who was not authorized to sell on behalf of the insurance company, Guggenheim Life. Agents who sell annuities are required to meet the consumers who are buying them and to go through steps to ensure the annuity is the right product for the consumer’s circumstances. Canda violated state insurance law by not doing that for this consumer.
Lynette M. Hardy, Spokane Valley; license revoked
A member of Hardy’s household had his personal auto insurance policy canceled by the company three times for nonpayment. Each time, Hardy accessed the account and reinstated the policy. The unpaid balance on the account is more than $1,900; the average auto insurance premium in Spokane is around $1,000 per year. Allowing a policy to go unpaid puts the insurance company at financial risk, which can affect its financial solvency and ability to pay claims for its customers. Hardy is no longer allowed to sell insurance in Washington.
Krista E. Jensen, Liberty Lake; license revoked
A consumer gave Jensen a cash premium payment of $501. Jensen entered the payment into the system and gave the consumer a receipt, but kept the cash and canceled the payment in the system the next day. This constitutes theft under state insurance law. Jensen is no longer allowed to sell insurance in Washington.
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.