November 17, 2022
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in October totaling $111,000 against insurance companies, agents and brokers who violated state insurance regulations.
AmGUARD Insurance Company, Wilkes Barre, Penn.; fined $30,000 (order 22-0548).
AmGUARD failed to provide timely payment to a consumer who filed a claim after their apartment building was damaged. The consumer eventually filed suit under the Insurance Fair Claims Act (IFCA) and a judge’s partial summary judgement found AmGUARD to have engaged in unfair trade practices.
- The repair work was completed in December 2019, but AmGUARD didn’t issue payment in full until August 2020.
- The amount issued at that point also wasn’t enough to satisfy the lien the repair company had filed against the consumer’s property.
- The repair company filed suit to foreclose on the property and AmGUARD failed to hire the consumer a defense attorney for several months.
Sedera, Inc., Austin, Texas; fined $50,000 (order 22-0598).
- Sedera, a medical cost sharing community, was fined for transacting insurance business in Washington state without authorization.
UnitedHealth, Lake Oswego, Ore.; fined $75,000 with $25,000 suspended (order 22-0467).
- UnitedHealth incorrectly denied 195 physical therapy claims from 36 enrollees over a span of three months due to a lack of preauthorization.
Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., Nebraska; fined $2,500 (order 22-0592).
- Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. charged incorrect small group vision rates, amounting to $2,981 in overcharged premiums across 281 policies. Ameritas implemented corrected rates.
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, Chicago; fined $2,000 (order 22-0593).
- Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company charged incorrect small group vision rates, amounting to $112 in overcharged premiums across 26 policies. Reliance implemented corrected rates.
Agents & brokers
- John Donovan/John Donovan Agency, Kennewick; fined $2,000 (order 22-0608). Donovan instructed unlicensed employees to solicit business.
- PacificSource Health Plans, Springfield, Ore.; fined $1,000 (order 22-0356).
- Edwin Mackethan, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.; fined $500 (order 22-0546).
- Nhou Thao, Kirkland, fined $500 (order 22-0609).
- Jerome Burton, San Jose, Calif.; fined $500 (order 22-0485).
- Theresa Marie Morris, Mohawk, NY; fined $500 (order 22-0614).
- Bagheera Franklin, Gulfport, Miss.; fined $500 (order 22-0607).
- Brock Norton Insurance Agency, Chantilly, Va.; fined $250 (order 22-0611).
- Jennings Insurance Services Inc., Orlando, Fla.; fined $250 (order 22-0617).
- STP Enterprises Inc., Chicago, Ill.; fined $250, (order 22-0616).
- Brent Giroux, Irvine, Calif.; fined $250 (order 22-0488).
About the office
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 $37 million in fines, which are directed to the state’s general fund to pay for 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.