Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has fined insurance companies more than $167,000 so far this year for violations including wrongly denying medical claims and overcharging customers, according to a news release.
Also according to the release:
In 2010, Kreidler’s office levied $583,750 in fines. Fines collected by the state insurance commissioner’s office are deposited in the state’s general fund to pay for other state services.
Fines and disciplinary actions this year include:
Aetna Life Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn., was fined $65,000 for violations, including unreasonably denying 220 claims for acupuncture treatment. The company also refunded $16,427 to policyholders.
Ace American Insurance Co., of Philadelphia was fined $50,000 for violations, including using rates that it had not filed with the state.
Progressive American Insurance Co., Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co. and Progressive Max Insurance Co., all of Mayfield Village, Ohio, were fined $30,000 for improperly deducting sales tax and fees from cash value calculations in more than 1,700 auto claims. The company also refunded $415,299 to customers.
Homesite Insurance Co. of the Midwest, of Mandan, N.D., was fined $12,000 for overcharging more than 300 policyholders for renter’s insurance. The policyholders are receiving refunds.
Austin Mutual Insurance Co. of Maple Grove, Minn., was fined $10,000 for issuing insurance policies that weren’t in accordance with the rates it had filed with the state. As a result, 324 policyholders were overcharged a total of $26,200. The company also agreed to refund the overcharges to policyholders within 60 days.
Doctors and Surgeons Benefit Association of Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies, and several related entities were ordered to stop selling unauthorized insurance in Washington.Kreidler also took the following actions against agents or brokers:
Mitchell A. Steitz of Cashmere: License revoked for misappropriating $12,500 from clients and spending it himself, rather than investing it.
Allen D. James of Sumner agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for failing to promptly pay a premium refund to a client.
Anyone with a complaint against an insurer, an agent or a broker can contact the Insurance Commissioner’s office at 1-800-562-6900 or file a complaint at www.insurance.wa.gov.