Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sensible Home Warranty ordered to stop selling insurance in WA

A New York-based home warranty company has been ordered to stop selling insurance in Washington state.

Sensible Home Warranty LLC, formerly known as CHW, LLC, sold Washington consumers approximately 142 home warranty service contracts since 2009. The contracts were for parts and labor necessary to fix major systems and appliances that failed in a consumer's home. The company solicits customers through telemarketing and through a website: http://www.sensiblehomewarranty.com/.

In Washington, service contracts like the ones sold by Sensible Home Warranty are considered insurance. But neither the company nor its principals, Harrison Gindi and Elliot Dabah, are authorized to transact insurance in Washington state. Nor are they registered as service contract providers.

Nothing in the order, which took effect immediately Jan. 6, 2012,  prevents the company from fulfilling the terms of its contracts or providing a refund to Washington consumers who ask for one.

The company has the right to demand a hearing.

Note: The company's registered office address is in Sparks, Nev., but its principal place of business and sales office is 1724 E. 12th St., Brooklyn, NY.

Kreidler on nonprofit health insurer surpluses: "How much is enough?"

Commissioner Kreidler recently had an op-ed in the Seattle Times, talking about the large surpluses that have been built up by non-profit health insurers in recent years. From it:
In Washington, the three major health insurers — Premera Blue Cross, Regence BlueShield and Group Health Cooperative — are sitting on a total of more than $2.4 billion above and beyond what they expect to ever pay out in claims. All of them are not-for-profits. And they continue to propose substantial rate increases.
He is proposing legislation that would give the insurance commissioner's office explicit authority to consider those surpluses when reviewing rate requests.

We're working on a web page that explains this issue in more detail, and includes charts of the major insurers' surpluses over the past decade. Stay tuned...