Friday, February 3, 2012

Insurers and agents fined more than $1.3 million in 2011

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler fined insurance companies, agents and brokers more than $1.3 million in 2011.

Violations included wrongly denying medical claims, overcharging customers, misappropriating clients’ money, charging unapproved rates and submitting false documents.

“These cases are the exception, not the rule,” said Kreidler, who’s been the state’s insurance regulator since 2001. “The vast majority of insurers, agents and brokers comply with the law.”

The largest fine, issued in January 2011, was against six Chubb & Son subsidiaries, which were ordered to pay $534,000 for violations including a long-running pattern of failing to properly document why the companies were charging higher or lower rates for certain policyholders.

Other major fines included $100,000 from American Bankers Insurance Co. of Florida (June 2011) and $100,000 from Regence BlueShield (August 2011).

Over the past 11 years, Kreidler has issued more than $13 million in fines against insurers, agents and brokers who violated the law. The agency’s disciplinary orders are posted online at

Fines collected by the insurance commissioner’s office do not go to the agency. The money is deposited in the state’s general fund to pay for other state services.