Thursday, September 27, 2012

Golf insurer in CT arrested for selling illegal insurance in WA



A Connecticut businessman who specializes in insurance for golf tournament hole-in-one prizes has been arrested in his home state after failing to appear for a felony arraignment in Seattle earlier this month.

Kevin Kolenda, 54, was arrested Wednesday in his hometown of Norwalk, Conn. He faces five counts of transacting insurance without a license, a class B felony.

"We've been warning the public about Mr. Kolenda's scam for years," Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a recent press release. "He has a long history of selling illegal insurance, refusing to pay prize winners, and thumbing his nose at regulators."

Kolenda was supposed to appear in court Sept. 5 for arraignment on those charges, but he failed to appear. So the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

Kolenda has ignored a previous cease and desist order from our office, as well as a $125,000 fine.

Update (9/28/2012): Added King5 video at top of post.

Why did you make my auto/homeowners insurance rates go up?

Q: My auto and homeowners insurance rates went up, and my agent and insurer said that it's because Washington state required them to charge more. Did you require this?

A: We get this question fairly often. While we do review rates for many kinds of insurance, no, we did not tell your auto/homeowners/etc. insurer to raise its rates. It's up to insurers to decide when, or if, they will submit proposals to us to increase or decrease rates. (In some cases, notably health coverage, insurers often reduce benefits in order to moderate rates hikes.)

Again: While we may review the rates, the insurance company is the one proposing any changes.

There are many insurers selling auto and homeowners policies in Washington. If your insurer is raising rates too high, maybe it's time to shop around. Need help? Here are some tips when shopping for auto coverage, and here are some tips when shopping for homeowners coverage.