The Division of Insurance releases the results of its enforcement actions for the second Quarter of 2015
On a quarterly basis, the Division of Insurance publishes a list of the enforcement actions it has taken against licensed producers. The total fines assessed vary widely depending upon the action taken against a producer. In the most recent report for this quarter, the DOI Special Investigations Unit were involved in 13 different cases which resulted in the Enforcement Division assessing fines totaling $8600. This amount is more than double what the DOI assessed in the first quarter of 2015.
The DOI Special Investigations Unit was involved with 13 investigations this quarter
The largest single fine assessed this quarter was for $5000. This amount was assessed against a Resident Producer for misrepresentation on a license application.
What the DOI fined Mass. agents for during this quarter
The following is a summary of the fines assessed during this quarter. Overall the Division conducted investigations and conducted enforcement actions against 11 non-resident producers and 2 resident producers. Here’s a summary of the results of those enforcement actions:
- There were six cases involving the allegation of misrepresentation on a license application, with two of those cases also involving other charges;
- There was one case involving a late notice of criminal prosecution;
- There were two cases of late notices involving administrative actions involving the producer;
- Four cases involved the violations of placing or renewing policies while unlicensed.
- One case, in addition to involving allegations of misrepresentation on a license application, also involved termination for cause;
- The last case involved a violation of a failure to report an administration action along with a misrepresentation on a license application.
- The total amount of fines levied this quarter was $8,600 as compared with $3250 in the first quarter of 2015. The smallest fine assessed was $100 and the largest $5,000.
Each quarter the Division of Insurance publishes a list enforcement actions taken against licensees
While the primary mission of the Division of Insurance is “…to monitor the solvency of its licensees in order to promote a healthy, responsive and willing marketplace for consumers who purchase insurance products” a major part of that mission involves insurance enforcement. The DOI engages in a variety of administrative actions throughout the year in order to ensure that the insurance industry and its representatives maintain a just and healthy marketplace.
That said, during the course of regulating the Massachusetts insurance industry, the Division’s Special Investigation Unit will pursue allegations of misconduct against any persons licensed by the DOI including insurance producers, insurance advisers, public adjusters, reinsurance intermediaries, viatical loan brokers and providers, viatical settlement brokers and providers, insurance companies, health maintenance organizations and self-insurance groups. As part of its investigation into a case, the Enforcement Division may interview witness, question licensees, demand and review documentary evidence supporting allegations of unfair methods of competition or unfair trade practices or any other violation of the insurance law.
If a specific investigation warrants further action, an investigation may result in a referral to the Attorney General’s office in egregious cases or in less serious cases the Division independently may negotiate settlements or request the commissioner or his deputies to initiate an administrative proceeding before a hearing officer, agree to assist in cease and desist order and a written compliance programs. In cases where licensees conduct warranted the license sanctioned could include revocation or suspension along with restitution. See Agency Checklists’ article “One Way to Avoid Large Fines for You & Your Agency”.