Kreidler revokes Washougal agent’s license when she leaves her client uninsured
Cone sold a Farmers Insurance auto insurance policy to a friend in 2017. The friend set up payments through her debit card, but told investigators that she switched to cash payments. In August 2017, Farmers canceled the policy because they never received the premium payments from the agent. In October 2017, the policyholder filed a claim with Farmers after a collision and was told that she was no longer insured. The company had mailed several cancellation notices but the policyholder said she moved and never received them.
The agent and the policyholder both told investigators that the cash payments had been made, but could not prove it. The agent told Farmers she accidentally applied the cash premium payments to the wrong person’s policy. Either way, the agent’s action violates state insurance laws. Farmers fired Cone in April 2018 and Kreidler’s regulatory investigation resulted in revocation of her license to sell insurance in Washington state.
Here are some tips for consumers:
- Pay your premiums in a way that leaves a record or paper trail. You want to be able to prove you paid your premiums.
- Pay your premiums directly to your insurer – you can set up monthly, biannual or annual premium payments for just about every type of insurance out there. Set it up to come directly out of your bank account or billed automatically to your credit card. There is less chance of a mishap if you cut out the middleman – in this case, the agent.
- Set up email notifications from your insurer. If there’s an app, make sure your phone is set to receive notifications via the app as well. You don’t want to miss notifications from your insurer that they haven’t received your premium payments.
- It’s your responsibility to make sure your insurer gets your premium payments.
Kreidler regulates the insurance industry in Washington state. Each month, he takes enforcement action against insurance companies, agents, brokers and others in the industry and publishes a news release with those orders. You can sign up to receive email or text alerts with news from Kreidler.