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SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 11 -- The California Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that National Union Fire Insurance Co. (NUFIC) of Pittsburgh, a member of AIG's Chartis Group, has agreed to pay the California Department of Insurance (CDI) a penalty of nearly $6 Million for violating fair business practices.
"This is a win for California consumers and sends an important message to insurers about the cost of not complying with laws and regulations designed to protect consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
The products covered under the settlement include group and blanket limited benefit plans, supplemental accident and disability policies, and accident and disability coverage provided with travel insurance policies.
A number of improper practices and violations were cited by insurance regulators, including delays and errors in processing claims, product limitations not explained clearly, failure to use properly licensed people to sell insurance products, and failure to fulfill and administer policies after sale, among others. As a result of these violations, CDI participated in a multi-state insurance regulators investigation and enforcement action against NUFIC.
The settlement agreement (http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2013/upload/Chartis-RSA-9-19-12-2.pdf) includes a required two-year monitoring period with an implementation audit performed by insurance regulators and a series of other audits and reports by the insurance company to ensure compliance. The agreement includes provisions for an additional $21 million in penalties should the company fail to comply with any of the stipulated conditions.
Under California law, the $5,991,132.37 penalty payment collected by the California Department of Insurance was deposited in the General Fund of the State of California.
TNS 23SQ 130112-4165180 StaffFurigay