Kreidler: Insurers, agents fined $1.3M last year

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler fined insurance companies, agents and brokers more than $1.3 million in 2011, according to a statement released Friday by the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

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.”

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 here.

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.

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. (WASHINGTON STATE OFFICE OF THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER)