The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner announced Thursday the department issued more than $2 million in fines against insurers, agents and brokers in 2012.
“Ideally, we’d have full compliance and no fines,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “But the reality is that sometimes it takes a fine to get a company to address problems. And in many cases, these fines were accompanied by compliance plans aimed at making sure the problems don’t recur.”
The fines totaled $2,033,990. Violations included charging customers for coverage they’d never agreed to, charging unapproved rates, allowing unlicensed staffers to sell policies and failing to register with the state.
“Fortunately, these cases are the exception,” said Kreidler. “Most companies, agents and brokers follow the rules.”
The agency posts all disciplinary orders, including those that don’t include fines, online here.
The total for 2012 was higher than the previous year’s $1.4 million.
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.
Over the past 12 years, the department has issued more than $15 million in fines for violations of Washington’s insurance laws.