just recently, the California Department of Insurance put out a news release exposing an indemnity agent for selling bogus policy policies to homeowners putting them at capital risk.1 This agent, who was arrested and will be prosecuted, “ violated his fiduciary responsibility by allegedly ripping off customers for his personal advance, ” according to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. He allegedly collected premiums from homeowners but never placed them in policies with insurance companies. This apparently went on for years. The agent was able to pull off this victimize by issuing deceitful certificates of indemnity including falsify policy numbers, coverage menstruation, and policy limits. Unsuspecting homeowners thought these certificates served as valid proof they were insured. however, a “ certificate of policy is not sufficient proof that a policy is in wedge. “ 2
The huge majority of indemnity agents conduct themselves honestly and procure the proper insurance policies for their clients. But, as they say, there is constantly “ one bad apple. ” To help consumers avoid indemnity premium imposter, the Department of Insurance offers the follow tips :
- “ always check the license condition of the agent/broker before you purchase policy by visiting our Website at www.insurance.ca.gov .
- Confirm the validity of your policy with the policy party, not the broker or agent .
- Be mindful that claims are paid from the indemnity company and not the agent.
- Pay your insurance bounty by check. Make checks collectible to the indemnity company not the agent or the means. Obtain a receipt .
- never pay your insurance bounty in cash. Think doubly if the agent/broker insists on cash payment .
- Obtain copies of the documents relating to your policy transaction.
- If you believe you are the victim of a corruptible policy agent, call the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357.3
sol, if you are a homeowner or a place owner and do not have a transcript of your policy policy, please obtain a copy of your policy. It ’ s better to be safe than regretful. If all you have is a single piece of paper–a “ certificate of indemnity ” –which purports to state you are guarantee, that may not be worth the paper it is written on .
1 Calif. Dept. of Insurance newsworthiness let go of : Homeowners in high fire risk areas sold bogus indemnity policies, July 3, 2014. survive viewed on July 29, 2014, at hypertext transfer protocol : //www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2014/release065-14.cfm.
3 Id .