New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 6/21/00

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
DEPARTMENT TAKES DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST
COMPANIES, AGENTS, BROKERS & ADJUSTERS

        The New York State Insurance Department has taken disciplinary action against the following licensees. Those categorized as stipulations have been agreed to by the licensee. Disciplinary action as a result of Department hearings are subject to judicial review and possible stay of enforcement.

The following tables show the Licensee in Column One,  Address in Column Two, and the Penalty in Column Three.  The bottom row of each table describes the circumstances.  


COMPANY STIPULATIONS

 

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Amex Assurance Company

1400 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, WI

$39,650 fine

A market conduct examination revealed the company failed to pay or deny a claim within the required 30 calendar days of receipt of relevant information and/or proof of claim. In addition the company failed to properly compute overdue benefits interest rates; inspect vehicles and make good faith offers within the required time; provide detailed estimates in a timely fashion; properly evaluate total vehicle losses; and properly report losses to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The company also failed to use inspection reports and vehicle photographs, as required in the settlement of unrecovered theft claims.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Bankers American Life Assur.

One Blue Hill Plaza
Pearl River, NY

$30,000 fine

Company violated Insurance Law when it paid a cash dividend to its parent without notifying the Superintendent in writing of its intention to declare such dividend at least thirty days prior. Violated Regulations 34A by using advertisements, which stated the assets and other financial data of Respondent’s holding company system without separately stating the corresponding financial information of Bankers American Life Assurance and failed to maintain a complete file containing all of its advertisements.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

First Fortis Life Insurance Co.

P.O. Box 3209
Syracuse, NY

$10,000 fine

Company violated Insurance Law by failing to pay for claims processing services received from an affiliate; failing to reimburse the same affiliate for printing and production services relating to certain advertisements; receiving claims processing services from another affiliate that were outside the scope of services described in its filed service agreement and failing to receive records from the affiliate in accordance with the filed service agreement. In addition, the company failed to maintain supporting documentation to substantiate statistical data used in advertisements and failed to properly maintain claims files.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Merchants Mutual Ins. Co.

250 Main Street
Buffalo, NY

$4,775 fine

A market conduct investigation conducted by the Department revealed several violations of the Insurance Law and Regulation 68 that require that payment or denial of a claim be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of relevant information and/or proof of claim. The company also failed to properly calculate interest on overdue no fault claims and send follow-up verification forms as mandated by 11NYCRR 65.15(e)(2).


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Sentry Life Insurance Co. of NY

251 Saline Meadows Parkway
Syracuse, NY

$10,000 fine

Company violated Regulation 34 and Regulation 34A by failing to maintain a complete advertising file for the years 1995, 1996 and 1997. The company also failed to include key information in advertisements for three of its products and did not inform policyholders that they had a right to request an updated policy illustration.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Travelers Indemnity Co. of IL

One Tower Square
Hartford, CT

$152,500 fine

A market conduct underwriting and rating investigation revealed that the Company had not filed the rates for gap insurance and residual value insurance with the Superintendent of Insurance, had used a policy form that had not been filed with the Superintendent and issued residual value and gap insurance policies without a license to write such lines.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Travelers Indemnity Company


Travelers Indemnity Company of CT

One Tower Square
Hartford, CT

Same as above

$2,500 fine


$4,000 fine

Companies violated Regulation 57 in that they failed to establish adequate procedures to minimize the occurrence of improperly charged rates for public automobile livery policies. In addition, Travelers Indemnity Company of CT violated Section 1102 of the Insurance Law by failing to obtain the proper license prior to placing business in the Free Trade Zone.

 


AGENT & BROKER STIPULATIONS

Region: Utica

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Petty & Petty, Inc.
&
James Petty
(Sublicensee)

53 West Main Street
Canajoharie,NY

$2,500 fine

Issued 28 insurance identification cards without corresponding applications and failed to remit a premium payment to the insurer. Respondents have satisfactorily addressed both infractions.

Region: Rochester

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

David J. Eckert
(Broker)
t/b/a
Eckert Insurance

3685 St. Paul Blvd.
Rochester, NY

$500 fine

Solicited insurance business though a postal mailing wherein Eckert held himself to be the “Bureau” of Pesticide and Herbicide Compliance,” an entity not known to or licensed by the Department.

Region: Mid-Hudson

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Ivan Morales
(Agent)

HCR#1, Box 142
Cairo, NY

Licensed Revoked

Altered documents and misrepresented policyholder information to Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company on eleven occasions and signed an auto insurance application and submitted it to Metropolitan without the insured’s authorization.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Noel T. Slocum, Inc.

Noel T. Slocum
(Sublicensee)

14 Balfour Drive
Wappinger Falls, NY

Same as above

$500 fine

Issued five insurance premium transmittal checks that were dishonored by the bank, but were subsequently replaced.

Region: Elmira

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Sears G. LaRue Agency, Inc.


Allen N. Mohilewsky
(Sublicensee)

56 Schuyler Street
Belmont, NY

Same as above

$1,000 fine

Issued three insurance premium transmittal checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replace. Commingled premium funds by paying operational expenses from their premium account.

Region: Nassau County

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Jensen Insurance Agency, Inc.
&
Chee S. Hong
(Sublicensee)

83-19 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY

$2,000 fine

Issued six insurance premium checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replaced. In addition, wrote insurance premium checks while the account was deficient or against uncollected funds and commingled premium funds by paying personal and operational expenses from their insurance premium accounts.

Region: Suffolk County

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Frank W. Chiappone
(Sublicensee)

Asset Coverage Inc.

40 Underhill Blvd.
Syosset, NY

$12,800 fine

Submitted to Reliance National Indemnity Insurance Company altered and/or false documentation of proof of prior insurance for at least 64 insureds to obtained premium discounts.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Edward D. Bart
(Agent)

12 Matthew Street
Melville, NY

$2,500 fine

Altered his life insurance agents’ license to indicate he was an accident and health agent. Mr. Bart subsequently satisfied the requirements of an accident and health agent and became duly licensed.

Region: Out of State

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Harley-Davidson Ins. Agency

4150 Technology Way
Carson City, NV

$5,000 fine

Admitted that on 32 occasions, it violated Insurance Law by giving its customers, who financed their purchases with Harley-Davidson Credit, discount in the loan rate.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

George S. Haselton
(Agent)

125 Longhill Road
Little Falls, NJ

Licensed Revoked

Solicited and accepted a life insurance application from an insured in New York State on behalf of Hartford Life and Annuity Company which is not licensed in New York State.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

GPA Agency, Inc

Patricia E. Schirra
(Sublicensee)

7 Parkway Center
Pittsburgh, Pa

Same as above

$5,000 fine

Sold 10 insurance policies to New York State insureds prior to becoming licensed by this Department.

Region: New York City

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Ehmil A. Jean-Baptiste
(Broker)

147-09 88th Avenue
Jamaica, NY

$2,000 fine

Issued eight checks that were dishonored by the bank but were replaced or redeposited. He also commingled funds, using his premium account to pay operating and personal expenses as well as premium payments.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Julio R. Barrios
t/b/a
Barrios Brokerage
(Broker)

3914 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

$1,000 fine

Issued 16 insurance premium checks that were dishonored by the bank. All checks were subsequently replaced.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Emmons Brokerage, Inc.
&
Eleonora Yelkin
(Sublicensee)

6 Neptune Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

$500 fine

Issued 42 premium checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replaced.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Four Wheels Agency, Ltd.
&
Karin E. Gorga
(Sublicensee)

71-32A Main Street
Flushing, NY

$1,000 fine

Submitted an application to the New York Automobile Plan wherein the listed operator denied knowing the named insured. Upon inquiry, the Respondents were unable to produce documentation justifying the listing.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Interwest United Ins. Brokerage, Inc.

Daniella A. Kirfeld
(Sublicensee)

2896 West 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY

$500 fine

Issued nine premium checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replaced.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Lanco Brokerage Corp.
&
Reina M. Perez
(Sublicensee)

497 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY

$2,500 fine

Collected 187 service fees without obtaining service fee agreements. After a Department inquiry, the Respondents obtained the necessary conforming agreements.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Jose M. Oliva
(Broker)

431 West 160th Street
New York, NY

$750 fine

Issued 20 insurance premium checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replaced. Commingled premium funds by paying a personal expense from his premium account.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Agnes L. Parris
(Broker)

748 East 40th Street
Brooklyn, NY

$2,500 fine

Ms. Parris, in her capacity as an employee and Sublicensee of Trin Brokerage, Inc. issued at least 43 premium checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replaced.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Ramirez Excellent Services, Inc.
&
Sucre B. Ramirez
(Sublicensee)

545A Southern Blvd.
Bronx, NY

$1,000 fine

Issues 45 insurance premium checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replaced.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Melissa A. Rivera
t/b/a
Mar Brokerage
(Broker)

82-15 235th Street
Bellerose Manor, NY

$1,000 fine

Issued 78 insurance premium checks that were dishonored by the bank but were subsequently replaced.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Joyce Turner
(Broker)

1514 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY

License Revoked

On or about April 1997, a client applied for automobile insurance coverage with Ms. Turner and gave her a premium payment in the amount of $780. Ms Turner failed to submit the insurance application and payment to the proper insurance company.

 


HEARINGS

Region: Suffolk County

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Ronald W. Schmidt
(Agent)

72 Woodlot Road
Ridge, NY

$2,000 fine

Mr. Schmidt was decertified for one year as a producer with the New York Automobile Plan for transmitting two outstanding electronic mail messages without submitting the corresponding applications and premium deposits to the NYAIP; and for submitting two deficient applications. He failed to resolve said outstanding violations. During 1998, Mr. Schmidt collected various payments in premium monies from his clients, which he failed to remit to the appropriate insurer on time. As a result, his client’s automobile insurance policy was cancelled. Mr. Schmidt failed to comply with the Department investigation and did not appear for his hearing.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

ABL Insurance Brokerage, Inc.


Anthony F. LaForte
(Sublicensee)

2343 Hyland Blvd.
Staten Island, NY

Same as above

License Revoked


License Revoked

On two separate occasions respondents failed to remit premium payments received from a premium finance agency to the insurer and coverted the funds to their own use. Respondents failed to comply with the Department investigation and did not appear at the Department hearing.


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Edwin Velez
t/b/a
Edwin Brokerage
(Broker)

97-02 105th Street
Ozone Park, NY

$500 fine

During November 1995 through February 1999, Mr. Velez issued twenty-two premium payment checks, which were dishonored by the bank. Nineteen checks remain unreplaced and due. In March 1997, Mr. Velez admitted, in a Department stipulation, that between November 1995 and April 1996, he issued four premium checks dishonored by the bank for which he paid a $400 fine. Mr. Velez issued 12 of 22 dishonored premium check after the date he signed the stipulation, thereby violating his assurance that he would prevent future similar violations. Mr. Velez failed to appear for his hearing.

Region: Westchester County

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Philip L. DeRosa
(Agent)

929 Peace Street
Pelham Manor, NY

License Revoked

Respondent did not notify Department he was doing business through a trade name, PLD Consulting. Respondent collected premium through PLD and failed to remit such premium in a timely fashion to the insurer.

Region: Out of State

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Edward D. McKechnie
(Agent)

535 Connecticut Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06856

License Revoked

Between February 1998 and November 1998, at a time he was an agent for Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company, Mr. McKechnie entered into a scheme to defraud insureds of Phoenix Home by having the insurer change their home address to Mr. McKechnie’s and request future dividend checks to sent to the insured. Mr. McKechnie subsequently intercepted eight dividend checks totaling $24,176, forged the insured’s endorsements and converted the proceeds to his own use. Phoenix Home subsequently restored the amounts to the insured and terminated Mr. McKechnie as its agent and notified the Department. Mr. McKechnie did not cooperate with a Department inquiry and failed to appear at his scheduled hearing.

 


FINES FOR LATE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The following health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other insurers have been fined for late submissions of the quarterly and annual statements:

LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

American Independent Networks
Ins. Co. of New York

3640 Lehigh Street
Allentown, PA

$1,250 fine


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Delta Dental of New York

One Delta Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA

$2,050 fine


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Dental Insurance Company of
America

509 Madison Avenue
New York, NY

$250 fine


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Excellus Health Plan Inc.

366 South Warren Street
Syracuse, NY

$750 fine


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Health Care Plan

Guaranty Building
28 Church Street
Buffalo, NY

$11,500 fine


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

United Healthcare of New York

Two Penn Plaza
New York, NY

$250 fine


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

United Healthcare of Upstate NY

Pioneer Business Park
PO Box 1045
Syracuse, NY

$250 fine


LICENSEE

ADDRESS

PENALTY

Vytra Health Services, Inc.

Corporate Center
395 North Service Road
Melville, NY

$7,500 fine

 


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