February 23, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor has released the department’s top fraud and enforcement cases for 2012 and one involves a Scioto County resident.
Under the headline - “Agent deceives clients for commissions,” Taylor said the department revoked the insurance license of Allen Bell of Portsmouth in March of 2012 after a department investigation found Bell forged signatures of six Ohio clients and submitted altered insurance applications for two Ohio clients to secretly earn sales commissions.
Taylor said during the calendar year the department processed 7,274 allegations of agent misconduct and insurance fraud, initiated 2,310 investigations, identified more than 700 civil and criminal violations of Ohio insurance law, took administrative action against 167 insurance agents and agencies, assessed $134,900 in fines and referred 71 individuals for prosecution.
“The Ohio Department of Insurance is aggressively fighting insurance fraud to protect consumers and our competitive insurance market,” Taylor said. “We are working closely with law enforcement to bring offenders to justice while raising awareness about the consequences of committing this serious crime.”
Taylor said before Ohioans buy insurance products from an insurance agent or agency, they should contact the ODI at 800-686-1526 to ensure they are properly licensed. She said consumers are also encouraged to call 800-686-1527 if they feel they have been deceived or suspect someone has committed insurance fraud.
Information about how to prevent and report insurance fraud and professional misconduct is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org