Insurance Agent Who Kept Premium Money Loses License
See the full video at https://rumble.com/v2b5io2-agents-license-removed-for-fraud.html and at https://youtu.be/W-7fFuD4170
Vincent Alexander, appealed the trial court judgment which affirmed the March 23, 2021 decision of the Louisiana Division of Administrative Law that revoked his insurance agency license. He appealed and the Louisiana Court of appeal reviewed the appeal in Vincent Alexander v. Louisiana Department Of Insurance, No. 2022 CA 0769, Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit (February 24, 2023)
Alexander was an insurance agent licensed by the State of Louisiana, doing business as Vincent Alexander Insurance Agency (the agency). He was married to Tacey Ann Tolliver, who was also an insurance agent licensed at one time by the State of Louisiana and worked with him at the agency. Ms. Tolliver’s insurance license expired on August 31, 2018.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) received a complaint from Kendall Lewis, one of the agency’s customers, that was filed against Progressive Insurance Company (Progressive). In the complaint, Mr. Lewis stated he had paid premiums to the agency on a policy that went into effect December 7, 2018, but the policy was cancelled on January 22, 2019. Mr. Lewis provided premium receipts as proof of payment, dated from January 2019 to May 2019, of which were signed “T. Alexander.” Progressive informed Mr. Lewis that the policy was cancelled due to non-payment, but he was not made aware of the cancellation until he was involved in a motor vehicle accident.
LDI directed Mr. Alexander to respond to Mr. Lewis’s complaint and to explain why Mr. Lewis’s policy was cancelled despite his payment of premiums. Mr. Alexander failed to respond.
Representatives from Progressive met Ms. Tolliver at the agency, but Mr. Alexander was not present. Ms. Tolliver explained to the representatives that she began working there in 1997, and that she and Mr. Alexander were the only two employees of the agency. When the Progressive representatives asked Ms. Tolliver about her expired insurance license, she stated she was not aware that it had expired.
Progressive, for obvious reasons, terminated Alexander’s producer’s agreement with the agency, and the agency refunded to Mr. Lewis his premium payments and paid his reinstatement fees to the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) for not having vehicle insurance.
LDI then issued a Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action and Wrongful Conduct via certified mail to Mr. Alexander regarding Mr. Lewis’s complaint and the failure to pay the fine. On the same date, LDI mailed its intent to suspend and revoke Mr. Alexander’s license. After receiving multiple complaints similar to that of Mr. Lewis from other customers of the Agency LDI eventually notified Mr. Alexander of violations pursuant to La. R.S. 22:1554(A)(4), which provides for the suspension or revocation of an insurance license for “[u]sing fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest practices or misrepresentation, or demonstrating incompetence, untrustworthiness, or financial irresponsibility in the conduct of business such as might endanger the public.”
The Louisiana Division of Administrative Law (LDA) reviewed LDI’s decision, and, on March 23, 2021, signed an order affirming the revocation of Mr. Alexander’s insurance license.
LDA found that Mr. Alexander was particularly irresponsible in allowing Ms. Tolliver to run the business after he had been made aware of Mr. Lewis’s complaint, which then led to other consumer complaints being filed against the agency. Alexander appealed and after a full hearing the district court signed a judgment on November 16, 2021, affirming LDA’s decision to revoke his license. Mr. Alexander appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Louisiana Revised Statutes 22:1554(A) authorizes LDI to take a number of actions, including revocation of license, upon anyone who holds an insurance license issued by LDI, who commits any of a number of enumerated actions, which include “demonstrating incompetence, untrustworthiness, or financial irresponsibility in conduct of such business as might endanger the public. The judgment of the Nineteenth Judicial District Court, which affirmed the March 23, 2021 decision of the Louisiana Division of Administrative Law, thereby revoking the insurance license of the appellant, Vincent Alexander, was affirmed. All costs of the appeal were assessed to the appellant, Vincent Alexander.
The LDI properly revoked Mr. Alexander’s license. It took too long to do so because, while it was investigating, the Agency defrauded multiple additional customers by taking premium and not forwarding the funds to the insurer causing fully paid for policies to be cancelled for non-payment of premium. What Alexander and his wife did was criminal and just revoking their licenses is insufficient and the court should have referred them to the local prosecutor or the state Attorney General.
(c) 2023 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.
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Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 54 years in the insurance business. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
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