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Seattle-based pet insurance producer fined $100,000

PHOTO CREDIT: Legal Gavel

By: KIRO 7 News Staff

SEATTLE – Trupanion Managers USA, Inc., a Seattle-based pet insurance pet insurance producer, has been fined $100,000 for violating Washington state insurance laws and rules. 

In a news release, Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said Trupanion committed the following violations:  

“Gave gifts in excess of $100 to one veterinary clinic from 2016 to 2018 in exchange for referrals. State law limits insurance producers’ gifts to no more than $100 per recipient per year for referrals.

“Trupanion paid Reviews.com, an unlicensed producer, to market the pet insurance and generate leads on their behalf. Trupanion received 28 completed applications from April 2017 to May 2018. State law prohibits producers from accepting business from unlicensed producers. 

“Contracted with unlicensed and unaffiliated ‘territory partners’ to promote its pet insurance to veterinary clinics, animal shelters and animal stores. From 2015 to 2018, Trupanion paid nearly $245,000 in commissions to five unlicensed territory partners on thousands of pet insurance transactions. State law prohibits producers from paying commissions to unlicensed producers.”

Trupanion Managers is affiliated with American Insurance Co., Inc., and both companies are owned by the same parent company, Trupanion, Inc. 

In July 2016, Kreidler fined Trupanion Managers $150,000 for selling around 3,300 pet insurance policies through unlicensed call center employees and contracted territory partners – worth a total of $3.3 million in premiums. 

Also in July 2016, Kreidler fined American Pet Insurance Co. $250,000 for “multiple violations including charging incorrect rates, mishandling consumer complaints and policy cancellations, among other issues.”

Kreidler suspended $100,000 of the fine as long as the company followed his plan to reach compliance. 

A total of $10,000 of the suspended fine was imposed in November 2016 after Kreidler said the company continued to charge incorrect rates to policyholders. 

“I’m always concerned when those in the insurance industry commit multiple and repeat violations,” Kreidler said. “I’ve worked closely and at length with Trupanion and American Pet, and I expect their business practices to improve going forward. These violations are not difficult to fix, and these laws are fairly straightforward to comply with.”

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