California IN BRIEF : SAN FRANCISCO : 3 Insurers Accused of Unfair Practices
State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi filed charges of unfair practices against the California State Automobile Assn. and two other insurers. Garamendi charged the CSAA Inter-Insurance Bureau with unreasonable delays in payment of health insurance claims on 18 separate cases, each of which could be punishable by a $10,000 fine. A spokesman for CSAA said the company had not been informed of the specific cases named by Garamendi, but he said CSAA looks forward to a full airing of its efforts to counter what he called “an endemic, systemic problem” of insurance fraud by consumers. Garamendi also charged Provident Life & Accident Co., a Tennessee-based life insurer, with failure to pay interest on death claims, and Santa Ana pet insurer Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. with misleading advertising and delays in handling claims.