Ex-Farmers Insurance agent has licence revoked

State’s department of insurance acts after agent accused of offering rebates

Ex-Farmers Insurance agent has licence revoked

Insurance News

By Paolo Taruc

The Idaho Department of Insurance has revoked the license of an ex-Farmers Insurance agent and imposed a $10,000 penalty on him for unfair trade practices.

Tait was an appointed producer for several firms under the Farmers Insurance Group, documents from the department said. Farmers Insurance terminated his appointments with all the companies on September 30 last year.

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According to the regulator, the companies included:
  • Farmers Insurance Company of Idaho
  • Farmers Insurance Exchange
  • Farmers New World Life
  • Mid Century Insurance Company
  • Truck Insurance Exchange
  • Foremost Insurance Company
  • Bristol West Insurance Company

Investigations by the regulator revealed that Tait had either paid or rebated premiums for 10 customers as an incentive for them to enter into life insurance contracts. Idaho law prohibits rebating premiums, as inducement to insurance.

“Tait admitted that on at least one occasion, he rebated the premiums for a customer in order to meet his quarterly production goals and remain on the agent subsidy loan program through Farmers Insurance Group,” it said.

The document said Tait violated the Idaho code in each of the 10 instances it uncovered during investigations.

“The Department does not tolerate misconduct by licensed agents,” said Director Dean Cameron. “Agents are required to know Idaho Insurance Code and abide by it.”

The department barred Tait from applying for a new license over the next five years.  It also imposed a $10,000 administrative penalty on him, $8,000 of which is suspended.  Should he submit an application in the future, the suspended amount will be immediately due and payable.

“As a newly licensed insurance agent, I unfortunately relied on bad advice from people I trusted and offered to waive certain fees for potential clients in order to assist them in being able to afford sought-after policies,” Tait told East Idaho News in an email. “I should have known that doing so was a violation of state regulations, but I didn’t at the time. While I regret and have learned a valuable lesson from my mistakes, I have never had any intention to be dishonest or deceptive to any of my clients, employees or employers.”

Related stories:
State targets insurance agency franchise – seeks to revoke licenses, close agencies
California insurance agent convicted for pocketing insurance funds

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