Don't forget flood coverage

Don't forget flood coverage

We can't stress this enough: many people assume that their homeowners policy includes flood coverage.

It doesn't. Standard homeowners-, renters- and business policies do not cover flood damage. If your property is in a flood prone area, you should strongly consider buying flood coverage.

How do you know if you're in a risky flood area? Type your address into the red box on the home page for the federally run National Flood Insurance Program. That's where most people buy their flood coverage. Many local insurance agents sell these policies.

And if you think a few inches of water wouldn't cause much damage, you might be surprised. The NFIP put together an interesting interactive simulator that details -- item by item -- the costs of different levels of flooding in a typical home. See the link above.



Costs on a Summary Judgment Motion

Costs on a Summary Judgment Motion

In Mo v. Johnson, the defendant successfully moved for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's claim.  Justice Morgan's decision on costs is reported at 2012 ONSC 6307 (CanLii)

One of the arguments made by the plaintiff was that the defendant was only entitled to costs of the motion, not the entire action.  Justice Morgan disagreed, holding that:

[24]      I agree with Mr. Bizezinski that where summary judgment dismisses the action, it is the costs of the action in its entirety that are at issue. To hold otherwise would allow a party who brings spurious litigation to cause the opposing side to incur substantial costs with no means of compensation. 

The defendant was awarded costs of the entire action on a substantial indemnity basis due to the plaintiff's conduct, which was described as "aggressive and high-handed".  The decision is a nice synopsis of some of the basic principles relating to costs. 
Michigan Health Care Claims Tax Fight -- Additional Rounds Ahead

Michigan Health Care Claims Tax Fight -- Additional Rounds Ahead

It’s been a tough fight thus far in opposition to the Michigan Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act, which imposes a one percent (1%) assessment on all health care payers, including self-insured employers and certain business partners, for medical services rendered to Michigan residents in the state of Michigan.

As this blog has previously reported, business groups in Michigan signed off on the legislation last year noting it was part of a larger budget deal that was not as bad as possible alternatives.   ERISA preemption concerns were outweighed by the belief that self-insured employers could absorb the new tax without much disruption. 

Then in August of this year, a federal district court in Michigan dismissed an ERISA preemption lawsuit, which contended that the administrative obligations imposed by the Act are unlawful.    

Game over?  Well, not exactly.

An appeal of the District’s court ruling has just by filed with the Sixth Circuit Court Appeals and incorporates some very strong arguments to justify a reversal.  And this time, the self-insurance industry will have an unlikely ally in this legal fight – organized labor. 

What has not been widely recognized is that the tax applies to self-insured Taft-Hartley plans and the ERISA preemption argument is even stronger as it relates to these plans.   So it is a positive development that at least two Taft-Hartley plans are expected file amicus briefs next week. 

But while more pressure is being applied in Federal Court, things are heating back up in the Michigan State Legislature to make the tax significantly more onerous.

The Act was structured based on the assumption that it would raise $400 in annual revenue from all payers.   Of course, government budgeting is often suspect and Michigan bureaucrats have lived up to this reputation.  Through the first half of 2012, the state collected only $109 million from the health claims tax, which means the annualized estimate is short nearly $200 million.

So it should not come as any surprise that the Michigan Legislature is now considering a proposal during a lame duck session to significantly hike the tax.  SB 1359, introduced earlier this month, would allow for an unlimited and variable rate on the claims tax so that it would float up and down to ensure that the tax generates $400 million annually.  The bill would also eliminate the proportional credit/refund provision should the tax collect more than the $400 million target amount.

Interestingly, state business groups who provided tacit approval to the tax last year have now launched an aggressive lobbying effort to defeat the proposed 2.0 version.   We’ll see if labor groups join the cause. 

While it’s certainly encouraging that there is strong push back against SB 1359, the opposition remains focused on the economic argument.    Yes, this is clearly important but arguably not as important as the ERISA preemption issue.

We’ll concede that the most self-insured employers in Michigan have figured out how to comply with this new tax obligation, but multi-state employers will also tell you that if other states implement a similar tax scheme this would greatly complicate compliance efforts.  In turn, this could make the self-insurance option much less attractive – a particularly troubling development in the post-ACA world where self-insurance offers a critical safe harbor.

Look around.  Most states have budget challenges, especially as it relates to health care obligations.  If the Michigan tax withstands legal and legislative challenges then we should not be surprised if other states attempt the same approach.

So the stakes are high in Michigan as it is now ground zero in the ERISA preemption fight.

Oral Diseases and Your Health


Oral Diseases and Health

Oral diseases not only affect mouth to mouth area, but impact in various parts of the human body, so it is important to have good hygiene to ensure the elimination of bacteria.

For people, it is very important to have a healthy white smile, but when not properly care for infections can appear uncomfortable. In here you will familiar with the most common diseases of oral health.

Oral Diseases and Your Health

Oral Caries:
 
A crack in the teeth is caused by food acids decaying. It affects more than 90% of the world population.Regularly recorded on the outside, but if not treated in time, can affect the nerve, causing severe pain and loss of tooth. The poor oral hygiene and sugary food intake favor its appearance.

Oral Gingivitis:

Gingivitis is generated by improper brushing, poor flossing and smoking involves the inflammation of the gums caused by an infection (bacteria) or the accumulation of plaque and tartar. If not attended to in time, can affect the bone and become a periodontitis.

Its symptoms include bleeding, swelling, redness, sensitivity to cold and bad breath.

Oral Diseases and Your Health

Periodontists:

Periodontists is a progressive infection of the gums and bone loss around the teeth, which causes the release of teeth.

Most cases result from prolonged accumulation of plaque and calculus on teeth. Its main symptoms are intense redness of the gums, pain and inflammation without eating or light bleeding during brushing.

Oral Cancer:

When there is no proper cleaning, your mouth can harbor many germs and bacteria that cause this type of oral disease. It manifests from any sores, inflammation or ulceration last long.

Some risk factors that trigger the disease are: smoking, alcohol, diet deficient in vitamins A, E, C and iron, a viral infection or excessive sun exposure.

Halitosis: 

Poor oral hygiene, tooth decay and smoking are the causes of bad breath in adults. It is important to visit the dentist to make a diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Experts Recommendation:

Oral experts recommend avoiding sweets and sugary drinks, eating a balanced diet, brush twice a day with quality tooth brush and tooth paste in proper ways, flossing and regular visits to the dentist for a check-up.
One computer, one camera, fake invoices...and four different insurance claims

One computer, one camera, fake invoices...and four different insurance claims

A Renton man has been sentenced to jail plus community service after submitting thousands of dollars in bogus claims for a $4,900 laptop, and a $3,200 camera.

Between December 2010 and September 2011, Michael Tran Lai, 32, filed multiple claims with four different insurance companies claiming the loss of the MacBook Pro laptop and Nikon camera. He claimed they were stolen from a car, or lost in luggage while travelling, or stolen from his hotel room. The invoices turned out to be fake.

He also filed multiple claims for the same accident damage to his Lexus.

Laid was sentenced Nov. 16 to 10 days in jail, 160 hours of community service, and $854 in court fees and costs. A restitution hearing is also pending.

Tips to avoid a turkey-fryer fire...because here's what that looks like

The turkey-fryer disaster video is a YouTube holiday staple, and it's not surprising. Oil burns really well. Turkeys are big.
The biggest mistake seems to be this: overfilling the pot and plunging a big turkey in while the flame is lit, causing a lot of oil to splash over the sides and, yup, ignite.
Bigtime.

  
And sometimes, this happens on a deck or close to a house.

So if you must fry your turkey, here are some key tips:
  • Fry outside, away from the house.
  • Do not overfill the pot with oil.
  • Properly thaw the turkey.
  • Turn off the flame before adding the turkey.
  • Use the grappling-hook thing to lower the turkey in carefully (and not splash oil).
  • Be careful of oil splattering on your arms. Splashed boiling oil can cause horrible burns.
  • And -- if in doubt, review video No. 2 above -- keep a grease-approved fire extinguisher handy.
Bonus round: Actual turkey-fryer-mishap-victim William Shatner reviews these points in his cautionary video "Eat, Fry, Love."
Cost of Productions

Cost of Productions

Who pays for the cost of producing documents?

In Veillette v. Piazza Family Trust, 2012 ONSC 4782 (S.C.J.), the plaintiffs brought a motion to compel the defendant to answer undertakings and refusals he gave on an examination in aid of execution.  The defendant took the position that the plaintiffs must pay any charges for obtaining the documents.

The Court cited two cases dealing with production of documents before trial, Ho v. O’Young-Lui, 2002 CanLII 6346 (ON SC), and Traverse v. Turnbull, [1996] N.S.J. No. 212 N.S.C.A. which held that the general rule is the party in possession or control of the documents is to produce them at their expense, although the court has residual discretion to depart from that rule where fairness and justice so require.  The general rule may be altered if its application would prevent a party from presenting its case.  Justice Kane held that there was no reason to depart from the general rule.

Although this case deals with an examination in aid of execution, disagreement over who pays for documents can often arise in the context of examination for discovery.  The Veillette case is useful in providing a succinct argument as to why plaintiffs should bear the cost of producing their documents.
Flood, high wind and storm warnings in WA

Flood, high wind and storm warnings in WA

The National Weather Service has issued a long list of flood-, wind- and storm warnings, watches and advisories today. Here's a roundup:

A flood warning has been issued for the Chehalis River at Centralia (in Lewis County) and the Chehalis River near Grand Mound (in Thurston County). Moderate flooding is expected, and the weather service is warning motorists not to try driving through flooded areas -- the most common cause of flood-related deaths in Washington.

In Lewis County, the flood warning will be in effect from Tuesday morning to Wednesday evening, with the river expected to hit flood stage around 9 a.m. Tuesday and crest 4 feet over flood stage around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

What's that mean? At four feet over flood stage, the weather service says, "The Chehalis River in Lewis County will flood some residential and commercial areas with water encroaching upon the first floor of some homes and businesses. Swift flood waters will cover some roads.

At Grand Mound, the river's expected to hit flood stage around 7 a.m. Tuesday and crest about 2 1/2 feet over flood stage around 4 a.m. Wednesday. Flooding of several roads in Independence Valley is expected, including SR 12 and James-, Independence-, Moon- and Anderson roads. Flood waters are expected to cut off access to and from Chehalis Reservation and inundate nearby farmland.

Minor to moderate flooding is also predicted the the Chehalis River near Doty (Lewis County), the Newaukum near Chehalis (Lewis), the Satsop River near Satsop (Grays Harbor County) and the Skokomish River near Potlatch (Mason). There's a flood advisory -- meaning minor flooding is possible -- for a dozen western Washington counties, as well as western Kittitas, Klickitat and Yakima counties.

A high wind warning is in effect for Seattle and the central coast areas, with the strongest winds occurring as we post this, with the warning lasting until 3 p.m. South winds of 25-35 miles an hour have been reported, with gusts near 60 miles an hour.

A winter storm warning has been issued for the Cascade mountains above 4,500 feet, with periods of heavy snow expected to persist through evening. An additional 1-2 feet of snow is likely, especially over the North Cascades, the weather service says.

Similarly, a winter weather advisory is in effect for the Olympic mountains above 5,000 feet, with 6-11 inches of snow expected, but tapering off late today.
Fraud charges for man who hit car, then bought insurance

Fraud charges for man who hit car, then bought insurance

A Blaine man who rear-ended another driver, rushed to buy insurance, then claimed that the crash happened afterward has been charged with insurance fraud.

Mark Traxler, 51, let his auto insurance lapse in January because he didn't pay the premium.

Two weeks after his coverage ended, he hit a car in Bellingham, causing more than $5,000 in damage.

He immediately went to his insurance agent and paid for new coverage. By nightfall, the other driver had made a claim against his policy.

The problem: Traxler said that the accident happened after he'd bought the coverage, when a 9-1-1 call placed by the other driver indicated that it happened before.

Traxler has been charged in Whatcom County Superior Court with insurance fraud.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis Causes, Consequences, Symptoms and Treatment

The cause of tuberculosis is Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium. Diagnosis, treatment and prevention will minimize the effects, consequences and contagion.

The tuberculosis is usually associated with the lungs, but can affect other organs of the body such as the kidneys, lymph nodes, joints and also cause meningitis. While tuberculosis had long ceased to be a medical problem of the first order, with the onset of AIDS, infectious disease again requires special attention.

Tuberculosis Causes, Consequences, Symptoms and Treatment

Indeed, immune compromised patients are especially susceptible to attack by the Koch bacillus, name given in honor of its discoverer, the German Nobel laureate Robert Koch. As a curious note is the estimate that talks about one third of the world population infected by this bacterium. It is undoubtedly infectious disease with a higher rate of prevalence, but yes, only 10% go on to develops the disease. The immune system, in normal conditions, is effective in slowing the progression of the disease, but when lowered defenses alarming levels, as in the case of AIDS, then the problem becomes.

TB vaccines: BCG

The TB vaccine, known as BCG vaccine - was created from live attenuated bacilli of Mycobacterium bovis, known as Bacillus Calmette-Guerin. Vaccination of newborns abandoned in Spain for over 30 years, with the exception of the Basque Country, where he still remains.

The systematic application of the vaccine is recommended in the following cases:
Developing countries have with high prevalence rates of tuberculosis.
Children who are living in that areas or social groups have high risk of infection.
Children in developed countries that constitute risk groups and not apply other prevention strategies.
Health workers are frequently contact with tuberculosis patients.

The BCG vaccine is contraindicated in some cases:
Congenital or acquired immunodeficiency.
Previously infected individuals, have developed or no disease (positive tuberculin test).
Skin diseases.
Pregnancy.

Symptoms and diagnosis of tuberculosis

The most common manifestation of the disease is pulmonary tuberculosis. This is transmitted through coughing, sneezing and, in general, and prolonged close contact with the infected.
The symptoms most commonly associated with tuberculosis are chills and night sweats, cough, loss of appetite, chest pain, malaise and considerable weight loss. The symptoms are similar to pneumonia, but while this has a faster development-a few days or even hours-TB is a process that takes weeks.
The diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis is performed from the clinical history, chest radiography and sputum, which identifies the culprit: Koch's bacillus.
In cases of infections that affect the lungs, which often occur after lung infections or asymptomatic infections, there is a persistent fever with significant weight loss without an identifiable cause.

Treatment of tuberculosis

Drug treatment is started in 1944, with the emergence of streptomycin and para-aminosalicylic acid. Later, in 1950, would prove that a combination therapy of two antimicrobial agents was more effective than initial immunotherapy. Two years later, a new drug isoniazid, which is added to the combination and improves? In 1960 ethambutol therapy also includes reducing the duration of treatment to 18 months. In the seventies rifampicin becomes part of the combination treatment reduced by half. And in 1980 is included in the treatment pyrazinamide, again reducing treatment, in this case to 6 months.
Antituberculostaticos drugs are classified into two groups according to their efficacy, potency and side effects. Which are known as first-line drugs mentioned in the previous paragraph. The second-line drugs such as ethionamide, cycloserine or ciprofloxacin, are used in cases of resistant tuberculosis or when intended to avoid the side effects of first-line drugs.
Captives & Dodd-Frank -- Hitting the Right Target

Captives & Dodd-Frank -- Hitting the Right Target

The recent announcement of an industry coalition to push for federal legislation clarifying that the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA), included as part of the Dodd-Frank law, does not apply to captive insurance companies certainly sounds like a positive initiative.  But despite good intentions, this blog is skeptical that it will acheive the desired result.

We have actually been tracking this issue for some time and is aware of discussions that have taken place with key congressional sources regarding the viability of a possible legislative fix (two conversations as recent as yesterday).  The consensus is that it could be done technically, but DC politics dictate that such an effort would be a heavy lift.

The political reality is that neither Democrats nor Republicans have the appetite to open up the Dodd-Frank Law for any changes at this point. 

Truth be told, congressional Republicans don’t want to do anything to help the law actually work, as this was a highly partisan piece of legislation, much like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The only way Republicans would be motivated to even consider amending the legislation is if such action would substantively lessen the administrative burdens on the banking industry and provide certainty to the business community, especially small business.

 Democrats, for their part, will be resistant to “technical amendment” legislation even if they support it in principle for fear that it would become a legislative vehicle where additional amendments would be grafted on with the intent of watering down the law.

And neither party wants to come back under fire from the powerful financial services industry lobby, which would surely happen if Dodd-Frank is opened back up – even for so-called technical fixes.   

But just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that legislation is introduced and some co-sponsors are lined up.  Does that mean success is any more likely?  Probably not.  To understand this assessment, we need to talk about the relative political power of interest groups in DC. 

While many of the larger lobbying organizations active in DC have the ability to block and/or shape legislation, there are far fewer who have enough political juice to get their own special interest legislation passed through Congress, no matter how limited. To be blunt, the captive insurance industry simply does not fit into this latter, more exclusive group.   

Finally, the country’s biggest captive domiciles simply do not have powerful congressional delegations with regard to insurance-related issues, which could potentially offset the deficiencies and complications described above.  That is not to say these members of Congress would not be forceful advocates, they simply are not positioned to move legislation envisioned by proponents of this approach.

So does all this mean that there will never be clarity relative to whether the NRRA applies to captives?  Well, it may not to come from Congress for the reasons we just explained, but it may come from federal regulators as part of the Dodd-Frank rule-making process. 

In fact, this avenue is now being actively explored by self-insurance industry lobbyists.   This strategy can best be described as a “surgical strike,” as opposed to an expensive and pro-longed “land war,” which the congressional route would surely become. 

We’ll see if the political operatives now engaged with the regulators can hit the target.  But at least an arguably clearer path has been identified.

 

 

 

 

 

 
The search for Big Daddy: barbecue case leads to insurance fraud charges

The search for Big Daddy: barbecue case leads to insurance fraud charges

In the summer of 2011, a Renton man named Cassk Thomas, Jr. filed a claim with his insurer, saying that someone had stolen his his 26-foot, 8,500-pound, two-tank, three-grill barbecue smoker, dubbed "Big Daddy."

The barbecue had been stored behind a locked fence, he told police. Two screws on a hinge had been removed. The smoker, as well as the double-tandem-axle trailer it was mounted on, was gone. Thomas provided his insurance adjuster with an invoice from a Spokane company, totalling $32,343, for the trailer and smoker.

Thomas' insurer, American Family Insurance, paid Thomas $30,474 for the lost barbecue, as well as $24,668 for lost income while he sought a replacement barbecue.

Upon investigation, it turned out that the trailer was actually purchased from a company in Texas for less than a third of what Thomas claimed. A former business partner said it cost $9,470, and she provided paperwork showing that.

The company Thomas had named as the manufacturer in Spokane apparently does not exist. It's not listed with the state departments of licensing or revenue, not on the Internet, the business address is a residence and, in repeated attempts, no one answered the phone there. A company official named by Thomas turned out to be an old roomate of his.

Thomas has been charged in King County Superior Court with 1st degree theft and insurance fraud, both of which are felonies.
Martin v. Fleming - Deductibles

Martin v. Fleming - Deductibles


The Court of Appeal has now released its decision in Martin v. Fleming, which can be found at the following link: Martin v. Fleming, 2012 ONCA 750 (C.A.)

At issue was the operation of the deductible where a plaintiff has been in multiple accidents.  The motions judge ruled that where the plaintiff has been involved in two accidents and the actions are tried together, there is a deductible for each action.

In a brief endorsement, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. They followed the motion judge's reasoning that s. 267.5(7) is unambiguous and the plaintiff is subject to two deductibles.

Although this is a brief endorsement, it is important to those defending claims where the plaintiff has been in multiple accidents.  Insurers for each defendant retain the benefit of the deductible.

A hard lesson for victims with flooded houses: standard homeowners policies don't cover flooding


The New York Times has a nuts-and-bolts story about insurance concerns in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and all of the lessons apply here in Washington.

The biggest one -- and something that we repeat often -- is that a standard homeowners policy does not cover flooding. For that coverage, people typically buy a policy from the federally-run National Flood Insurance Program.

The problem is that unless required to by their lender, many homeowners simply don't get flood coverage. (And even those whose mortgage requires it often later let it lapse.)

The article covers things like who pays for tree removal, will you be reimbursed for living costs if your home is uninhabitable, and will an insurer cover the cost of ruined food when the power fails.

25 free apps


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a list of free health-related applications, created by the feds, regarding health. They include apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android and iPod Touch.

The apps include:

Find a Health Center: Created by the Health Resources and Services Administration, this map-linked app helps you find the nearest federally funded health center, which will care for you even if you have no health insurance. Based on your income, you pay what you can afford.

The popular BMI calculator, which helps determine your body mass index.

Brrd Brawl: A mobile game developed to give jittery quitting smokers something to do with their hands.

52 Weeks of Women's Health: Info on 52 health topics, ranging from eye health to contraception. Also helps track medications, allergies, etc.

Other apps include help triaging injuries in the field, treating radiation injuries, quitting smoking, tracking the flu in your area, tracking a pregnancy and reuniting after a disaster.

Expert Independence

Expert Independence

Do the new rules pertaining to expert evidence impose a higher duty than at common law?  When an expert is alleged to be biased due to a connection to one of the parties or a matter in issue, does it go to admissibility or weight? 

In Henderson v. Risi, 2012 ONSC 3459 (S.C.J.), the defendant proffered an expert, Mozessohn, to give testimony at trial regarding irregularities in the financial records of Timeless Inc., provide an opinion on the value of shares in Timeless held by the plaintiff, and critique the plaintiff expert's opinion.  The plaintiff objected to the admissibility of Mozessohn's evidence on the basis that he was not independent or impartial since he was a partner in the accounting firm that acted as Timeless' Trustee in Bankruptcy.  Mozessohn testified that there had been no communication between members of his firm about the case.

Justice Lederman quoted the Newfoundland Court of Appeal in Gallant v. Brake-Patten 2012 NLCA 23 (CanLII), which summed up the law regarding the admissibility of expert evidence where the allegation is the expert lacks institutional independence as opposed to personal advocacy:

In summary, in civil cases, if expert evidence meets the Mohan criteria for admissibility, it is admissible.  Bias or partiality in expert evidence which is based on the expert having a connection with a party or issue or a possible pre-disposition or approach in the case is a reliability issue which is best determined when the whole of the expert evidence is considered in the context of all of the trial evidence.  As such, the issue is one of weight and not admissibility.

Plaintiff's counsel argued that the new r. 4.1 and the changes to r. 53 imposed a higher level on duty on an expert in Ontario, and that the question of institutional independence must be determined at the admissibility stage rather than leaving it to be considered as a matter of weight.

Justice Lederman disagreed and allowed the expert to give testimony.  Rules 4.1 and 53 simply remind experts of their already existing obligations to provide opinion evidence that is fair, objective and non-partisan.  Any lack of institutional independence went to weight rather than admissibility.  The new rules impose no higher duties than already existed at common law.

Job opening: .NET developer

Job opening: .NET developer

We're recruiting to fill a position for an information technology specialist 4 (.NET developer) in our operations division in Tumwater, Wash.

The successful applicant's duties will include software development of mission-critical agency systems, systems analysis, as well as software unit and quality assurance testing.

For more specifics, duties, salary, timeline, etc., please see the full job listing.
Three companies fined $605,000

Three companies fined $605,000

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is fining three companies a total of $605,000 for violating Washington insurance laws.

“Our insurance laws protect consumers and maintain a level playing field in the insurance market,” said Kreidler. “Break the law and you’ll face the consequences.”

The fines were as follows:

PacifiCare of Washington (now known as UnitedHealthcare of Washington, Inc.) has agreed to pay a $400,000 fine for what state financial examiners concluded were improper royalties paid to an affiliated company. The company contended that the payments were administrative fees, but acknowledged that it had failed to annually reconcile the payments with actual costs to show that the company wasn’t overpaying.

In addition to the fine, the company has recovered the $72.9 million it paid between 1999 and late 2006.

STA Travel Inc., based in Texas, agreed to pay $115,000 for allowing unlicensed staffers to sell insurance policies in Washington. The company is a travel agency specializing in international college student travel. It sells travel insurance as part of its travel services.

Although the company’s office manager was a licensed insurance agent, under Washington law, all staff selling travel policies needed to be licensed. Policies were sold by unlicensed staffers from 2005 to 2011.

Lenovo (United States) Inc., incorporated in Delaware, has agreed to pay $90,000 for improperly selling 1,327 service contracts in Washington. The company failed to register as a service contract provider, as required by state law. The service contracts were sold from mid-2008 through mid-2012.

Fines collected by the insurance commissioner's office do not go to the agency. The money is deposited in the state's general fund to pay for other state services.

License revocation for insurance agent who allegedly faked own death

License revocation for insurance agent who allegedly faked own death

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has issued an order to revoke the license of an Enumclaw insurance agent who allegedly faked his own death as part of a $2 million scam.

Aaron Travis Beaird, manager of Team Financial Services LLC, "knowingly devised a scheme and artifice to defraud consumers and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses," according to the order.

Beaird would recomment to his clients that they liquidate one investment and transfer the money into another investment or insurance policy, making the checks out to his business.

The problem: Beaird didn't actually invest the money or buy a policy. Instead, according to the license revocation order, he'd take the money for "his own use and benefit." To cover things up, he would provide his clients with fake account statements.

Beaird was arrested in early July on federal charges of wire fraud and mail fraud. Investigators said he left a fake suicide note in his car, which was found parked near a bridge on June 23rd.

He pleaded guilty in federal district court Aug. 28th. He admitted to defrauding at least 11 people out of more than $1 million. He is currently incarcerated, awaiting sentencing,  at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center.

Beaird has the right to demand a hearing to contest the order.

Update: (Nov. 20) The revocation has taken effect.