News: 2022 Press Release
LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Insurance has issued a Cease and Desist Order against First Continental Life & Accident Insurance Company for illegally acting as an insurance company in the state and providing health coverage without the proper certification. The Department also served 13 additional Cease and Desist Orders on multiple entities and licensees that aided and abetted First Continental.
“When consumers purchase health coverage they should have full confidence that they have the coverage they are promised,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Transacting insurance without the proper licensing or certification is not only breaking the law, it is putting consumers at risk. My Department will continue to take action to protect consumers and stop illegal actions by companies and licensees.”
The Department launched an investigation after receiving information that California consumers were sold health plans underwritten by First Continental. The investigation uncovered allegations that between October 2019 and September 2021 consumers purchased health insurance plans underwritten by First Continental. Many of these consumers thought their policies included full medical coverage; however, when these consumers attempted to use the coverage they found the coverage was limited and did not cover the medical expenses they were led to believe when they purchased the policies.
First Continental did not have authorization at the time to transact insurance in California. First Continental was previously authorized to transact in California, but after failing to meet policyholder requirements the Department issued a Cease and Desist Order against the company in 2002. In June 2012, First Continental officially withdrew from the State of California and has remained without the proper certificate of authority to transact business in the state.
Consumers who have purchased health coverage through First Continental or any of the below entities or licensees should contact the California Department of Insurance at (323) 278-5000.
The Cease and Desist Orders were served against the following:
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Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation’s largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.
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