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PRESS RELEASE

JANE DEE HULL
Governor

JOHN A. GREENE
Director

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE

2910 North 44th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, Arizona 85018-7256 · (602) 912-8456 · FAX: (602) 912-8452


Contact: Terry L. Cooper 97-15

Fraud Unit Chief FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

602-912-8418 October 29, 1997

TWO INSURANCE AGENCIES INVESTIGATED FOR ALLEGED PREMIUM MISAPPROPRIATION

The Arizona Department of Insurance Fraud Unit, assisted by local law enforcement, executed search warrants on two insurance agencies: Granillo and Associates Insurance Agency located at 6427 South Central in Phoenix; and Golding Insurance Agency located at 4907 West Glendale in Glendale. Investigators seized numerous records concerning alleged misappropriation of money paid by consumers to buy insurance. The search of records at these agencies stems from allegations that the agencies either collected money to buy or renew policies but did not forward the money to the insurance carriers, or over-charged consumers seeking to buy or renew coverage. In some cases, policies allegedly were neither issued or renewed causing the policies to be canceled without the policyholders' knowledge.

The Fraud Unit investigation of the agencies' records for the last six months reveals the possibility that the money paid by a number of consumers for auto insurance policies never actually reached the appropriate insurers. Some of the consumers have been cited by police and had their license plates seized because the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division suspended their vehicle registrations after the insurer reported the cancellation of their auto insurance. By law, when an insurer cancels a consumer's auto insurance for any reason, the cancellation must be reported to the Motor Vehicle Division of the State Department of Transportation.

"Any person who bought auto insurance from either Granillo and Associates or Golding Insurance," says John Greene, Director of Insurance, "should contact their insurer to make certain their policies are inforce. Anyone who discovers that their insurer has canceled their coverage for non-payment of premium should contact the Arizona Department of Insurance Fraud Unit at 602-912-8418."