The theft of insurance premiums by insurance agents is a frequently reported occurrence in the news. The most common scenario is when the insurance agent requests the customer to make a premium check payable to the agent or the agent's company, rather than to the company that issues the insurance policy, such as an annuity or life insurance company. Instead of depositing a customer's premium check and then forwarding the money to the company that issues the insurance policy, the agent simply keeps the money. In order to maintain the appearance that the money hasn't been stolen, the agent may create fake account statements and provide them to the customer.
Customers should request and review account statements directly from the companies that issue the insurance policies. To the extent that the account statements reflect a discrepancy in the premium amounts, customers should be diligent and seek legal advice. Often times, the agents who have stolen the premiums no longer have the ability to repay their victims. Under certain circumstances, however, the companies that issue the insurance polices may have direct or vicarious liability for the theft by the agent. Over the past 16 years, Joel Ewusiak has represented numerous clients in cases involving allegations that an independent insurance agent or broker has acted on behalf of an insurance company, rather than on behalf of the customer (i.e., insured), when insurance premiums have been stolen. Please contact Joel Ewusiak for legal assistance with your specific matter.