News

Businesses paid premiums but agent didn’t buy coverage

(Salem) — Several Oregon businesses, including a restaurant, a fire equipment store, and a gutter and siding business, paid premiums to McMinnville-based insurance agent Raymond Madison to make sure their businesses were covered.

Later, they discovered that the agent had kept the premium instead of forwarding it to the insurance company, leaving them exposed and scrambling to find replacement money to pay premiums anew. Businesses typically pay a year’s worth of premium at a time.Additionally, Madison, doing business as Beacon Insurance Services, created false certificates of coverage to keep alive the myth that the businesses were covered. Certain businesses, including those in the construction industry, routinely must show proof of insurance. In 29 cases, Madison filed false certificates of insurance with regulators such as the Construction Contractors Board and others.

The Insurance Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services recently revoked Madison’s expired agent license and his active insurance consultant license and ordered him to make restitution of $46,000 to seven clients.

“It’s essential that Oregonians can trust their insurance agents to provide sound advice and follow through on their commitments to secure coverage,” Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali said. “Although this type of dishonesty is rare and agents are subject to state licensure requirements, consumers should call the division’s consumer advocates if they suspect an agent of unethical practices.”

The seven businesses named in the order disciplining Madison gave the agent checks to cover their annual premium for commercial general liability insurance. An eighth business, a Klamath Falls restaurant, additionally paid premium for its liquor liability policy. The restaurant owner sued, and Madison already repaid the owner’s premium.

If you have problems with an insurance agent or company, contact the Insurance Division consumer advocates for help. They can be reached toll-free at 888-877-4894. In addition to help with complaints, the advocates answer questions about all types of insurance.

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The Insurance Division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency.

Press questions

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lisa.m.morawski@state.or.us

503-947-7868
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