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California regulator settles with insurtech and underwriter over claims mishandling

by Cedric Guzman

The California Department of Insurance has announced that it has reached two settlement agreements with insurtech company Go Maps and its insurance underwriter, Topa Insurance. This comes after an investigation into numerous complaints regarding mishandling of consumer claims for over two dozen drivers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Go Maps has agreed to surrender its insurance license, pay a fine of $150,000, reimburse costs of $50,000, and provide the department with all necessary information to ensure compliance with statutory requirements for existing policyholders. Topa Insurance, on the other hand, has been fined $2,108,000 and has committed to maintaining permanent access to all policies handled by future general agents, certifying the appropriate licensure of all general agents and associated entities, and refraining from seeking money from consumers who may have been undercharged due to rating errors in the Go Maps/Topa program.

The violations committed by Go Maps and Topa include neglecting to pay claims within 30 days, failing to acknowledge claims or initiate investigations within the statutory timeframe, and not responding to consumers’ inquiries on time. The companies also employed an unlicensed insurance adjusting firm for claims adjustment.

The mishandling of claims by Go Maps and Topa imposed financial burdens on drivers, who had to cover rental car expenses and other costs while their insurance claims were delayed. The settlements with these companies aim to protect consumers and ensure compliance with consumer protection laws.

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara stated that these settlements are an important victory for California consumers and that the priority is to protect policyholders and ensure that insurance companies deliver on their promises. While new products and innovation are encouraged in the insurance marketplace, consumer protection remains of utmost importance.

In conclusion, the settlement agreements reached with Go Maps and Topa Insurance highlight the significance of adhering to consumer protection laws in the insurance industry. It is crucial for insurtech companies and the insurance companies utilizing them to prioritize compliance and deliver on their promises to policyholders.

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