Man defrauds California businesses of workers comp premiums

No one wants to be injured on the job. However, when workplace accidents occur, employees count on employers to handle certain needs and expenses. In turn, employers usually count on their worker's compensation insurance policy to cover those expenses. For some California businesses, that line of trust was broken by an insurance agent who was defrauding clients.

According to reports, the 64-year-old insurance agent accepted over $6,000 from clients that was supposed to be for policy payments. The money came from individuals and businesses who thought they were paying for car, liability and worker's compensation coverage. Instead, the man allegedly pocketed the funds.

The theft not only defrauded businesses and individuals of their policy premiums. It also left them open to risk should anything happen while coverage was not in force. Some of the man's clients contacted the home insurance office with questions or concerns about their policy. At that time, they were notified that the policies were not in force due to lack of payment.

The 64-year-old insurance agent did provide clients with certificates of insurance. Those were fake, however. The California Department of Insurance is investigating the case and encourages businesses and individuals to check their policies and ensure coverage is in order. The man was arrested and is awaiting an arraignment scheduled for January.

Workers must rely on the vigilance and honesty of their employer for worker's compensation coverage. To ensure you are properly covered in the event of a workplace injury, always vet a company before you start working for them. Working for honest, upstanding companies is the first step in protecting your future on a number of levels.

Source: Workers Compensation, "CA Insurance Agent Arrested for Theft and Providing Bogus Insurance Certificates" No author given, Dec. 13, 2013

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