The state of Washington on Tuesday ruled an illegal insurance program like the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Washington's Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a statement declaration that he was seeking a $ 177,000 fine from two companies that had sold the NRA's "Carry Guard" policies now banned in the state.
The Carry Guard program provides liability coverage to people who use a firearm and has been called a self-defense policy by the NRA. Insureds receive immediate cash to cover the costs and expenses of criminal defense, even if the insured pleads guilty or is convicted of a crime, Kreidler said in his statement.
"NRA Carry Guard teaches you to avoid and defuse conflict," NRA Carry Guard website reads. "But if you ever had to defend your life, you could face serious criminal or civil liability, even when you are completely innocent. In these devastating circumstances, NRA Carry Guard provides access to important resources. "
The law of Washington State prohibits insurance covering criminal activities.
"When acting on insurance products associated with the NRA, buyers are cautious," said Kreidler in his release. "The attempt to insure a criminal act is a scam to the consumers.The policies sold are misleading and dishonest. neglecting as a regulator of state insurance if I have not closed them . "
Since its launch in April 2017, 811 NRA Carry Guard policies have been sold in Washington, with an estimated value of $ 260,000 in premiums.
Kriedler's office stated that 255 clients had canceled their policies and no claims had been made in that state.
He ordered the Illinois Union Insurance Company to terminate the underwriting agreements and announced that he would be fining the organization $ 102,000 for selling "illegal contracts" in the company. # 39; State. Lockton Affinity L.L.C will also be fined $ 75,000 for the management of the policies, the statement said.
Companies have until February 14 to accept fines or request a hearing. The groups indicated that they would stop selling the policies in October 2019.
In a statement obtained by The Hill, NRA attorney, William A. Brewer III, stated that the Insurance Commissioner had acknowledged that the NRA had changed online marketing after a consumer initially complained Washington regulators.
"The NRA has always acted appropriately and will continue to advocate for the legal right – and the practical ability – of Americans to defend themselves," said Brewer.
Washington became the second state to ban insurance from the NRA, following the move from New York last year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) encouraged other states are considering banning insurance and have asked financial institutions and insurers not to work with the gun group.
The Financial Services Department of New York then fined Chubb Insurance Company and its subsidiary Illinois Union Insurance Company $ 1.3 million for subscribing to the Carry Guard program.
The NRA alleged in a lawsuit that the decision, as well as the "threats" of Cuomo, also put pressure on insurers to abandon other policies, thus exposing the organization to a financial danger.
– Updated 14:58