MARYLAND

Licenses revoked for well-known insurance companies

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Laurel, Md. (WJLA/WMAR) - The Maryland Insurance Administration has revoked the licenses for two companies run by the son of famed Baltimore insurance pitchman, Hal Katz. Senate Insurance and Laurel Insurance Corporation are both run by Geary Katz.

According to records provided by the MIA, the licenses for both insurance companies were revoked back in December following an agency investigation. The agency, in its documents, says Katz and his companies "have demonstrated that they do not meet the standard of trustworthiness and competence required of an insurance producer".

Senate and Laurel were previously investigated by the Administration after untimely premium payments to MAIF, the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund. The state says Senate is one of the principal insurance producers for the independent agency that answers to the state legislature.

In the most recent action, the Administration says the companies have continued to have trouble making timely premium payments to MAIF and that Senate acted as an insurance producer for a North Carolina company without notifying the agency, although it was required to do so by consent order.

The agency says it is aware of more than $125,000 premium payments that are overdue in one instance. In addition, checks written by Senate Acceptance Corporation, a finance company owned by Geary Katz, were returned for insufficient funds.

But Katz's troubles don't stop there. According to state documents, investors in that finance company forced Senate Acceptance into bankruptcy. The MIA paperwork says Katz and his companies unlawfully withheld premiums intended for insurers.

The creditors claim Katz has admitted that Senate Acceptance owes approximately $50 million to investors in the company as well as an additional $900,000 in unpaid premiums to insurers.

There are 7 Senate insurance locations throughout Maryland. Those locations have been ordered to close and post notices supplied by the state.

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