The Division of Banking and Insurance has fined two insurance companies in the territory.
Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II said the violations were uncovered while the division was preparing for Sunday's implementation of compulsory automobile insurance.
Speaking at a mid-morning news conference Thursday, James said, "My office discovered that Guardian Insurance was running an ad campaign encouraging consumers to obtain auto-liability coverage from them in exchange for frequent flier miles on American Airlines."
That type of offer, he said, "constitutes an illegal inducement of insurance laws." James said the company was ordered to halt the practice and was fined $1,000, which has been paid.
He said his office also slapped a $500 fine on Complete Business Systems, which was issuing auto insurance policies without the appropriate license. Christopher Gordon of Complete Business was ordered to stop selling insurance policies and to cease advertising that coverage could be purchased from his business. He was fined $500 for the violation.
James reported that the fine has been paid and that Gordon has filed all necessary paperwork to sell insurance. He expects a license to be issued shortly to Complete Business Systems.
James spent considerable time in the news conference explaining that oversight efforts will continue by his office to make sure the laws are adhered to. In addition, he said the process will continue beyond Sunday's implementation date to educate the public on the need for basic auto liability insurance.
"Education will be an ongoing process," James said. "I expect my efforts to educate the public will continue even after Feb. 13."
Motorists driving without insurance after Sunday run the risk of being fined anywhere between $250 and $500 for the first violation, a fine of not less than $500 and not more that $1,000 for the second offense, plus forfeiture of the right to operate a motor vehicle for not less than a month nor more than two years from the date of the conviction.
James was joined at the news conference by Director of Banking and Insurance Maryleen Thomas, Chief of Staff Nathan Simmonds and Public Information Officer Jerain Fleming.