State begins bail-bond insurer investigation, fines company $442,000

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The Colorado Division of Insurance has fined International Fidelity Insurance Company $442,000 for violations of Colorado’s bail bond statutes.

The fine is a result of a sweeping statewide investigation of bail bonds insurers.

The company, which has offices in Greenwood Village,  is licensed to provide a range of surety bonds in Colorado, but ran into trouble with its bail bond business.

Issues addressed in the report include failure to handle funds in a fiduciary capacity, failure to appropriately contract with all agents, failure to require agents to complete required documentation. The company also allegedly failed to properly document deviations from filed rates.

“The Division’s examination of International Fidelity Insurance Company is one of the first of several ongoing market conduct examinations we have conducted on bail bond insurers, but it will not be the last,” said Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison. “The division wants to send a clear message that the issues and the standards addressed in this exam will impact every bail bond insurer and its agents, as well as every cash and professional cash agent licensed in Colorado.”

International Fidelity provided a remedial plan to correct the failures uncovered in the examination, which must now be implemented no later than December 31, 2010.