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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner investigating allegations that Wells Fargo signed up consumers for insurance without their permission

News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: December 12, 2016
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Insurance Commissioner investigating allegations that Wells Fargo signed up consumers for insurance without their permission
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today directed the California Department of Insurance to launch an investigation into allegations made by former employees of Prudential Insurance Company that Wells Fargo employees signed up consumers for Prudential insurance without the consumers' authorization.

Commissioner Jones asked department investigators to investigate all aspects of these allegations, including possible violations of California laws that requiring persons transacting insurance to have an insurance license issued by the department.

"Investigators with the California Department of Insurance will investigate new allegations of fraud and misconduct made by former Prudential employees regarding Wells Fargo and its employees," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "Former Prudential employees who filed a whistleblower lawsuit allege that Wells Fargo signed up consumers for Prudential insurance policies without consumer permission much as Wells Fargo admitted its employees illegally signed up consumers for bank products without permission. We will also examine Prudential Insurance company's practices in this regard."

Wells Fargo has admitted that as many as two million unauthorized accounts for its consumers were created by thousands of Wells Fargo employees. Prudential has a partnership with Wells Fargo to sell insurance products to Prudential's customers. The California Department of Insurance will conduct its independent investigation in collaboration with the New Jersey Division of Insurance, which is also investigating this issue.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $394 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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