Department orders consumer refunds from illegal sales of extended vehicle warranties
News: 2021 Press Release
ORANGE, Calif. – A Department of Insurance investigation that found a company was illegally selling vehicle service contracts, or “extended warranties,” has led to an order requiring it refund consumers and dissolve its operations.
The Order requires Elite Integrity LLC of Garden Grove to pay back a total of $3,146 to five consumers and to immediately stop selling new contracts, or face a fine of nearly $3.5 million. The Department urges consumers who may have purchased the illegal warranties to contact it to find out if they are eligible for a refund.
The Department’s investigation found that Elite Integrity, doing business as Auto Protection Plus (APP), and Kamisha Daniel of Irvine, its controlling manager, continued selling vehicle service contracts (VSC) and Motor Club contracts even after the Department alleged last year that it was acting without a proper license. The Department contacted several California residents who confirmed the company made direct contact with them to complete a sale.
Generally, VSCs, often called “extended warranties,” are offered to consumers by car dealers when they purchase a car. Most VSCs typically provide coverage for repairs due to mechanical failure. Others offer coverage for routine services, such as oil changes and tire rotation, or other services such as paintless dent removal, glass or key replacement, or tire and wheel repair.
Under California law, companies offering VSCs must be licensed by the Department of Insurance in order to protect consumers from possible fraud or abuse.
Under the Order, APP and Daniels admitted liability for their unlicensed transacting of these contracts, agreed to dissolve their business – or face a fine of $3,460,000 if they continue to transact business. The agreement also prevents APP and Daniels from applying for any license issued by the Department of Insurance or conducting any business regulated by the Insurance Code.
They will continue servicing existing contracts for the duration of the terms of those contracts as part of the wind down of Elite.
Californians who purchased an APP vehicle service contract should contact the Department at (714) 712-7655.
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- Order Adopting First Amended Special Notice of Defense
- Cease and Desist Order
- More information about Vehicle Service Contracts (VSCs).
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.