Commissioner Lara revokes Los Angeles insurance agent’s license for illegal treatment of elderly and disabled clients
News: 2021 Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has revoked the license of insurance agent Stephanie Ellison-Keys, 54, of Los Angeles, for allegedly borrowing money from a disabled client and for selling three insurance policies to an elderly client over whom she had power of attorney.
California Insurance Code section 1668.1 prohibits licensees from borrowing money from their insurance clients or using a power of attorney to purchase an insurance product while earning a commission. The Department issued an Accusation against Ellison-Keys on May 19, 2021.
The Accusation also alleged Ellison-Keys misappropriated the identity of another insurance agent in order to write two insurance policies in which she:
- used her power of attorney to sign an insurance application on behalf of her elderly client listing herself as the beneficiary on the policy; and
- sold an insurance policy to her own mother also listing herself as the beneficiary.
According to evidence obtained by the Department, Ellison-Keys earned commissions on both insurance policies.
“This licensed insurance agent took advantage of disabled and elderly clients who put their trust in her and believed she had their best interests at heart,” said Insurance Commissioner Lara. “My Department took swift action in this case to protect these vulnerable consumers and we continue to protect Californians from insurance professionals who break the law and put them in financial risk.”
In addition to the license revocation, Ellison-Keys is prohibited from participating in the insurance industry in any capacity and was assessed a $20,000 monetary penalty under the Unfair Practices Act for impersonating another agent. Ellison-Keys failed to respond to the Accusation against her.
The Department urges seniors and their loved ones to review the Senior Insurance Bill of Rights to ensure they are protected when dealing with agents and insurance issues.
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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.