April 25, 2005 by Canadian Underwriter
Ontario’s insurance regulator had its hands full last week, issuing several “cease and desist orders”.
The first came on Wednesday, when insurers Security National and TD General both Meloche Monnex companies – were cited for charging rates for coverages of categories of auto insurance which had not been approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). FSCO ordered the companies to reimburse policyholders affected by the rates and also for each of the companies to pay a fine of $50,000 to the province’s Finance Ministry. Also, the companies were told to institute internal control mechanisms to ensure all rates charged are in accordance with those approved by the regulator.
On Thursday last, a permanent cease and desist order was handed down for Marcello Calise and Calise & Associates Legal Services Inc. Back in February, FSCO had alleged the St. Catherines, Ontario-based paralegal had “misappropriated a client’s settlement funds and accepted fees under a contingency fee arrangement”.
And on Friday, a cease and desist order was issued against Ian Stuart-Smith and Heritage International Inc. or Surplus Lines. This follows a lengthy process which began back in December of 2003, when FSCO first issued a temporary order against Stuart-Smith (aka Ian Stuart) to stop him from selling or placing insurance. The ban extends to acting as an agent in Ontario, accepting money for or placing insurance, or advertising the sale of insurance.
Stuart-Smith was convicted in 2002 by the Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon on a charge relating to a forged certificate of insurance. At that time, both Lloyd’s and Great American Insurance Group had issued notices that Stuart-Smith and the companies he operates (Heritage and Surplus Lines) have no authority to issue policies for them.