Elisia Lattimer, an insurance agent and an ex-employee of Ohio National Life Insurance Co., filed a complaint and lawsuit against the company in the last part of 2019. The complaint filed with the Ohio Department of Insurance stated that the insurer violated state insurance laws through its handling of a customer’s insurance premiums.
The complainant named three senior executives who tried to put a lid of these malpractices. The accused were senior vice presidents at the time of the incident. Kevin Korenoski, Rob McPheters, and Christopher Calabro.
The last-named has since become the CMO of the company. Lattimer stated that the objections she raised internally led to her being fired as a punitive reaction by the management.
Ohio National Lawsuit
She alleged that her manager, Keith Larson, employed as a general agent with the company in Michigan, tried to influence a customer’s decision to continue with Ohio National Life Insurance by offering to pay half of the monthly life insurance premium.
The premium amount was $2000 for the policy, which had lapsed over time, and the offer was made to ensure that the customer renewed the policy with the company.
Such offers are termed rebate, and the practice is called “rebating“; it is illegal in the state of Ohio. Lattimer was awarded $213,000 in state court last year on account of a breach of contract by Ohio National.
Ohio National Complaint for “Rebating” Coverup Allegations
Lattimer said that she was moved to report the matter to the state insurance department because it represented a danger to the public and was unfair to licensed insurance agents.
She wanted Ohio National to face legal action for the complete disregard that it has shown for public safety and the law.
Lattimer considered the three high-level executives to be guilty of implementing a cover-up. She said that the three executives conducted themselves in a manner that is contrary to law, and besides, they were quite blatant in their disregard for the law.
A company spokeswoman Lisa Doxsee had stated that the Ohio Department of Insurance would investigate and act as they consider apt. She had further said, “We hold ourselves, the relationships we build, and the products we deliver to the highest standards of quality.”
Additional Ohio National Lawsuits
Ohio National is currently facing multiple lawsuits that have been filed by brokers and broker-dealers with respect to a new annuity compensation policy. In December 2018, the company had stopped paying trail commissions to brokers for certain variable annuity policies offered by it.
Lattimer included the interviews of Korenoski, McPheters, and Calabro, conducted during the investigation related to the breach of contract, to have increase evidentiary value of the complaint. Meanwhile, the three Ohio national executives maintain that their conduct and that of the company were within the ambit of law and that they had done nothing wrong. Lattimer’s position is that the executives are not being truthful. She also submitted a copy of a text message that is purportedly the one sent by Carson to the client in which the rebate was offered.