The Colorado Division of Insurance has issued a Cease and Desist order against Prime Travel Protection Inc., formerly known as Vacation Protection Services Inc. and Traveler Protection Services Inc., Universal Assurance Ltd., Jerry Watson, and Christine Watson, for the unlawful transaction and sale of insurance in Colorado. The policies were allegedly offered through travel agents, the state said.
The state said a number of consumers, both in Colorado and in other states, purchased "trip protection" from Arvada-based "Prime Travel Protection Services," which was later investigated for the sale of non-licensed insurance products. The company and its principals were not licensed to sell or market insurance. Many of the consumers believed the coverage was valid because it was offered to them through travel agencies and the website of Prime Travel Protection purported to have its product underwritten by an insurer with an "A" rating from A.M. Best.
"There are many protections in place for consumers when purchasing insurance from a licensed company or through a licensed agent," said Marcy Morrison, Colorado's Commissioner of Insurance. "Travel insurance companies must prove they have adequate financial reserves to cover claims, for example. Licensed companies must answer to the Division of Insurance if we receive documented complaints about their practices. But when a consumer chooses to go with the too-good-to-be-true deal, he may find that he has paid for absolutely zero protection. If the company isn't licensed by the state, many of the legal protections in place don't apply."
The Division of Insurance's Cease and Desist order will ensure that Prime Travel Protection, Inc. does not continue to sell or market its unauthorized product, the state said. Consumers in other states with concerns about policies purchased through these companies or individuals should contact the insurance department or Attorney General's Office of the state in which they reside, the Colorado Department of Insurance said.