Michael S. Pieciak, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, announced a $ 100,000 settlement with Acadia Insurance Co. to resolve the allegations of the insurer’s incorrect handling of the first respondent’s claim for post-traumatic stress disorder.
The department said WR Berkley Corp., Acadia’s third-party administrator, engaged in unfair claims settlement practices and violated the State Insurance Trades Practices Act “in a large majority of the claims it handled in Vermont involving PTSD” between 2015 and 2019.
WR Berkley Corp., which operates as BerkleyNet, refused to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation or engaging in a settlement attempt in good faith, the department said.
“In one of the most striking examples, BerkleyNet sent a request to a first responder for information necessary to process the employee̵7;s compensation claim and denied the claim on the same day,” the department said. “These aggressive claims settlement and settlement practices discouraged first responders who may have experienced PTSD due to work-related stress from pursuing claims.”
Acadia agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $ 85,000 and to contribute $ 15,000 to the Vermont Financial Services Education and Victim Restitution Special Fund.
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