Lockton Affinity has agreed to pay a $1 million fine to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance for allowing the National Rifle Association to directly market and solicit its Carry Guard personal firearms liability insurance in the state.
While Kansas-based Lockton Affinity is licensed by the department as an insurance producer, the NRA is not. Licensed producers cannot permit unlicensed people or entities to conduct business for them in New Jersey.
“The marketing and solicitation of a product that encourages firearms use, as carried out by the NRA and permitted by Lockton Affinity, in contravention of state laws is a serious violation. As regulators we have a responsibility to ensure that companies that profit from having guns on the streets are not conducting business in our state in violation of the law,” said Commissioner Marlene Caride in a statement.
“Entities regulated by the department are expected to fully comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the state and will be held accountable if they fail to do so,” said Caride. “Lockton Affinity accepted responsibility in this matter and will take the necessary steps to ensure that unlicensed entities are not able to solicit insurance products in the state.”
The Carry Guard website, which is maintained and hosted by the NRA, as well as emails sent by the NRA were solicitations of insurance by an unlicensed producer, the department’s investigation found. Additionally, Carry Guard included benefits for health insurance, prohibited by state law for surplus lines insurance.
“We fully cooperated with the New Jersey Department of Banking Insurance from the time they first raised this issue with us. We are pleased this matter is now concluded,” a Lockton spokesperson told NJBIZ.