Travelers To Pay $10.5 Million to Settle California Probe

Travelers Cos., the lone insurer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle a California regulator’s probe of excessive charges.

The payment includes $9 million in refunds and a $1.5 million fine, and is tied to a review of conduct in 2006, according to an e-mailed statement today from state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Regulators reviewed 1,290 policies and found that Travelers miscalculated premiums; improperly declined, canceled or failed to renew policies; and didn’t comply with other internal company rules, Jones said. He said the state received “extraordinary cooperation” from New York-based Travelers.

“This settlement with Travelers is a victory for consumers and demonstrates once again the value provided by the California Department of Insurance at no cost to the taxpayers,” Jones said in the statement.

Shane Boyd, a spokesman for Travelers, declined to comment.

The probe found that Travelers denied a good-driver discount to people who should have qualified for it based on procedures dictated by the California Insurance Code, Jones said in the statement.