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Dunn Center insurance agent's license revoked

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Dunn Center insurance agent's license revoked
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Adam Hamm, North Dakota insurance commissioner, has revoked Patricia Howard's insurance license, he announced Thursday.

Howard was a Dunn Center insurance agent who was allegedly knowingly involved in "deceitful and dishonest practices" against at least two clients, according to a press release from the North Dakota Insurance Department.

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The clients reportedly believed they had insurance coverage when they didn't.

"She was served with the cease and desist order on Dec. 17," Hamm said, Thursday. "At that point she was no longer able to work with insurance consumers."

Howard has reportedly signed a consent order, waiving her right to request an administrative hearing.

"It doesn't prevent her at some point in time from attempting to resubmit an application for a license, but I haven't reinstated anyone that I have revoked since I've been commissioner," Hamm said.

The Insurance Department discovered a client who believed they had purchased a farm liability policy through Howard in September 2008, but later found out Howard had allegedly not forwarded the check to the insurance company, Hamm said.

"We became aware of it some time later," Hamm said.

Howard also allegedly accepted a check from Craig Pelton, a Dunn County resident, for payment of insurance premiums for a ranch/farm liability policy, according to the consent order.

Howard allegedly failed to remit the funds to Nodak Mutual Insurance Company, and kept the money, according to the consent order.

"It was remitted to the state office, it was just not done in a very timely manner," Pelton said.

Howard also allegedly created a document titled "ACORD Insurance Binder" and sent it to Wells Fargo Bank, according to the consent order. The document reportedly contained false information.

Howard allegedly intended to use the document to provide proof of insurance of a policy her clients thought they had secured through Howard, but it was never submitted to the intended insurer, according to the consent order.

Hamm said several of Howard's former clients have recently called with concerns.

"We opened up files on those and we'll be looking into the issues to determine whether or not they have coverage and if not, what can be done," Hamm said.

It is unclear whether Howard was practicing when her license was revoked.

"We're not aware of any lawsuits currently brought against her," Hamm said. "Now, obviously, that could change at any time."

Howard declined comment Thursday. Calls to Nodak Mutual Insurance were not returned Thursday.

Anyone with questions about insurance-related transactions involving Howard should contact the Insurance Department at 1-800-247-0560 or insurance@nd.gov.

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