State worried about Sears insurance viability

Posted at 5:30 p.m. on January 4, 2019

The Brillion News

MADISON – Late on Friday, January 4, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) of Wisconsin announced that it has taken action to protect people who have insurance policies issued by Sears, which is feared to be close to bankruptcy.

Sears announced earlier in the week that it is closing 80 of its retail stores in March, including the one in the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute. The parent company does its retail business under the Sears and K-Mart names.

Sears Protection Company, of  Hoffman Estates, Ill., was ordered by the OCI to cease and desist writing new business and renewing existing business; was ordered to continue servicing existing business to expiration; was ordered to file its annual statement, interim financial statements, and any other reports required by OCI; and was ordered not to make any further form filings.

A press release issued by the OCI said that these actions were taken based on allegations of Sears filing for bankruptcy protection and lacking financial resources to adequately protect Wisconsin policyholders.

The Order Limiting Operations by Sears Protection Company said it issues warranty insurance plans. The order said the company filed Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy papers in October indicating that it lacked sufficient resources to pay its creditors.

OCI is responsible for overseeing the operations and marketing of insurance companies and agents in Wisconsin. OCI encourages anyone with a question or a complaint regarding an insurance company or agent to contact the office at its toll-free telephone number 800-236-8517.

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