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Hartford Overcharges to Insure Cell Phones|And Lied to State About it, Class Claims

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Hartford Insurance overcharges for cell-phone insurance and lied to the California Department of Insurance about it, a class action claims in Superior Court. The class claims the overbilling is easy to hide because the company collects payments via phone bills.

Lead plaintiff Wineesa Cole claims Hartford Financial Services Group told California's Insurance Department it charged $2.13 a month for cell-phone insurance but actually charged policyholders $3.99 a month.

California requires insurance companies to stick to the rates they declare to the Department of Insurance, Cole says. She says she does not object to Hartford's rates, but she wants the company to be honest about it.

Cole says the class didn't choose Hartford's insurance anyway. She says cell phone companies such as Verizon and T-Mobile enroll customers in the insurance program, add the premium to phone bills and turn over the premiums to Hartford. In return, Hartford pays the cell phone companies a "billing and collection fee."

Cole seeks restitution and damages for consumer fraud.

She is represented by Thomas Segal and Taras Kick with the Kick Law Firm.


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