Auto warranty company faces up to $500K in fines, ordered to stop doing business in California

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip via KGO logo
Friday, December 17, 2021
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Infinite Auto Protection was ordered to cease and desist from doing business in California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- State regulators have ordered an auto warranty company to cease and desist from doing business in California. Authorities accused the company of failing to honor warranties and operating without a license.

Infinite Auto Protection could be fined by the Department of Insurance as much as $500,000. That's $500 a day going back three years to December 2018. Customers 7 On Your Side talked with tell us they're also waiting for the company to honor promised refunds.

Nina Firoozan of Pleasanton filed a claim with Infinite Auto Protection for a blown gasket. The company told her the $1,500 repair of her 2004 BMW did not qualify for coverage under her extended warranty.

RELATED: Here's why buying an extended warranty for your car is worth the extra protection

"I was shocked. I was shocked because when I was talking to them regarding the policy, they were so adamant that everything was covered. They will do this. They will do that," Firoozan said.

She continued to push for coverage from Infinite, which is also known as Opulent Marketing. Infinite ultimately offered to pay $150 of her $1,500 repair bill.

Michael Soller is a deputy commissioner with the California Department of Insurance.

RELATED: Man's warranty expires before repairs finish: Is he covered?

"When you file a claim with your insurance company, that insurance is there. That's why you pay for it. It's to pay out. It's not a negotiation," said Soller.

Firoozan refused the $150 offer, but says she negotiated a $1,400 refund of her warranty policy.

"I did not think that was fair, but I was thinking at that point if I can take something back, it would be better than nothing," she said.

Rick Irrgang filed a $900 claim to Infinite for an issue with his thermostat.

Infinite would agree to pay $300 of his claim. Rick accepted the offer, but also canceled the remainder of his policy and agreed to a refund amount of $2,062 payable within 14 days.

RELATED: Home warranty company says East Bay grandmother deliberately broke her furnace

Both Firoozan and Irrgang are waiting for their refunds. Firoozan says she's been waiting 20 months, Irrgang just over one month.

"Well, it's obviously frustrating," said Irrgang. "For a lot of people, $2,000 doesn't mean a whole lot. For me, it's a lot of money."

Soller of the Department of Insurance says all this points to the importance of making sure a business is licensed.

"There's very little recourse for people. You know, when they're expecting this insurance to be there for them, and when it's not, and it's not properly licensed, it puts them in a real bind," he said.

RELATED: Are home warranty policies worth the cost?

"An agreement is an agreement. Don't tell me you're gonna do something and don't do it. I don't get to live that way," said Irrgang.

Infinite has not responded to our request for comment.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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