NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Louisiana Department of Insurance’s Office of Insurance Fraud announced that it suspended a Greater New Orleans insurance agent and agency.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon took emergency action on Oct. 31 to suspend Insurance Agent Syed Azizuddin Baghdadi and his agency, Gator Insured LLC.
According to the Office of Insurance Fraud, it was determined Baghdadi and his company falsified information and misappropriated premiums on multiple occasions, leaving Louisiana customers uncovered during parts of the hurricane season.
LDI detectives say they received a report of suspected fraudulent activity from the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation alleging Gator Insured sent out two letters containing false information in policies such as policy numbers, effective dates and property addresses.
There were additional complaints of Baghdadi collecting premiums from title companies during the closing of a real estate transaction. He reportedly failed to remit or delay remittance to the insurer, actions to which he admitted.
“Louisiana residents rely on our licensed agents to honestly conduct their policy transactions and remit their premiums to secure coverage on their homes. For an agent to falsify policy information and fail to remit premiums puts residents in grave danger of losing their homes and other assets, especially during hurricane season,” said Donelon.
According to the LDI, on Aug. 18, 2020, Baghdadi was issued a resident producer license and listed as the designated responsible licensed producer for Gator Insured, which was licensed as a producer agency on Oct. 5, 2020.
Both he and the company have addresses listed in Kenner and Metairie. Baghdadi has 30 days from the day of suspension to request an appeal.
Anyone who has conducted business with Baghdadi or Gator Insured is encouraged to confirm they have coverage in place. Those believed to have been a victim of Baghdadi are asked to call the LDI Office of Insurance Fraud at (225)-342-4956 or make a report online.