In addition to issuing licenses to qualified professionals, both the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) monitor licensed professionals to ensure that the standards required to obtain their licenses are maintained in practice.
The Disciplinary Process
Should the IDFPR or DOI investigate a complaint made toward a licensee, a prosecution division may take one of two different options — either an informal hearing or a formal evidentiary hearing. In an informal hearing, the licensee is given a chance to present his or her side of the story and learn what evidence has been found about the situation in the complaint. The licensee and the prosecution can also work together to determine the type of disciplinary measure that will be taken against the licensee, if any.
Mr. Zimmerman has negotiated resolutions with the IDFPR with no disciplinary action imposed against the licensee. Contact us by e-mail or call 1-877-440-0020 to schedule a free initial consultation.
If the prosecution decides that the nature of a case warrants action more serious than an informal hearing, then a formal evidentiary hearing will take place. The formal process is governed by the IDFPR’s and DOI procedural rules, as well as specific rules and adjudicatory actions found in the Administrative Code and each professional and occupational licensing act. The procedural rules and statutes ensure that the hearing proceeds with fairness and follows due process. At the Zimmerman Law Offices, P.C., our attorneys have a thorough understanding of these statutes and rules and will prepare you for the process.
As the formal hearing proceeds, both sides are given a chance to present their positions, defenses and any mitigating factors. The formal hearing includes the licensee with his or her counsel, an Administrative Law Judge, a board or committee member and an IDFPR or DOI prosecutor. Additionally, the hearing will include testimony from the licensed professional (the Respondent), as well as other witnesses and experts on behalf of both sides. Being an administrative proceeding, the hearing is open to the public.
At the end of a formal hearing or informal conference, disciplinary action such as reprimand, suspension, revocation, probation and/or fines, or nondisciplinary actions including remedial continuing education, referral to treatment and/or an administrative warning may be taken.
Protecting Clients From Disciplinary Sanctions
To protect your license, it is strongly advised that you retain the services of a qualified and knowledgeable attorney to represent you and your professional status every step of the way. An attorney who understands the workings of the IDFPR and DOI is crucial, as he or she can help ensure that your investigation and/or hearing follows correct protocol and is fair and accurate.
Thomas A. Zimmerman is an experienced attorney who has successfully persuaded the prosecuting attorney and the Board to either reconsider the case altogether or significantly lessen the discipline. Mr. Zimmerman also has a record of success at the trial of formal disciplinary hearings. Contact Zimmerman Law Offices, P.C., for a free initial consultation, representing clients statewide.
Insurance Producer Accused of Altering Insurance Declaration Page – The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) alleged that a licensed insurance producer submitted to an insurer the declaration page of a Habitational BOP policy that was altered in that the deductible was changed from $50,000 to $1,000. As a result, the insurance company paid a $17,000 claim. The DOI revoked the producer’s license. In its Order of Revocation, the DOI alleged that the producer used dishonest practices and demonstrated untrustworthiness and financial irresponsibility. We provided evidence that an insurance producer working for the accused insurance producer erroneously selected an incorrect deductible from the drop down menu on the insurer’s website when applying for coverage. The error was discovered shortly after the date of loss, and the accused insurance producer informed the insurer of this fact on a recorded telephone line. We demonstrated to the DOI that at no time did the accused insurance producer attempt to hide this fact from the insurer, and the insurer had full knowledge of this issue when it erroneously paid the claim. We convinced the DOI to close its file, and the insurance producer was allowed to continue in practice.