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Law360 (October 1, 2020, 10:40 PM EDT) —
The travel assistance services company Generali Global Assistance Inc. has agreed to pay more than $5.8 million to end claims by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control that it violated regulations thousands of times related to doing business with Cuban entities, OFAC announced Thursday.
Generali’s deal settles its potential liability for 2,593 apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations from 2010 to 2015 — before certain Cuban sanctions changed — OFAC said.
Generali is accused of referring all its Cuba-related business to its Canadian affiliate in an attempt to avoid reimbursing payments directly to Cubans or those traveling in Cuba.
Generali would then reimburse the Canadian affiliates for the payments it cut on all Cuban-related business, OFAC alleges. It codified this “indirect payment process” in its procedures model, OFAC said.
Generali served as a travel services provider on behalf of two Canadian insurers that offered medical expense, travel insurance, and emergency travel insurance policies for Canadians traveling to Cuba, OFAC alleges.
“GGA dealt in blocked property in which Cuba or a Cuban national had an interest by providing prohibited post-travel claim reimbursements directly to Canadian travelers who traveled to Cuba, and providing for the indirect payment of claims to Cuban service providers through a Canadian affiliate,” OFAC alleges.
Generali has also taken heat for its apparent response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In June it was sued by a proposed class of would-be travelers who allege that the company wrongfully denied insurance claims for trips canceled as a result of government stay-at-home orders issued to stem the spread of COVID-19.
In a complaint filed in California federal court, named plaintiff Richard Robbins said he had planned to take a trip from his home in California to Deer Valley, Utah, in April, and bought insurance for the trip in early February.
After stay-at-home orders were issued in California in March, Robbins was forced to cancel the trip, and he put in a claim for $7,681, the maximum coverage under his policy. According to the complaint, the policy specifically covers losses resulting from quarantine to prevent the spread of disease.
Generali denied coverage, however, saying in a letter to Robbins that the COVID-19 outbreak is considered a foreseeable event for any plans purchased on or after Jan. 29 and that the policy excludes coverage for losses of foreseeable events.
Counsel information and case information for the OFAC case was not immediately known Thursday.
–Editing by Peter Rozovsky.
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