Ferndale insurance seller cheated on exam, state office says

The state has yanked the license of a Ferndale insurance seller after catching him trying to help others cheat on an exam, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Harinderjit Singh Bisla of Ferndale took photos of pages of the state’s life and disability exam in late 2015, according to an April 13, 2016, order from the commissioner’s office. Anyone who applies to sell life and disability insurance in the state is required to pass the exam, said Kara Klotz, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Bisla declined to comment when contacted by a reporter.

Bisla was affiliated with World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Klotz said.

It took Bisla five attempts to pass the test before getting his license on May 6, 2014, according to the order. Then, in late 2015, he went to a different test center to take the exam three more times.

The exam is a one-time requirement to get licensed, Klotz said, though insurance salespeople must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years afterward.

“The fact that Bisla took the test again after he was licensed was a red flag,” she said.

During at least two of the return visits, surveillance cameras recorded Bisla as he positioned a cellphone camera on his chest and tried to conceal it with his jacket and beard. He later admitted to taking two photos of the exam, telling officials he was trying to help his wife and friend pass the test, the order says. He also told officials that he deleted the photos because they were too blurry.

Bisla’s wife and friend had unsuccessfully taken the test “several times,” Klotz said. The office, she added, is considering legal options in determining whether either of them would be eligible to get licenses given their involvement.

The stripping of Bisla’s license is the only action against him the state will take, Klotz said.

Bisla has not filed an appeal since the order’s April 13 date but has until mid-July to do so.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan