This business is not BBB accredited.

Sterling Insurance

Additional Locations

Phone: (800) 688-0010 Fax: (888) 858-8552 View Additional Phone Numbers 2219 Rimland Dr, Bellingham, WA 98226

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This company offers insurance services.

BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Sterling Insurance include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Sterling Insurance
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: July 29, 1998 Business started: 06/01/1977 Business started locally: 06/01/1977 Business incorporated 04/01/1996 in WA
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Washington Department of Revenue
6500 Linderson Way SW Fl 1, Tumwater WA 98501
Phone Number: (800) 451-7985

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner
5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater WA 98501
Phone Number: (800) 562-6900

Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. Todd Tippets, VP Marketing Mr. Ronald Bendes, President Mr. Craig Bodway, VP of Compliance Mr. Gerald Reilly, VP Product Development
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Todd Tippets, VP Marketing
Business Category

Hospitalization, Medical & Surgical Plans Insurance Companies Insurance - Medicare Supplement Insurance - Life Insurance - Dental

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday 5:00am - 5:00pm
Service Area
Alternate Business Names
Sterling Health Plans Sterling Life Insurance Company
Products & Services

Medicare Supplement and Medicare SELECT
Critical Condition Insurance
Life Insurance

Additional Locations


    2219 Rimland Dr

    Bellingham, WA 98226 (360) 647-9080


    PO Box 5348

    Bellingham, WA 98227


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

3/16/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: In October 2014, after receiving and reviewing new information on available Medicare supplements, I contacted ******** Senior Insurance Services Agent and President ******* ********. I told him that I wanted to switch from Sterling Insurance to a different insurance company for my Medicare supplement as it was more affordable. I requested an effective date of December 1, 2014. He assured me that he would take care of the requested change. Unfortunately, upon receiving my bank statement for December 2014, I saw that Sterling Insurance had debited my bank account on December 9, 2014 in the amount of $222.02. I then called Mr. ******** to let him know what happened. When I asked him what happened to "I'll take care of everything", Mr. ********, whose demeanor had always been friendly in previous calls, became very rude and hostile. He then told me that in order to cancel my policy with Sterling Insurance I would have to write a letter of cancellation. This was the first time that I had been informed of this. Had I known this before, I certainly would have done so. As a result, my Sterling Insurance was in effect through December of 2014, rather that November of 2014 as requested. My supplemental insurance with the new insurance company went into effect on December 1, 2014, resulting in double coverage for the month of December. Insurance claims for December that were sent to Sterling Insurance we reversed and paid by the new insurance company. No claims were paid by Sterling Insurance for December. To resolve this matter, I contacted Sterling Insurance to request a refund in the amount of $222.02, the amount that was erroneously debited from my bank account. Unfortunately, my request to Sterling Insurance for a resolution to this matter was to no avail and my request for a refund was denied.

Desired Settlement: A refund in the amount of $222.02 from Sterling Insurance Company.

Business Response: The complainant indicated that he has requested a premium refund from Sterling without success. 
In accordance with policy language, a signed request from the policyholder must be received in order to terminate the policy. The cancellation effective date is then determined as the first of the month following the date the cancellation request was received. 
Sterling first received the complainant’s request for cancellation on December 9, 2014.   Sterling processed the cancellation request with the earliest cancellation effective date available, January 1, 2015. 
The complainant also previously requested a reconsideration of the cancellation effective date on January 13, 2015.  This issue was reviewed by the Sterling Grievance Team.  The determination to deny the complainant’s request for a retroactive cancellation of his policy and for a premium refund of $222.02 was based on the earliest receipt date of the signed cancellation request.  Additionally, there were no phone calls to Sterling prior to receipt of his signed cancellation request indicating the complainant had intended to cancel. 
Please note that Sterling has continued to provide coverage for the complainant during the month of December 2014.  In fact, Sterling paid several claims with dates of service in the month of December 2014.
Thank you for bringing to our attention the complainant’s experience with Mr. ******* ********, Sr.  Mr. ******** is an independent broker appointed to sell Sterling products.  Sterling has contacted Mr. ******** to discuss the circumstances you describe in your letter.  Sterling trains all agents to direct all cancellation requests to the Customer Service Department. 
In a statement provided on January 19, 2014, Mr. ******** states that when he spoke to the complainant in October 2014, he informed the complainant that he did not have the authority to cancel the coverage.  He also advised the complainant to contact Sterling directly in writing or by phone.  Additionally, these points were reiterated when he spoke to the complainant again in December 2014. 

Sterling is sincerely sympathetic to the complainant’s situation.  Unfortunately, we are unable to grant the request for a retroactive cancellation of his policy, or a refund of his premium.  As stated above, Sterling processed the signed request based on the earliest receipt date and using the earliest cancellation date.  Additionally, Sterling continued its obligations by providing health insurance coverage and payment of claims on behalf of the complainant. 

4/16/2013 Billing/Collection Issues