The Washington Insurance Commissioner recently issued a press release stating that he fined insurance carriers, agents, and brokers more than $1.3 million in 2011, and has imposed more than $13 million in fines since 2000. Many of these fines exceeded the statutory maximum fine of $10,000, and some exceeded $500,000. The Commissioner takes the position that he may impose a multiple fines for multiple violations of a single statute. Such cumulative penalties are generally rejected by the courts except where expressly authorized by statute. They can also violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. But no Washington court has addressed these questions with respect to the Insurance Code. Besides the legal questions, the prevalence and magnitude of the fines raise practical concerns. Some fines are certainly appropriate if within the statutory limitations. But do Washington insurance consumers benefit from these huge fines? Or do they drive insurers out of the state, reducing competition and increasing premiums?