BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has announced that QBE Insurance (QBE) agreed to refund state homeowners to whom it allegedly charged improper force-placed insurance policies.
According to Healey’s office, mortgage lenders force-placed consumers with QBE despite them already having home insurance with other companies. Once with QBE, these consumers were overcharged because their homes were misclassified as commercial properties.
Force-placed insurance is property insurance taken out by a mortgage lender when the consumer has not gotten home insurance on his or her own. Lenders rely on force-placed insurance companies like QBE to monitor borrowers and determine if they have proper insurance.
“We will continue to ensure that mortgage lenders and their insurance business partners do not overcharge Massachusetts residents or force them to pay for unnecessary insurance,” Healey said. “Today’s agreement provides Massachusetts homeowners the restitution they deserve.”
QBE will pay $375,000 in penalties to the state and likely more than $1 million in relief to consumers.
Assistant attorney general Tim Hoitink, investigations supervisor Arwen Thoman, mathematician Burt Feinberg and division chief Glenn Kaplan of AG Healey’s Insurance and Financial Services Division handled the case.