NEW YORK, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- QBE North America today announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) resolving the Department's claims related to its industry-wide investigation of lender-placed insurance (LPI). Under the agreement QBE will make a settlement payment of $4 million and refund partial premiums to New York homeowners who can show that they defaulted on their mortgage loan or were foreclosed upon as a result of the required payment of an LPI premium. Balboa also entered into a settlement agreement which resolves the Department's claims against the Balboa insurance group, which entered into a loss portfolio transfer with QBE in 2011.
QBE North America CEO David Duclos said, "QBE is pleased to have resolved this matter. We value our regulatory relations in the U.S. and remain very engaged and cooperative with all our 50 U.S. state regulators and federal agencies that regulate mortgages. As a relatively new entrant to the U.S. LPI market, we are keenly interested in determining its future shape and course.
"With this settlement completed," Duclos said, "our management team can now return its full attention to growing our overall U.S. insurance business."
QBE North America Chief Legal Officer Pete Maloney said, "QBE elected to settle the matter to avoid protracted litigation and the need for continuing management attention on this long-running regulatory proceeding."
The agreement is neither an admission of liability nor a judicial finding. As required by law, QBE filed its LPI premium rates in New York and had them approved by the NYDFS. QBE has paid commissions as allowed by New York law. LPI is a product unique to the U.S. and the agreement relates to LPI alone and not other products of QBE North America.
QBE North America is part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE Insurance Group's 2011 results can also be found at www.qbeamericas.com. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 52 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America operation, headquartered in New York, conducts business through various property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. QBE insurance companies are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and "A+" by Standard & Poor's.