New York Faults High Rates on Forced Insurance Policies

June 15, 2012

New York regulators have ordered insurers to offer new premiums to homeowners forced by their banks to buy back-up policies, following hearings last month indicating the rates are high while insurer loss ratios are low.

New rate proposals are due July 6. Banks take out policies when a homeowner fails to maintain coverage required by the mortgage.

According to the state Department of Financial Services, the rates can be three to 10 times higher than normal homeowner’s insurance while offering less protection.

Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky says the extra expense can push families into foreclosure. He says based on what they learned at the hearings, it is appropriate now for insurers to propose new rates.

Insurers Assurant and QBE Insurance Corp. have said their rates reflect the risk.

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