JPMorgan in $300 million settlement over force-placed insurance
By Dena Aubin
NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote) and a major insurer have agreed to a $300 million settlement to resolve accusations that they forced homeowners into over-priced property insurance and entered into kickback arrangements that inflated the policies' prices.
The lawsuit being settled - one of several targeting large U.S. banks over force-placed insurance - said that the improper practices unjustly enriched JPMorgan and insurer Assurant Inc by more than $1 billion since 2008.
JPMorgan and Assurant did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which was in documents filed late on Friday in a Miami federal court.
"The settlement will have no expected impact on our financials," JPMorgan spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus said in a statement. She said the bank earlier this year discontinued a reinsurance agreement with Assurant.
The settlement calls for JPMorgan to stop accepting commissions for force-placed insurance.
The JPMorgan settlement is the first nationally to result from several cases against banks pending in Miami federal court that involve force-placed insurance.
REGULATORS TARGET PRACTICE
Banks have been under increasing scrutiny from regulators over force-placed insurance, which is placed by a bank or other mortgage lender to protect their interests in a property if the homeowner's insurance lapses. Continued...