Hollywood home insurer giant ordered to slash rates

IOR Commissioner Kevin McCarty
IOR Commissioner Kevin McCarty

American Security Insurance Company, the Hollywood-based force-placed homeowner insurance company that is the largest of its kind in the state, must lower its policy rates by 10 percent.

The rate reduction, ordered by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, is expected to save homeowners across the state $51 million. The company, located at 6223 Pembroke Road, has more than 142,000 insurance policies in Florida, with $508 million in premiums. If a borrower opts not to buy insurance, lenders can order force-placed insurance. Dozens of lawsuits across the U.S. have alleged that these policies are too expensive and teeming with insider deals. Last month, JPMorgan Chase paid a $300 million settlement in a related federal class action suit in Miami.

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Regulators also required American Security to stop paying commissions on policies arranged by mortgage servicers and to notify all present borrowers about the coverage changes. [South Florida Business Journal]Mark Maurer