QBE, carrier used by Wells Fargo and SunTrust, avoids oversight through ‘surplus lines’ structure
The first time Luis Juarez heard of force-placed insurance was when he received a $25,000 bill for it in the mail.
A Florida doctor and homeowner, Juarez had been dropped by his previous insurer over a roofing issue. Though that lapse violated his obligation under the mortgage to maintain coverage on the property, he was current on his loan payments and heard nothing from the servicer Wells Fargo & Co. for more than a year.
Then on May 10, 2010, Juarez got a note from QBE Specialty Insurance, a partner of Wells. It said that QBE was retroactively charging him $25,000 for a policy that had expired two months earlier, according to court filings.
Neither the price tag — nearly quadruple his original policy’s rate, according to court papers — nor the expired status of the QBE policy were a mistake.
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