Deceptive Insurance Practices
Like a majority of Americans these days, Dale Miller is not a smoker. According to the complaint for this class action, he was never a smoker while he held his life insurance policies, including during their look-back periods—yet he was charged smoker’s rates for life insurance for years. Miller found out he was being charged as a smoker, the complaint alleges, only in 2016 when he went to reduce his GVUL policy coverage and found, when looking at the price comparisons for coverage, that he should have been paying drastically-lower premiums than he had been paying. Met Life has refused to refund the difference in the premiums, even though the complaint estimates that he overpaid by nearly 20% over sixteen years, a substantial amount.
The complaint alleges that M&T has an arrangement with insurance company ASIC under which ASIC is M&T’s exclusive provider of FPI and also performs mortgage-servicing functions. In exchange, the complaint alleges that ASIC pays M&T kickbacks on FPI, which violates provisions in the borrowers’ mortgage contracts. But this complaint alleges that there’s an even more complex scheme. It claims that M&T pays ASIC for a master insurance policy which covers all of its mortgage loans. When a borrower’s own policy lapses, instead of M&T purchasing a new policy for the borrower, the complaint says, ASIC issues a certificate of insurance from the master policy, so that no individual underwriting ever takes place. The implications of all this lead to allegations of violations of RICO statutes as well as other laws.
This settlement resolves a class action alleging that when certain cars sustain enough damage to their structures and bodies, they can no longer be repaired to their pre-accident condition and thereafter have diminished value.
Plaintiff Drew Karlberg claims that when Santander granted him a mortgage, he was required to pay private mortgage insurance for a period of time, with the amount gradually reducing until the insurance was no longer necessary. However, he alleges, Santander did not reduce the rate according to the schedule, continues to overcharge, and has not refunded the overpayments. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Santander has violated Pennsylvania unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws and breached its contract with Karlsberg.
On or about April 30, 2014, a heavy rainstorm deposited eight to twelve inches of rain across parts of the state of Maryland, causing substantial damage in some areas. The complaint for this class action alleges that State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance refused to pay benefits to cover some of the damage to personal property owned by policyholders Debra and Thomas Kennedy. The storm caused flooding, resulting in loss and damage to the Kennedys’ property significant enough that State Farm paid out benefits of more than $15,000 for restoration work. However, the complaint asserts that this amount does not nearly cover the losses and that the Kennedys actually suffered loss and damage to their personal property of over $35,000.
When plaintiff Paul Hancock bought a vehicle in Februrary 2016, the complaint for this class action says, he financed it with a loan from Wells Fargo and purchased an auto insurance policy through Allstate. However, in May 2016, the complaint says, Wells Fargo force-placed an insurance policy on his vehicle and charged him $598 for it. The complaint alleges that Hancock repeatedly contacted Wells Fargo to tell them that he already had the necessary insurance coverage, but that the bank refused to return the money they had collected and continued to try to force him to pay for the insurance, including being charged a late fee as soon as the CPI policy was established. According to the complaint, Hancock was only one of 800,000 auto loan customers ensnared in the Wells Fargo and National General Insurance Company scheme, one that pushed 250,000 of them into delinquency and caused the unlawful repossession of nearly 25,000 vehicles.
LPI (lender-placed insurance) is placed on a property by a lender when a borrower’s insurance policy lapses or when the borrower does not maintain an acceptable homeowner insurance policy. When PHH Mortgage placed an LPI policy on a property, it paid the premiums to the insurer and then charged the borrower for the premiums.
According to the complaint for this class action, plaintiff Bob Porto has been involved in home building and kitchen and bath remodeling for over twenty years and has recently bid on the replacement of roofs, particularly those that were damaged by storms. These repairs or replacements for damage are often paid for by insurance companies, and the complaint says that one such company, Safeco, has a practice of approving the lowest bid, even when it knows that the low bidder has no intention of meeting the requirements of the state’s building codes.
The complaint for this class action alleges that Rite Aid’s prescription savings plan for cash customer establishes new and lower “usual and customary” prices for certain generic drugs, and that that price must also be charged to insurance companies and customers paying through insurance plans.
According to the complaint for this class action, Richard Ades purchased a PPO health insurance policy that covered himself and his family from GHMS, a subsidiary of CareFirst, Inc. During the term of the policy, the complaint says, Ades’s minor son had surgery for sleep apnea, a Covered Service, but the company did not reimburse Mr. Ades according to the terms of his policy; instead, it says, the company reimbursed him at much lower rates that involved the terms of its Provider Manual, which was not part of Ades’s policy.