QBE Insurance

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QBE Insurance Group Limited
TypePublic
Traded asASXQBE
IndustryInsurance
Founded1886 - Jan
Headquarters82 Pitt Street
Sydney, Australia
Key peopleMs Belinda Hutchinson (Chairman)
Mr John Neal (Group Chief Executive Officer)
ProductsGeneral and reinsurance services
EmployeesIn 2014, there are around 16,000 staff in 52 offices worldwide
Websitewww.qbe.com
 
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QBE Insurance Group Limited
TypePublic
Traded asASXQBE
IndustryInsurance
Founded1886 - Jan
Headquarters82 Pitt Street
Sydney, Australia
Key peopleMs Belinda Hutchinson (Chairman)
Mr John Neal (Group Chief Executive Officer)
ProductsGeneral and reinsurance services
EmployeesIn 2014, there are around 16,000 staff in 52 offices worldwide
Websitewww.qbe.com

QBE Insurance Group Limited is Australia's largest global insurer. It provides insurance services mainly to Australia, America, Europe and Asia Pacific region. As of 2014, it has over 16000 employees in 52 countries. As of Aug 2012, QBE is ranked 18th among the world's general insurers.

QBE has market capitalisation of A$18.6 billion, and represents 2.22% of the ASX 200 index[citation needed]. The company reported a 2009 profit of $1.970 billion. [1]

QBE was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1973 from the merger of three companies whose names represent the letters of the combined company, Queensland Insurance, Bankers' and Traders' Insurance Company, and Equitable Life and General Insurance Co., [2] and its founding chairman was J.D.O. Burns (Burns Philp)(company director [3]

Since then, QBE has continued to acquire many companies. For example in February 2007, it acquired Mexican insurer Seguros Cumbre SA de CV, whose net tangible assets were estimated at $26million, and American insurer General Casualty Insurance.[1] In 2011 QBE purchased Balboa Insurance of California, USA from Bank of America.[2][3]

[4]

QBE Insurance is also known for its sponsorship of sports teams, including the Sydney Swans of the Australian Football League, the NSW Swifts of netball's trans-Tasman ANZ Championship, the Perth Glory of the Hyundai A-League and provincial New Zealand Rugby team, North Harbour. QBE is also the current Insurance Partner for English Premiership Rugby Union [4] and are Official Insurance Partner of England Rugby. [5]. They employ approximately 16,000 people worldwide.

Frank O’Halloran, the former CEO of the company, was with the company for over thirty five years. He was appointed chief financial officer in 1982, joined the board as director of finance from 1987 to 1994 and was director of operations from 1994 to 1997.

John Neal is the new Group Chief Executive Officer, as at from 17 August 2012.

In early 2013, QBE was setting up its biggest office complex in the Philippines at the Bonifacio Global City’s Net Cube building, which is a local hub for its regional shared services. QBE has signed a deal to lease six floors of the Net Cube Building in BGC, acquiring 6,500 square meters, or about a third of the Net Cube building, according to a joint statement issued by QBE and KMC MAG Group, the real estate services firm that brokered the property deal. “We’re very excited to have a big, official home in Manila. It took us a long time to search for the perfect space and I’m glad we can finally get things rolling now,” QBE chief operating officer Brad Sinnatamby said.[5]

Force-Placed Insurance Controversy[edit]

Maintaining a property insurance policy is one of the most common conditions imposed upon anyone who borrows money to purchase a house.[6] If a borrower allows such a policy to lapse, lenders will purchase force-placed insurance for the property owner (also called lender-placed insurance, or collateral protection insurance) [7] The use of force-placed insurance by lenders is an ongoing practice that, in the wake of the financial crisis, has become increasingly common,[8][9][10] being cited by many experts as the cause of foreclosures themselves.[11] The coverage prevents gaps in insurance, which is required by the terms of most mortgages. The financial industry justifies higher premium costs of force-placed insurance policies because of the heightened insurance risk of borrowers who aren’t paying for their own insurance.[12] Opponents of the product, including Birny Birnbaum from the Center for Economic Justice a former employee under EVP Steve Ramsthel,[13] who leaked emails related to the collateral protection insurance.[14] consistently provide statistics in opposition to these statements,[15][16] citing kickback payouts and loss ratios that are much lower than the rest of the insurance industry.[17]

Force-placed insurance policies fell under regulatory scrutiny when the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) launched an investigation into the lender-placed insurance industry that has so far led to settlements with QBE and Assurant [12][18][19] Although testimony in these hearings discussed "Reverse Competition" and kickbacks from Assurant to its banking clients,[20][21] In response to the settlement, DFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky stated, "Prices should not be pushing up and up, pushing borrowers over the foreclosure cliff."[22]

In January 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued new mortgage servicing rules that ensures borrowers are warned in advance of force-placed insurance's cost and prevent banks from force-placing policies on many escrowed loans. “All consumers will receive protections before a servicer may impose a charge for a force-placed insurance,” an agency spokeswoman wrote.[23] In October 2012, QBE and California agreed to a rate reduction for lender-placed insurance, with an average savings to policyholders of $577 annually.[24]

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the federal home loan banks,[25] has looked into the relationships between force-placed insurers and their clients,[26] determining the relationships to be fraudulent and banning any future servicer kickbacks.[27] In addition, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is looking into the practice [28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newman, Judy (2007-01-05). "General Casualty to be sold". The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison.com. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  2. ^ Rumpler, John. "CEO". Property Casualty 360. Property Casualty 360. Retrieved March 15, 2013. Rumpler, John. "CEO". Property Casualty 360. Property Casualty 360. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ Calbreth, Dean. "Writer". San Diego Union Tribune. San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "AM Best". AM Best. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  5. ^ http://business.inquirer.net/115661/australian-insurer-to-set-up-shop-in-bgc
  6. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/business/economy/regulators-review-costs-of-force-placed-insurance.html
  7. ^ http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/forced-placed.htm
  8. ^ http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/finance/290305-housing-regulator-targets-costly-forced-insurance-practices
  9. ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323466204578382603826452198.html
  10. ^ http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/25050/LPIregister32613.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-06/look-who-s-pushing-homeowners-off-the-foreclosure-cliff.html
  12. ^ a b http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2013/03_-_March/New_York_regulators,_Assurant_settle_over__force-placed__insurance/
  13. ^ "Bank of America Anonymous Leak Alleges Corruption and Fraud". huffingtonpost.com. March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  14. ^ McCarthy, Ryan (March 14, 2011). "Bank Of America Anonymous Leak Alleges 'Corruption And Fraud'". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ New York State Department of Financial Services Force-Placed Insurance Public Hearings, May 2012, retrieved 15 May 2013 
  16. ^ "Lender-Placed Insurance Programs Argue Validity", NBC, May 2013, retrieved 15 May 2013 
  17. ^ http://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/regulatory_reform/ib-force-placed-insurance.pdf
  18. ^ http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/press2013/pr1303211.htm
  19. ^ http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/04182013Force-Placed-Insurer-Settlement
  20. ^ "Reforming Force-Placed Insurance" (Press release). New York Department of Financial Services. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  21. ^ http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-26/the-fhfas-home-insurance-crackdown-is-late-to-the-game
  22. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/assurant-forced-placed-insurance_n_2927091.html
  23. ^ http://www.insurancenetworking.com/news/cfpb-treads-lightly-force-placed-insurance-31698-1.html
  24. ^ http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2012/release149-12.cfm
  25. ^ http://www.fhfa.gov/Default.aspx?Page=4
  26. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/fhfa-seeks-curbs-on-force-placed-homeowner-s-insurance.html
  27. ^ http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303661404579178182732972564
  28. ^ http://www.floir.com/Sections/PandC/lenderplacedincoverage.aspx

External links[edit]