Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. has agreed to pay $1.6 million in restitution to 5,475 Texas policyholders, former policyholders and beneficiaries as part of a nationwide settlement of race-based pricing allegations.
Beneficiaries of a consent order signed Wednesday by Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor include African-Americans and Hispanics.
The restitution amount is Texas’ share of a nationwide regulatory settlement worked out by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Montemayor is chairman of the NAIC’s Race-Based Premium Working Group.
New York-based Metropolitan Life agreed to the restitution order without admitting any violation of Texas insurance laws.
The Texas Department of Insurance said Metropolitan Life allegedly charged African-Americans and other minorities more in premium or provided fewer benefits than they charged in connection with industrial life and small face amount life insurance policies.
Similar settlements and consent orders, in addition to the Metropolitan Life settlement, have provided $13.5 million in relief to 353,475 Texas consumers, according to TDI. In most instances, the companies had assumed small face value policies with premiums based on race or ethnicity when they acquired smaller companies that had engaged in such pricing activities before 1970, the department said.