WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today it is approving an agreement between an African-American couple in Los Angeles and three home insurance companies in California. The Conciliation Agreement resolves allegations the insurers discriminated against the family based on their race and where they lived. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental, sales or home insurance transactions based on a person’s race or national origin.
“No homeowner should be made to feel like they won’t be able to protect the biggest investment of their lives because of their race or that of their neighbors,” said Bryan Greene, HUD’s General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to take steps to ensure that companies that provide products and services for homeowners are aware of and adhere to their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”
The case began when the married couple filed a complaint with HUD alleging that Fire Insurance Exchange of Woodland Hills, Farmers Insurance Exchange of Westlake Village, and Farmers Group, Inc., of Woodland Hills were unresponsive to their insurance claim after heavy rain caused their roof to collapse. The couple alleged the insurance companies initially delayed responding to their claim, then failed to notify the couple of the disposition of their claim, and ultimately refused to pay their claim because they are African American and live in a Hispanic neighborhood.
Under the Conciliation Agreement, Farmers Insurance Exchange agreed to pay the couple $15,000 in monetary relief.
People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.