New York State's Department of Financial Services has reached a settlement with the country's largest force-placed home insurer, in a deal meant to lower prices and prohibit widespread kickbacks in the industry. The agreement with Assurant Inc., one of two insurers which dominate the market, will lower insurers' profit margins and prohibit banks from receiving payments that pad the cost of insurance.

"The force-placed insurance industry has for too long been plagued by an intricate web of relationships between insurers and banks that pushed distressed families over the foreclosure cliff," said a statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. "Today's agreement starts us on the road to reform, which will clean up this industry and truly protect working people."

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