Spitzer subpoenas three more insurance firms

NY Attorney General seeks information on how brokers are paid

Associated Press
June 11, 2004

NEW YORK - Three more insurance companies said Friday they have received subpoenas from New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer seeking information on the way brokers are paid.

Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna Inc., Philadelphia-based Cigna Corp. and MetLife Inc., of New York, announced Friday they have received the subpoenas and intend to cooperate with Spitzer’s industrywide probe.

Spitzer wouldn’t comment on the probe, but earlier has said he is investigating whether brokers that help companies buy insurance had conflicts when accepting payments from insurance companies.

Cigna spokesman Wendell Potter said the subpoena asked for information about compensation agreements with insurance brokers and consultants.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is conducting a parallel investigation and has said the focus of that probe is whether buyers of the insurance are aware that their broker is also being paid by the insurance company.

Aetna and Cigna are the latest of several companies to receive subpoenas from Spitzer. Hartford Financial Services Group said Thursday it received one. Aon Corp., Marsh & McLennan Cos., Willis Group Holdings Ltd. and Chubb Corp. have also been subpoenaed.

Aetna Inc. became the latest in a string of insurers to receive a subpoena from the office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, seeking information on the way brokers are paid.

On Friday, Hartford-based Aetna said it intends to cooperate with the inquiry but declined to elaborate on what the subpoena sought.

Though Spitzer hasn't given details of his investigation into the insurance-brokerage industry, The Wall Street Journal reported last month that an internal Aon Corp. memo the newspaper obtained indicates the attorney general is looking into the various types of payments insurance companies make to brokers.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is conducting a parallel investigation and has said the focus of that probe is whether buyers of the insurance are aware that their broker is also being paid by the insurance company.

Spitzer's office wasn't immediately available to comment on Friday.

The wide-reaching probe has resulted in subpoenas to Aon, Marsh & McLennan Cos., Willis Group Holdings Ltd. and Chubb Corp. and Hartford Financial Services Group.

Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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