Aon Inc. Negotiating to Settle Probes

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005
by Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Officials from three states are negotiating with Aon Inc. to settle investigations into the insurance broker's business practices, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday.

Blumenthal wouldn't describe details of the negotiations, but said they were being conducted in concert with his counterparts in Illinois and New York.

"We're in serious talks," Blumenthal said. "They've been ongoing for some weeks. They're difficult, but promising."

Aon, the nation's second-largest U.S. insurance broker, has set aside $50 million to settle state investigations into insurance-broker practices, but last week said it has found no evidence of bid-rigging or fraud.

Aon officials have said they expect the consequences of pending investigations to be far less severe than they were for bigger rival Marsh & McLennan Cos., which last month settled with New York officials by agreeing to pay $850 million in restitution to clients in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Blumenthal on Tuesday would not compare the Aon negotiations with his office's investigation of Marsh & McLennan, which is ongoing.

A call was placed to Chicago-based Aon seeking comment. Officials for the New York and Illinois attorneys general declined to comment Tuesday.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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