August 1, 2006

Conn: Insurer in multimillion-dollar settlement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An insurer has agreed to a
multimillion-dollar settlement over allegations involving bid
rigging, contract steering and other abuses, Connecticut
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said on Tuesday.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is also involved in
the case and expected to release a separate statement, a person
familiar with the matter said.

Blumenthal plans to hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m.
(1530 GMT) to announce the settlement, with what he
characterized as a "Connecticut insurer."

It was not immediately clear which insurer is settling.

In May, Blumenthal sued Liberty Mutual Holding Co. for
participating in what he called a bid-rigging conspiracy with a
unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos. and other insurance carriers.

St. Paul Travelers Cos. is another insurer that has
acknowledged receiving subpoenas from regulators, but has yet
to announce a regulatory settlement over bid-rigging.

A Liberty Mutual spokesman declined to comment. A call to a
spokeswoman in St. Paul's offices in Hartford was not
immediately returned. Representatives of Blumenthal's and
Spitzer's offices were not immediately available for comment.

Insurance industry participants that have settled
bid-rigging allegations include Marsh, which agreed to pay $850
million; Zurich Financial Services AG, which agreed in March to
pay $153 million; and Aon Corp., which in April agreed to pay
$80 million.