Following a three year long investigation by his office and the Ohio
Department of Insurance, Attorney General Marc Dann has filed suit against the world’s largest insurance broker, Marsh & McLennan, and four of the nation’s largest insurance companies and their subsidiaries for alleged violations of the state’s anti-trust laws.
The complaint, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, alleges that Marsh administered a well-orchestrated conspiracy among insurers American International Group, Inc. (AIG), ACE Ltd., The Chubb Corporation, and the Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., to eliminate competition in the commercial insurance industry.
Specifically, the filing cites numerous instances in which the insurers allegedly agreed to offer customers fictitious quotes, often referred to as “B quotes,” in order to create the false impression that competitive bidding had produced the best possible price when, in fact, no competitive process had taken place.
A fifth company that had been under investigation, Zurich American Insurance Co., entered into a $7 million settlement with the state in October of 2006.
“Our investigation has produced evidence of blatant violations of the antitrust laws that have cost Ohio businesses millions of dollars,” Dann said. “That is why I am determined to use every resource at my disposal to both hold the conspirators accountable and to send a strong message that this type of illegal and unethical activity will not be tolerated in Ohio.”
In the lawsuit, the Attorney General asks the Court to enjoin the parties from engaging in this type of activity in the future, to order them to disgorge all monies generated by the overcharges, and to assess monetary damages.
Source: Ohio Attorney General’s Office