Mass. AG Advises Marsh Clients to Hold Off on Signing Settlement

July 1, 2005

Massachusetts insurance customers of insurance broker Marsh & McLennan are being urged to hold off on agreeing to the broker’s proposed settlement by the state’s attorney general.

Attorney General Tom Reilly’s office has mailed a letter to an estimated 300 policyholders suggesting they get more information before signing any agreement to settle damages relating to improper commissions and account placements.

Marsh & McLennan in January agreed to an $850 million fine to settle charges brought by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Marsh has since informed former clients they have until September 20, 2005 to be part of this monetary agreement.

But Quentin Palfrey, assistant attorney general in Reilly’s insurance unit, wrote on June 22 that policyholders might want to think twice about joining in without first getting Marsh to review their individual cases. He also hinted that a multi-state investigation into Marsh by attorneys general could reveal further allegations between now and September.

Palfrey wrote that “it may be advisable for you to take your time deciding whether to sign on to the settlement agreement, since by accepting the settlement offer, you would be waiving various rights.” Palfrey advised them that “there is no advantage” to responding to the Marsh deal any sooner than the September 20 deadline.

He noted that Marsh has offered to review individual clients’ placement files to determine if there was any misconduct. “Keep in mind that this is not an independent review, but Marsh has stated it will apply objective criteria to these reviews,” Palfrey added.

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