Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch and Willis Group Holdings
Ltd. Chairman and CEO Joe Plumeri on Friday announced an agreement relating to Willis’ insurance brokerage practices.
Under the agreement, Willis will make payments to its Minnesota clients of an additional $1 million on top of the payments to be made by Willis under a simultaneously executed national agreement with the New York Attorney General’s Office and the New York Superintendent of Insurance. Willis also agreed to reforms that include additional disclosures to clients and greater transparency in insurance transactions.
Joe Plumeri, chairman and COO of Willis Group Holdings, commented, “Willis is pleased to have resolved this investigation with Attorney General Hatch and to put it behind our company. Through his direct, personal involvement, Attorney General Hatch brought to our attention a number of concerns, which we have addressed. Willis was the first major broker in the industry to end the use of contingents. We believe that all insurance brokers and insurers should relinquish the use of contingent agreements.”
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Willis. I commend Mr. Plumeri for coming to Minnesota to discuss these issues with me directly and, through his hands-on involvement,
forging this agreement,” said Hatch.
Under the terms of the agreement, Willis will be contacting by letter Minnesota policyholders who may be eligible for payments.
The agreement between Willis and Minnesota Attorney General Hatch resolves the issues raised in the Attorney General’s March 8, 2005 court filings.
Under the agreement, Willis admits no wrongdoing or liability.
Willis also reported reaching a comprehensive agreement with the New York Attorney General and the Superintendent of Insurance for New York to resolve issues raised by the industry-wide investigation into contingent commissions.
Willis is reportedly the only insurance broker to resolve these matters with the New York Attorney General without the commencement of a lawsuit against the company, and is also the only broker to resolve these matters without being required to issue an apology.
“Willis moved quickly to remedy its problems,” said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. “Its actions will help bring about greater transparency and accountability in the insurance industry. Willis chairman Joseph Plumeri has demonstrated admirable leadership in spearheading Willis’s response to the issues raised in our investigation and in implementing reforms at the company.”