Nevada Insurance Commissioner Alice Molasky-Arman is reminding affected parties that the opt-in deadline for the Nevada clients who may be eligible to participate in the Marsh & McLennan (Marsh) Settlement Fund is Sept. 20, 2005.
Marsh, one of the largest insurance brokers in the world, has offered to settle more than 2,000 claims in Nevada, for roughly $3.6 million. The settlement covers the period from Jan. 1, 2001 through Dec. 31, 2004.
By signing the release, the policyholder client would give up the right to pursue any claims against Marsh or its related entities arising from circumstances similar to those which led to the actions filed by New York’s Attorney General and Superintendent of Insurance. Signing of the release would not, however, preclude policyholder clients participating in the Settlement Fund from seeking relief against non-Marsh entities or individuals. Clients who do not opt-in to the settlement can still pursue other legal action.
“The decision to opt-in must be made by the client harmed by Marsh. The Division cannot advise the consumer whether to opt-in to the agreement,” said Molasky-Arman. Nevada businesses should have received an informational letter and notice which was mailed by Marsh on May 20, 2005. That letter explained that in order to opt-in to the settlement and receive a distribution from the Settlement Fund, the policyholder client must sign a release form (provided by Marsh) and return the signed release to Marsh, post marked no later than Sept. 20, 2005. A policyholder client may have more than one claim, in which case, more than one release would need to be signed and returned.
Marsh entered into the national $850 million settlement agreement in January, which stemmed from an investigation and lawsuit in New York in October 2004, that alleged that Marsh had engaged in “bid-rigging”, improperly steering insurance placements to insurers that paid Marsh contingent commissions, and failed to adequately disclose contingent compensation arrangements.
The settlement agreement can be viewed by logging on to www.marshsettlement.com. To date, approximately 40 percent of the affected Nevada policyholder clients have decided to opt in.
Molasky-Arman is reportedly concerned that this figure may represent inadequate notice or inaccurate information contained in the notice distributed by Marsh. Molasky-Arman’s staff is following up with Marsh to address these concerns.
For further information regarding the Sept. 20, 2005 deadline to opt-in to the Marsh settlement, persons are advised to contact Ian Ullman of Marsh at (212) 345-5653.
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