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ACE settles more bid-rigging allegations


HAMILTON, Bermuda—ACE Ltd. will pay $9 million to settle issues arising from alleged bid rigging and contingent commissions payments investigated by the Pennsylvania attorney general and insurance department, under an agreement announced Monday.

In addition to the payment, which includes a $6 million penalty, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based insurer agreed to comply with the business practice guidelines it established in 2004 after the insurance industry investigations spearheaded by then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

To settle those investigations by New York and other states, in April 2006 ACE agreed to pay $80 million in restitution and penalties related to its participation with Marsh Inc. in rigging excess casualty bids and for executing half a dozen allegedly sham reinsurance contracts designed to improperly enhance earnings (BI, May 1, 2006). As part of the settlement, ACE agreed to pay $40 million in restitution to policyholders.

Pennsylvania is the domicile and home state regulator of most of ACE's U.S. operations, ACE noted in a statement.

The settlement will be paid from reserves set aside in prior quarters and will have no effect on ACE's financial results for 2007, the insurer said.