Dec. 18, 2002                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Insurance companies not included in Conseco bankruptcy

      Helena - State Auditor John Morrison today confirmed that Conseco, Inc.'s bankruptcy filing will not impact insurance consumers.
      Conseco is not an insurance company. It is engaged in insurance and consumer finance operations through a number of subsidiary companies. As a holding company, Conseco is a separate legal entity that is distinct and apart from its subsidiary insurance companies.
      "Unlike most other corporations, insurance companies are not eligible to file for bankruptcy," said Morrison, Montana's insurance commissioner. "Instead, they are governed by state laws that are designed, first and foremost, to protect policyholders."
      Regardless of the holding company's financial condition, the insurance companies must always meet capital, surplus and reserving requirements designed to assure they can meet their obligations to policyholders, Morrison said. Insurance regulators in Texas, Illinois and other states where Conseco's insurance subsidiaries are domiciled, have said that Conseco subsidiary insurance companies have adequate capital, reserves and liquidity to meet their obligations to policyholders at this time.
      "We will make sure Montana insurance consumers continue to be protected," Morrison said.