October 2, 2008                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton


      State Auditor John Morrison is urging consumers to make informed decisions about their insurance coverage and other insurance products with large companies that have a securities arm such as AIG.
      AIG and other large financial companies often have an umbrella holding company and numerous subsidiaries under that umbrella. Many of the subsidiaries are separate insurance companies which must comply with strict standards meant to protect the policy holders. Morrison, as Insurance Commissioner, wants consumers to know that the insurance companies held by AIG are currently fiscally and financially sound and able to pay consumers’ claims. Additionally, while the investment companies held by AIG may be in financial trouble; state insurance regulators are working closely with each other, federal regulators, and AIG to continue to protect insurance consumers from any adverse affects from AIG’s investing arm.
      “In times of confusion, fear and uncertainty, there are always those who will try to prey on the investing public. Consumers should resist the temptation to make hasty decisions about their investments in annuities. Despite the current market ups and downs, it is wise to be wary of making drastic changes.” said Morrison. “Before you liquidate or replace your annuities, be aware that you may experience extreme surrender charges and adverse tax consequences. Evaluate your goals and understand the long-term impact.”
      For more information about AIG and its insurance companies call the State Auditors office toll free number (800) 332-6148 or main number (406) 444-2040.