October 14, 2008                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

AIG HAS BEEN A HOT TOPIC


      AIG has been a very hot topic lately. Many questions have come to my office. Below are some of the most common concerns from policyholders.
      
      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 consumer’s claims.
      
      Q: Are the insurance and annuity policies I purchased from AIG safe or am I going to lose my money? Will the AIG insurance companies be able to pay claims?
      
      A: Your policies are safe. AIG’s companies are currently financially strong and fully able to honor all policyholder’s claims. The State Auditors Office Insurance Department will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that policyholders are protected and that AIG will have sufficient assets to cover claims. 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.
      
      Q: Should I pay the insurance premium bill that I just received from AIG?
      
      A: Yes, you should continue to pay your premiums if you want your coverage to continue. If you do not pay your premiums it can result in termination of your policies by the insurance company.
      
      Q: Should I cash in my insurance and annuity policies and purchase insurance from another insurer?
      
      A: As always, you should speak to your financial adviser. The State Auditor’s Office can tell you what information to gather from your agent or broker before you make a decision about chasing in your policies. This is a personal decision; however you should be aware that your policies may contain a surrender charge and/or cancellation penalties.
      
      Additionally, you should be wary if someone tells you to replace any policy because an AIG insurance company is in trouble and may not be able to pay your claim. This is an untrue statement and is against the law. We strive to protect consumers from improper sales tactics and you should call us immediately if this happens.