URGENT CLIENT ADVISORY: Insurers, Brokers Agree to Settlement of Class Action Lawsuit Affecting Purchasers of Commercial Insurance since 1994.
Zurich American Insurance Co., and certain of its subsidiaries/affiliates, along with other named insurer and broker defendants, late last week finalized a proposed settlement of a New Jersey class action lawsuit alleging that the named Insurers and Brokers engaged in bid rigging, price fixing, and inappropriate finite risk arrangements in violation of federal and state antitrust laws. The proposed settlement potentially affects any person or entity that purchased or renewed commercial insurance or reinsurance from August 26, 1994, through September 1, 2005, from the named Zurich subsidiaries/affiliates and other named Insurer and Broker defendants. Class members will share in a minimum $121.8 million refund distribution.
The proposed settlement agreement provides for three separate claimant groups:
- Class members who purchased or renewed excess casualty policies issued by a Zurich subsidiary/affiliate from 2001 through 2004;
- Class members who otherwise purchased or renewed commercial insurance or reinsurance policies issued by a Zurich subsidiary/affiliate during the proposed settlement period; and
- Class members who purchased or renewed commercial insurance or reinsurance policies through a named Broker defendant from a named Insurer defendant other than a Zurich subsidiary/affiliate.
Class members who purchased or renewed commercial insurance or reinsurance policies during the applicable period from a named Zurich subsidiary/affiliate are not required to complete a proof of claim form to receive relief under the proposed settlement agreement. However, class members who purchased or renewed commercial insurance or reinsurance policies through a
Broker defendant from an insurer other than a named Zurich subsidiary/affiliate are required to submit an executed proof of claim form to the settlement administrator by June 12, 2007.
Notwithstanding the June 12, 2007, proof of claim deadline, the deadline for filing a Request for Exclusion from the settlement class or a Written Objection to the proposed settlement agreement is January 11, 2007. Thus, potential class members are strongly encouraged to immediately review their past commercial insurance and reinsurance purchases to determine whether they fall within the terms of the proposed settlement and to evaluate the settlement terms to determine whether to exclude themselves from the settlement class or file a written objection to the terms of the proposed settlement agreement.
If you have any questions regarding your rights under the proposed settlement agreement or are uncertain as to whether your insurance program is affected by the proposed settlement agreement, please contact Greg Mitchell at (859) 244-7548 or email@example.com or Christopher Karo at (859) 244-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.