According to a Web site statement , Garamendi disclosed that a settlement had been reached with ULR requiring it to end these practices immediately.
Garamendi’s suit charged the defendants with violating state law by withholding from clients information about the secret deals struck with ULR. Garamendi alleged that ULR, a broker specializing in employee benefits, got the payments in exchange for steering to the insurers the business of corporations seeking group life, disability and other coverage. The kickbacks, the lawsuit said, led to higher insurance costs for the corporations and their workers.
The suit, filed in California Superior Court in San
Diego, names MetLife Inc., Cigna Corporation, Prudential
Financial Inc., and UnumProvident Corporation as
“Employers and consumers put their trust in brokers to
help them find the best insurance at the best price,”
Garamendi said in the statement. “But that trust has been
broken. This lawsuit is one of many steps I will take to
ensure that insurance consumers don’t suffer because of
backroom kickback deals.”
The New York attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, filed a similar lawsuit against Universal Life Resources on Friday. In his suit, Spitzer said some of the same insurance companies paid incentives to encourage the broker to send them business. Spitzer did not sue any of the insurance companies (See Spitzer Expands Focus in Insurance Probe ).