Insurers win access to bailout money

Treasury to make government TARP funds available to at least six life insurance companies.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six life insurance companies have qualified to receive billions of dollars in bailout money under the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, a Treasury Department spokesman said Thursday.

"These life insurers met the requirements for the Capital Purchase Program because of their bank holding company status and each applied for CPP capital investments by the deadline of November 14, 2008," Andrew Williams said.

"These companies are among the hundreds of financial institutions in the CPP pipeline that will be reviewed and funded as appropriate on a rolling basis."

Allstate (ALL, Fortune 500), Ameriprise Financial (AMP, Fortune 500), Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG, Fortune 500), Lincoln National Corp (LNC, Fortune 500)., Principal Financial (PFG, Fortune 500) and Prudential Financial Inc (PRU, Fortune 500). have qualified for TARP money, according to Williams.

In April, about $135 billion remained from the original $700 billion allocated for the bailout last October. No current figures were immediately available.

No funding amounts were announced by Treasury, but Hartford said it had been preliminarily approved for $3.4 billion.

"We are pleased that we received preliminary approval to participate in Treasury's Capital Purchase Program," said Ramani Ayer, chairman and chief executive officer of Hartford. "These funds would further fortify our capital resources and provide us with additional financial flexibility during one of the most volatile market climates in our nation's history."

Investors have been increasingly worried about the health of life insurers, which have been hit hard by worries about capital requirements and growing losses.

A number of insurers that are also bank holding companies or thrifts have been eligible for funds from TARP since last fall.

Last year, the Office of Thrift Supervision approved applications from Hartford and Lincoln to become bank holding companies, because of their planned bank purchases.

Philadelphia-based Lincoln is buying Newton County Loan & Savings FSB in Goodland, Indiana. Hartford, based in Hartford, Connecticut, is buying Federal Trust Bank in Sanford, Florida. To top of page

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