Three big U.S. insurers said on Friday they received subpoenas this week from the New York attorney general in his probe of incentives paid to insurance brokers.

The insurers who received subpoenas from Eliot Spitzer’s office, Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and MetLife Inc., join several others recently subpoenaed by the attorney general, Eliot Spitzer. Aetna and Cigna are two of the largest health insurers. MetLife is the largest life insurer.

Spitzer is investigating whether the fees insurers pay brokers to sell their products constitute a fair business practice or pose a conflict of interest.

Aetna spokesman David Carter and MetLife spokesman Christopher Breslin said their companies would cooperate fully with the inquiry. Cigna spokesman Wendell Potter said his company would also cooperate.

Aetna is based in Hartford, Connecticut, Cigna in Philadelphia, and MetLife in New York.

Other insurers that have received subpoenas are Chubb Corp. and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

In April, the three largest insurance brokers — Marsh & McLennan Cos., Aon Corp. and Willis Group Holdings Ltd. — said they received subpoenas from Spitzer.

It was not immediately clear whether other insurers have received subpoenas.

John Penshorn, a spokesman for Minneapolis-based UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, declined to say whether the company had been subpoenaed.

Another big health insurer, PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., has not received a subpoena, a spokeswoman said.

Spitzer’s office was not immediately available for comment.

Aetna shares closed Thursday at $84.06 on the New York Stock Exchange and have risen 31 percent in the last year. Cigna shares closed at $68.88 and have risen 39 percent in the last year. MetLife shares closed at $36.05 and have risen 26 percent in the last year.

Scroll to Top