When to Bail on Your Insurer

Some companies are in financial distress, but most policyholders should stay put.

As if the past nine months haven't been hairy enough for your finances, now your insurance company may be making the headlines. If your insurer is struggling, should you stay or should you bail?

American International Group policyholders have been asking that question since last fall, when AIG got an infusion of funds from the U.S. government. Customers with insurance or annuities from Hartford and Genworth started to worry when those companies' share prices plummeted a few months ago.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.