"Directors and Officers" Insurance Policies Win New Cred in Crisis

Last Updated Sep 22, 2008 4:04 PM EDT

The financial debacle is prompting renewed interest in Directors & Officers insurance policies to protect personal assets of directors and top executives.

This is the trend in the United Kingdom, according to a study by risk manager Marsh Ltd.

The Marsh study showed that nearly half of the companies on the FTSE 250 list now have D&O policies covering personal assets, up from just 10 percent two years ago.

The trend is the same in the U.S. According to Mathew Rolph, a Marsh managing director, class action lawstuis in the U.S. are up 58 percent this year. Interest in D&O policies typically rises during hard times.

Ironically, one of the largest insurers offering D&O policies is American International Group, which has been so hard hit in the financial meltdown that it will be bailed out by the federal government.