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Should Directors and officers of major companies be concerned about the limits of their D&O liability insurance? Only if they are unlucky enough to get named in a class action suit brought by an institutional investor. While the chances of getting hit with a lawsuit are relatively slim–according to March Inc., less than a 1% chance in any given year–when a company does get fingered, it can be devastating. In 2006 alone, there were four billion-dollar-plus D&O settlements and seven cases settling in excess of $500 million. Last year, the average settlement value in D&O lawsuits hit a record $45 million–more than twice the average of all settlements since the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995–and so far this year, the trend is continuing with average settlement values hovering around $41 million. What’s a company to do?

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