New York — The cost to protect against a default by Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn.,  Prudential Financial Inc., Shelton, Conn., and MetLife Inc., New York, rose to record levels on speculation that the turmoil in financial markets may be spreading to insurers.

Credit-default swaps on Hartford jumped 165 basis points to a mid-price of 675 basis points, according to New York broker Phoenix Partners Group. Contracts on Prudential rose 125 basis points to 617 basis points, while MetLife climbed 97 basis points to 583 basis points, CMA Datavision prices show.

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