Chicago — On the heels of yesterday's drama surrounding Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) comments that another big-name insurance company was set to fail, a pair of carriers have scrambled to announce their stability.

At a luncheon in Washington before the Senate's vote on the bailout package, Reid was quoted as saying "one of the individuals in the caucus today talked about a major insurance company—a major insurance company, one with a name that everyone knows—that's on the verge of going bankrupt."

Shortly thereafter, one of his aides issued a statement that said the senator was not referring to any company in particular, but the damage had already been done. As a result, insurance stocks took a dive on Thursday.

So far, both The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn., and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Inc., New York, have issued statements reassuring the public of their safety, which prompted stocks to rebound early this morning.

"The statement yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does not apply to MetLife," the company wrote in a press release last night. "MetLife is financially sound and has high ratings from all of the major insurance ratings agencies.  MetLife is fully able to meet all its obligations."

The Hartford made a similar assertion, noting that the market is prone to fluctuations, but it will remain on solid footing.

Sources: INN archives, The Hartford, MetLife

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