Life insurance companies next in line for bailout funds

Life insurers are expected to be the next recipients of bailout funds from the Treasury Department's remaining $130 billion in TARP funds, according to a story in today's Wall Street Journal. In order to get the money, the life insurers must own a federally insured bank or savings and loan.

Life insurance companies that bought regulated savings and loans and are now ready to take the money include Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG), Genworth Financial (GNW) and Lincoln Financial (LNC). Hartford and Lincoln have applied for TARP funds. Genworth is waiting for the Office of Thrift Supervision to approve its thrift purchase so it can gain access to the funds. Prudential Financial (PRU), which owned a thrift bank before the current crisis, also applied for funds. MetLife (MET), which also owned a thrift bank before the crisis, has not indicated publicly whether it plans to apply for TARP funds.