West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw has sued insurance broker Acordia, charging the intermediary received millions of dollars in "hidden" contingent commissions in return for steering business to certain carriers.

The suit against Chicago-based Acordia, and Acordia of West Virginia Inc., claims that the payments "were unfair and deceptive, and resulted in less competition for insurance," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

"Secret contingent commissions skew the marketplace and may cause us to pay more for our insurance premiums," said Mr. McGraw. "The world's largest insurance brokers have already sworn off secret payments. I expect Acordia to be next."

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