Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Utah Federal Court Holds That Incontestability Statute Bars Insurer From Avoiding Death Claim on STOLI Policy

On March 13, 2017, Judge David Nuffer of the United States District Court for the District of Utah granted defendant Wilmington Trust Company's motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to invalidate an alleged "STOLI"...more

The Walking Dead - Using Private Placement Variable Deferred Annuity Contracts to Enhance the Investment Return in Life Settlement...

Overview - I have always been a film fan. Growing up in the Panama Canal Zone, one of my Mother’s jobs for the Panama Canal Company was serving as the manager of the Balboa Theater. We used to watch initial screenings of...more

Prospects Fade for NAIC Unclaimed Life Insurance and Annuities Model Act

The prospects for an NAIC Unclaimed Life Insurance and Annuities Model Act (“Model Act”) appear to be fading based on developments at the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits (A) Working Group’s March 7 meeting. The Working...more

Second Circuit policyholder lawsuits challenging captive reinsurance disclosures

On February 23, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the rulings of several US district courts, shutting down a series of policyholder class actions that had been filed against Metropolitan...more

Court Of Appeals Affirms Dismissal Of “Shadow Insurance” Lawsuits

In a summary order, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of two “shadow insurance” putative class action lawsuits against Axa Equitable Life Insurance and Metropolitan Life...more

ERISA: 7 Things to Know About Limited Discovery in ERISA Long Term Disability Cases

You already know that discovery in ERISA cases is generally limited because of the “significant ERISA policy interests of minimizing costs of claim disputes and ensuring prompt claims-resolution procedures.”...more

Good Advice for Everyone: Ten Steps to Avoid Big Trouble

On both a business and individual level, there are ten easy steps you can take now to avoid big trouble later. If you address just five of these items this month, you will be half way there. Originally published in the...more

Stretch out estate tax on business interests

Frequently, heirs of successful entrepreneurs are forced to sell off business interests at “fire sale” prices to help pay federal estate taxes. To alleviate the tax strain, Internal Revenue Code Section 6166 allows heirs to...more

Fourth Circuit Concludes That State Law Claims For Life Insurance Benefits Are Preempted

The Fourth Circuit recently concluded that a Sears employee’s state law claims seeking money damages based on denial of insurance benefits (for failure to submit evidence of insurability questionnaire) was preempted by...more

NY DFS Issues Circular Letter Addressing Life Insurance Unfair Claims Settlement Practices During the Contestability Period

On January 26 – in its first-issued circular letter of the year – the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) reminded life insurers doing business in the state that they can only contest claims following the death of...more

Split Dollar Shing-a-Ling! Employing the Concepts of Inter-Generational Split Dollar in Compensatory Split Dollar Arrangements

Overview - In the last ten years, life insurance producers and their counsel have quietly transferred great fortunes with minimal gift and estate taxation using intergenerational split dollar life insurance programs....more

NYDFS Issues Circular Letter Pertaining to Deferred-to-Immediate Annuity Contract Replacements

On December 8, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “Department”) issued a Circular Letter to provide guidance in response to the alleged failure of certain life insurance producers and life insurers...more

NAIC Draws Line In CFPB Sand Box

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has taken a firm stance on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed ban of “mandatory arbitration” clauses that make financial product consumers waive their right...more

Back to the Future: 2017 [Expect Focus Life Insurance – December 2016]

- Should Your Company Purchase Bitcoin to Pay a Cyber Ransom? - NAIC Draws Line in CFPB Sandbox - NAIC’s Big Data Task Force Sets Charges for 2017 - Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks...more

Pennsylvania District Court Rejects Effort to Certify Retained Asset Account Claims Against Prudential

In Huffman v. Prudential, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to certify for class adjudication a claim for alleged breach of ERISA (alternatively, state law)...more

Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks

A recent SEC no-action letter gives broker-dealers more time to perform suitability and other reviews when opening certain customer accounts. The firms requesting the letter were affiliated with three different insurance...more

Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks

A recent SEC no-action letter gives broker-dealers more time to perform suitability and other reviews when opening certain customer accounts. The firms requesting the letter were affiliated with three different insurance...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Insurer’s Duty to Pay Policy Proceeds Under Wisconsin Statute

In U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n v. Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada, the Seventh Circuit, applying Wisconsin law, recently affirmed that an insurer may not void a life insurance policy solely on grounds that the policy’s original owner...more

Insurable Interest Found in Life Insurance Policies Procured by Investors Through Fraudulent STOLI Scheme

The Florida Supreme Court recently held that life insurance policies procured by investors through a STOLI scheme did not violate Florida’s insurable interest statute and could not be challenged after the two-year...more

Complaint Against New York Life Dismissed in Action Testing Application of California’s Usury Laws

In a recent ruling, Lujan v. New York Life Insurance Company, a federal judge in the Northern District of California rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that New York Life violated California’s usury law by charging compound...more

NAIC Draws Line in CFPB Sandbox

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has taken a firm stance on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed ban on "mandatory arbitration" clauses that make financial product consumers waive their right...more

Estate Tax Impact of Life Insurance Required by Divorce

Please see chart below for more information....more

Special Needs Trusts Through the Lens of a Financial Planner

I met recently with my friend and advisor, Lauren Pearson, CFP®, to learn more about Special Needs Trusts. Lauren is a managing director and partner at HighTower Twickenham, an industry leading wealth management firm. Lauren...more

NAIC Adopts Revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49

On December 13, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Executive (EX) Committee and Plenary adopted revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 (AG 49) with an effective date of March 1, 2017. The revisions apply...more

6 estate planning techniques for blended families

A “blended family” is more than just a staple of TV sitcoms. Today, it’s not unusual for a household to include children and even grandchildren from prior marriages, as well as adopted family members or same-sex couples....more

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