Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

How Concerned Should Insurers be About Punitive Damages in California?

The California Court of Appeal recently published another opinion about the Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance case. The court held to its maximum 10:1 punitive-to-compensatory-damages ratio and analyzed whether this...more

A Comparison of Trump and House GOP Tax Reform Proposals

With Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House starting in 2017, the federal government is now better positioned to move forward on comprehensive tax reform, with...more

President-elect Trump's potential priorities for insurance regulation

Apart from a fundamental disagreement between the parties as to whether the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") should be repealed and replaced, insurance regulatory issues did not play a large role in the Presidential campaign. That...more

2016 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory

In 2016, we continued to experience a period of relative stability in our federal transfer tax system and have been able to plan without expecting imminent significant changes to the system. Under the American Taxpayer Relief...more

NY DFS Proposes New Regulation for Life and Annuity Non-Guaranteed Elements

On November 17, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a press release announcing its proposal of new Insurance Regulation 210 - Life Insurance and Annuity Non-Guaranteed Elements. Non-guaranteed elements...more

Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act Finalized for State Enactment—Legislative Drafting Notes and Interpretative Comments Added ...

The fourth iteration of a uniform unclaimed property act—entitled the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or Act)—has been finalized by the Uniform Law Commission for state enactment. The new Prefatory Note,...more

McNees Insights Newsletter – Estate Planning: November 2016

IRS Simplifies Rules for Correcting Late Rollovers - On August 24, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Revenue Procedure 2016-47, which greatly simplifies the procedure for correcting late rollover...more

Life Insurance Industry Loses Challenge to Department of Labor Fiduciary Liability Rules

The National Association for Fixed Annuities v. Perez, Civ. 16-1035 (RDM), United States District Court for the District of Columbia, November 4, 2016 In a widely anticipated ruling, the National Association for Fixed...more

Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Plausible Claim of Damages Avoids Dismissal of Bad Faith Lawsuit

Can an insurer be potentially liable for breach of contract or bad faith where the insured can only plead a plausible claim of damages? The Ninth Circuit has answered “yes” in a recent decision in the case of Beverly Burton...more

ERISA: Failure to Present “Objective Findings of Impairment” Supports Denial of Mental Disability Claim

You know that courts can expect a claimant to establish “objective evidence of impairment” from a physical condition. But does this apply to claims arising out of a mental condition?...more

FIO Annual Report On The Insurance Industry

In September, the Federal Insurance Office (“FIO”) issued its Annual Report on the Insurance Industry for 2015, including its “outlook” for 2016 based upon results reported through June 30, 2016....more

What’s Your Game Plan? Offensive or Defensive: Playing to Your Strengths [Expect Focus – October 2016]

- AXA Prevails at First Post-Jones v. Harris Excessive Fee Trial - Potential Secondary Effects of Regulatory Examinations: Evidentiary Issues and Preclusion in Parallel Litigation - On The Horizon: Global...more

NAIC Life Actuarial (A) Task Force Approves Revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 for Exposure and Comment

On October 20, the NAIC Life Actuarial (A) Task Force (LATF) of the Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee met and approved proposed revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 (AG 49) for exposure and comment. If adopted, the...more

IRS Provides Guidance on Reasonable Mortality Charges for Life Insurance Contracts Based on 2017 CSO Tables

On October 19, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued an advance version of Notice 2016-63, addressing the “reasonable mortality charge” requirement under IRC §§ 7702 and 7702A for life insurance contracts based on the...more

Illinois Courts: Fixed Indexed Annuities Are Not Securities

In 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) attempted to regulate fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) as securities by issuing Rule 151A. Previously, FIAs were treated as exempt insurance products. After the D.C. Circuit...more

SEC Exhibit Hyperlink Proposal Excludes Investment Companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed that filings on Securities Act registration form types beginning with “S-” and “F-”, or on the basic Securities Exchange Act reporting forms, provide hyperlinks to...more

Where Have You Gone Chico Escuela! Using Split Dollar Life Insurance for Major League Baseball Players

Overview - When I grew up in the Panama Canal Zone, the country of Panama still had winter league professional baseball up until 1970. They frequently played weekend games at the high school field down the street from my...more

Seventh Circuit Holds that Insurers Cannot Challenge Policies for Lack of Insurable Interest

On October 12, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner, affirmed a district court decision finding that securities intermediary U.S. Bank, N.A. is...more

[Webinar] Business Planning in Light of Proposed Regulations under Code § 2704 - October 27th, 12:00p.m. CT

In this webinar, Steve Gorin, the author of his quarterly newsletter, will discuss the proposed regulations under IRC § 2704 that would increase the valuation of business entities in many cases. Attendees will learn when the...more

California's New End of Life Option Act Impacts Insurers

California's "End of Life Option Act" (the Act) went into effect June 9, 2016—making California the fifth state (behind Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana) to allow terminally ill adults with fewer than six months to...more

STOLI Scheme Saved By Expiration of Contestability Clause

On September 22, the Florida Supreme Court in Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Pruco Life Insurance Co., No. SC15-382 (Fla. Sept. 22, 2016) denied Pruco Life Insurance Company’s challenge to the validity of an insurance policy...more

Upcoming CLE examines ways to avoid tax traps in life insurance

Beware that an employer-owned life insurance contract might not qualify for the usual exclusion from regular income tax. An “employer-owned life insurance contract” (a term that applied to much more than one would think) does...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 9.28.16

It wasn’t exactly a direct reaction to his testimony on the Hill, but Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf didn’t do himself any favors there, and Wells Fargo’s Board has announced that it will claw back an estimated $41 million in...more

Florida Supreme Court Advises the Eleventh Circuit that A STOLI Policy Cannot Be Rescinded After the Contestability Period

The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals certified 2 questions under Florida law to the Florida Supreme Court relating to 3 STOLI life insurance policies. The Florida Supreme Court rephrased (and conflated) the 2 questions...more

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