News & Analysis as of

Life Insurance

Company Liable for Not Providing Accurate Information about Benefits

by Dickinson Wright on

A recent court case, Erwood vs Life Insurance Company of North America, is a reminder that plan sponsors must understand the terms of their welfare and retirement benefit plans, and ensure that their staff follows the...more

Accidental Disinheritance: Update Wills, Estate Plans Annually

by Lewitt Hackman on

So you have an estate plan? Good for you. You funded it? Even better. But have you updated it and your will in the last year? If you haven’t, your loved ones or favorite charities may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Your...more

NAIC Report: 2017 Spring National Meeting

The NAIC’s 2016 Annual Report is titled, “Inspiring Innovation” and the themes of innovation and the new capabilities that technology offers were evident throughout the weekend. In March, the NAIC announced the creation of a...more

Employer Liable for Failing to Provide Life Insurance Conversion Information to Disabled Employee

A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania serves as a reminder that an employer may incur significant financial liability for failing to timely provide life insurance...more

Expect Focus - Life Insurance: Risky Business, Volume I, March 2017

by Carlton Fields on

Regulators Demand Third-Party Risk Management - While third-party risk management has been a required component of an effective enterprise risk management program for many years, the topic is receiving elevated...more

Cost of Insurance Litigation Review

by Carlton Fields on

As illustrated by the two examples here, recent decisions on preliminary motions seeking to dispose of or narrow the scope of claims challenging COI rate determinations suggest the industry may be enmeshed in litigation for...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of "Shadow Insurance" Lawsuits

by Carlton Fields on

In a summary order issued February 23, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of two so-called “shadow insurance” putative class action lawsuits — Ross v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance...more

The Ninth Circuit Finds California’s Illustration Statutes Can Serve as the Predicate for UCL Liability

by Carlton Fields on

On March 3, the Ninth Circuit in Walker v. Life Ins. Co. of the SW, ruled that an alleged violation of California’s life insurance illustration statutes could serve as a predicate for liability under the California Unfair...more

Sprouting Activity at the NAIC

by Carlton Fields on

Various NAIC groups have planted seeds for a number of regulatory initiatives that impact life insurers. The Cybersecurity Task Force has been tilling the ground in preparation for a third draft of the NAIC Cybersecurity...more

That’s Life. . . Insurance: The Employer Duty To Notify A Terminated Employee Of The Right To Convert

Employer provided life insurance as a part of a group plan is a terrific benefit to offer employees. However, employers must be aware that offering such a benefit also imposes certain responsibilities on them. Many...more

Eleventh Circuit Looks To Alabama’s Doctrine Of “Intertwining” To Determine Non-Signatory Cannot Be Compelled To Arbitrate

by Carlton Fields on

Under Alabama law, “arbitration may be compelled under the doctrine of ‘intertwining’ where arbitrable and nonarbitrable claims are so closely related that the party to a controversy subject to arbitration is equitably...more

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...

by Gerald Nowotny on

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

by Carlton Fields on

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

by Dentons on

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

by Carlton Fields on

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

by Varnum LLP on

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

by Carlton Fields on

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

by Gerald Nowotny on

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

by Saul Ewing LLP on

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

by Carlton Fields on

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]

by Carlton Fields on

- 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

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