Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Life Insurer Prevails in First Circuit Appeal in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...more

Should I Name My Minor Child as a Beneficiary or Contingent Beneficiary of My Life Insurance Policy?

As an estate planning attorney in Mesa, Arizona I am frequently asked the question by parents: Should I name a minor child as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy? This question has very...more

Complaint Filed for Alleged Insurance Fraud Scheme on Secondary Market

On October 3, 2014, a lawsuit captioned Visión en Análisis y Estrategia, S.A. de C.V., et al. v. Karl Andersen, et al., was filed in the Southern District of New York alleging an insurance fraud scheme perpetrated against the...more

Florida Modifies Its Annuity Suitability Rule

On October 1, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) amended Florida Administrative Code Rule 69B-162.011, "Suitability and Disclosures in Annuity Contracts – Forms Required" (the Suitability Rule). This amendment...more

Punitive Damages, and Insurer Conduct – The Court of Appeal Upholds a $200,000.00 Award

In Fernandes v. Penncorp Life Insurance Company, [2014 ONCA 615], the Court of Appeal upheld the Trial Judge’s decision awarding $200,000.00 in punitive damages. The Court of Appeal did, however, reduce the damages for mental...more

Expect Focus - Regulators Are Watching: New Products, New Opportunities, New Risks - Volume III, Summer 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Standard CGL Policy Form Adds Data Breach Coverage Exclusion - LIFE INSURANCE ..Class Claims Against Lincoln National Barred in Section 419 Action – Again ...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2014

CASES - Post-Retirement Medical Benefits Under Siege. A recent spike in retiree benefit litigation is evidence of a growing interest among employers in strategies designed to contain, reduce, and eliminate the current...more

Is That Covered? Life Insurance for sick infant (fair warning - this is an emotional one)

Imagine you, as grandparents, had planned for months to purchase a life insurance policy on your soon-to-be-born-grandchild. You intended it as a gift to your daughter and her husband. But, your grandchild is born with a...more

Developments in Life Insurance in Florida

Life insurers will find the following Florida decisions regarding the state’s unclaimed property law and false claims act important: - Total Asset Recovery Services, LLC v. Metlife, Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc.,...more

NAIC Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Working Group Recommends Development of Model Law and Comment Letter to Uniform Law...

On September 17, 2014, the NAIC's Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits (A) Working Group (Working Group) discussed its recommendations to the Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee (the (A) Committee) concerning unclaimed...more

Arbitration Denied In Class Action Where Plaintiff’s Trust Was A Party To Arbitration Agreement, But Plaintiff Was Not

In a life settlement transaction, in which a life insurance policy is sold by its owner to another for more than its cash-surrender value but less than the net death benefit, the seller contended that the broker and purchaser...more

The Waters of March -The Benefits of Owning Life Insurance within a Cascading Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts (CLATs)

...I recall hearing Bossa Nova as a ten year old at my neighbor’s house in the Panama Canal Zone – Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. The Waters of March is one of many great songs written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and sung by Elis...more

Can We Talk? Providing Hedge Fund Managers with the Deferral of Carried Interest until Eternity

Overview - The recent passing of Joan Rivers not only requires us to pay tribute to one of the great comedic minds of the last forty-fifty years, but serves as a testimony to professional passion, perseverance and hard...more

Louisiana Issues Advisory Letter Regarding Use of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File

On September 4, the Louisiana Department of Insurance issued Advisory Letter 2014-04 (the "Advisory") to advise all life and annuity insurers licensed in Louisiana regarding use of the Social Security Administration's Death...more

ERISA Fiduciary Obligations: More on Application to Life Insurance Coverage

This article examines the case of Biller v. Prudential Insurance, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against an employer by the beneficiaries of a...more

District Court in 11th Circuit Deems Claim for Equitable Relief Appropriate under Amara and Varity

Yet again, the Court has been called upon to negotiate the juxtaposition between Varity and Amara. According to the Complaint in Biller v. Prudential Ins. Co. and Six Continents Hotels, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 118577,...more

Florida Proposes Rule for Annuity and Life Insurance Surrender Disclosures

On September 4, the Florida Department of Financial Services (the "Department") published a Notice of Rule Development for Proposed Rule 69B-215.090, Florida Administrative Code (the "Proposed Rule") setting out disclosure...more

FIO Focus, Issue No. 60

FSOC Issues Proposed Determination of SIFI Designation for MetLife - On September 4, 2014, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) issued a “proposed determination” that Metropolitan Life Insurance Company...more

Bermuda: Taking Charge of the Future - A review of recent legislative changes relating to Trusts and Life Insurance Contracts

Bermuda is a financial centre that is determined to grow, diversify, and improve upon the range and quality of the financial and professional services that it offers to its international clients. This goal is supported...more

NAIC Moving Forward on Regulation of XXX/AXXX Financing Transactions

For more than two years, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the "NAIC") has been addressing the use by life insurers of captive reinsurers to finance reserves for certain term life insurance or universal...more

Insurance Industry Sweeps Retained Asset Account Doubleheader

On August 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Vander Luitgaren v. Sun Life Ass. Co. of Canada, No. 13–2090, 2014 WL 4197947 (1st Cir. Aug. 26, 2014), that an insurer, acting as a claims administrator,...more

District Courts Reviewing ERISA Cases Under the Arbitrary and Capricious Review Standard Serve Only in an Appellate Role

In McCorkle v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 13-30745, 2014 WL 2983360 (5th Cir. 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that MetLife’s adverse determination regarding the plaintiff’s claim for benefits due to...more

Employers Should Monitor Closely Group Term Life Insurance Enrollments

Many employers offer group term life insurance, including supplemental life. Often an employee who wants to buy coverage above a particular level after an initial open enrollment period must show evidence of insurability....more

Florida DFS Unclaimed Property Grab “Clearly Erroneous”

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal filed an opinion yesterday in Thrivent Financial for Lutheran’s appeal from a declaratory statement issued by the Florida Department of Financial Services interpreting Florida’s...more

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