Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

APRA releases Insight report on the life insurance and general insurance markets

APRA has released its second Insight report into the life insurance and general insurance markets for 2014. In terms of the general insurance markets, APRA makes a number of interesting observations....more

Court Rejects Fiduciary Duty Breach by Claims Administrator Acting on Behalf of Plan Sponsor

In the recently decided matter of Van Loo, et al. v. Cajun Operating Company, et al., No. 2:2014cv10604 (E.D. Mich. 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejected allegations of a fiduciary duty...more

Latest Developments in Regulation of XXX/AXXX Captives

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the "NAIC") is forging ahead with its work on captive insurance companies used by life insurance companies to finance reserves required under current regulations; these...more

Fixing Common Plan Mistakes – Failure to Obtain Spousal Consent

The Rule - When plans have a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity default form of benefit, or when a plan offers life annuity options, spousal consent must be obtained for any distribution or loan out of the plan,...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Plan Administrator Has No Duty to Inquire into Authenticity of Participant’s Beneficiary Designation

Plaintiff Kristopher Towles, the son of a deceased participant of a life insurance plan, challenged the plan’s decision to pay the life insurance proceeds to the deceased’s husband, contending that the beneficiary form...more

District Court Grants Motion To Stay Pending Arbitration Over Non-Signatory’s Opposition

In late August, a federal district court in Louisiana granted a group of defendants’ motion to stay pending arbitration. Plaintiff alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud in connection with a trust account set...more

Beware of Unintended Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations are commonly used to name the individuals or entities who are to receive the proceeds of life insurance policies or retirement plans after the death of the owner. An increasing number of financial...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - As it is well known, in Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court identified several forms of appropriate equitable relief that may be available under Section 502(a)(3) of...more

Caution with Automatic Removal of Ex-Spouse as a Beneficiary Upon Divorce

Fla.Stats. Section 732.703 provides for the automatic removal of a spouse as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy upon divorce. Many other states have similar provisions. It is easy to become complacent in expecting this...more

Who Should Be My Life Insurance Beneficiary? #EstatePlanningAttorney

The question, “who should be your designated beneficiary under your life insurance policy” is a very important family decision that should be made after careful consideration of all relevant family and financial goals in...more

Arbitration Denied In Mortgage Life Insurance Dispute Where Neither Note Nor Policy Referenced Arbitration Agreement

A court refused to compel arbitration in a dispute surrounding the cancellation of and failure to pay life insurance benefits under a debtor group life insurance policy. The relevant note and insurance policy did not contain...more

Jamon y Queso (Ham and Cheese) – Offshore Annuity Planning Options for Non-Resident Aliens

I have been active in private placement life insurance since 1999. Over that course of time, while the offshore private placement life insurance industry was getting its start in the late 1990s, Sun Life of Canada introduced...more

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

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

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