Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Business Succession Planning - February 2016

The transition of a family owned or closely-held business is a significant undertaking even with the best laid plan. This article will outline the issues that should be considered by the business owner in transitioning a...more

Split-dollar Life Insurance – A Tax-Leveraged Derivative for Hedge Fund Managers

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ended the not so discrete secret of hedge fund managers, the deferred compensation arrangement with their offshore funds or as the New York Times described, “an unlimited Super...more

Bill to Amend Florida’s Unclaimed Property Act Regarding Unclaimed Insurance Benefits Moves to Senate Floor

On January 19, the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved a Senate bill (“SB 966”) that would modify Florida’s existing Unclaimed Property Act (the “Act”) requirements regarding unclaimed insurance benefits....more

Year in Review: Legislation and Guidance for Financial Institutions in 2015

Financial institutions in Canada witnessed yet another year of significant growth in legislation and regulatory guidance impacting their operations, while the financial marketplace is continuing to adapt to the impact of...more

Alert: The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Who really benefits? You may be surprised! If you participate in a 401(k) or other retirement plan, have one or more IRA accounts, or life insurance policies, you need to designate beneficiaries to receive the benefits...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds ERISA Disability and Life Benefit Denials

In two decisions issued last month, the Fifth Circuit upheld ERISA plan denials of disability and life benefits, confirming its deferential approach in most ERISA benefit cases....more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 1.13.16

Likely prompted by its ongoing SIFI battle, MetLife is reportedly looking to spin off its retail life and annuity business and break up what’s now the largest life insurance company in the US, with $880 billion in assets –...more

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The Use of Private Placement Group Variable Deferred Annuities in Generation Skipping Trusts - Over the last several decades, trust and estate lawyers have placed great emphasis on proper planning regarding the proper...more

Florida's OIR Provides Guidance on Annuity Maturity Date Extensions

On December 15, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) issued an Informational Memorandum, OIR-15-08M (Memorandum) regarding the extension of annuity contracts maturity dates beyond their original date. The...more

Federal Court of Appeals Deems Policies STOLI, Refuses to Order Return of Premiums

Upon determining that certain Ohio National life insurance policies were stranger originated life insurance (STOLI) under Illinois law, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in Ohio National Life Assurance Corp. v. Davis,...more

Perks, Prizes, and Loopholes: Sen. Warren’s Report on Annuity Sales Practices

This past April, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) opened an investigation into annuity sales practices by issuing surveys to 15 insurance companies responsible for 71 percent ($168 billion) of total 2014 industry sales. The goal...more

NAIC Evaluates Insurer’s Use of Variable Annuity Captives, Price Optimization, and Big Data

At the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Fall National Meeting, regulators and consumer representatives continued to seek transparency on insurers’ use of annuity captive reinsurance transactions (VA...more

California Passes Life and Annuity Electronic Transactions Law

On January 1, 2016, Section 38.6 of the California Insurance Code will take effect permitting consumers to conduct certain life, disability, and annuity transactions electronically. The new law attempts to meet California...more

Under a Spotlight, "Shadow Insurance" Lawsuit Fails Scrutiny

One of several class actions that arose in the wake of a 2013 investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) into so-called “shadow insurance,” Robainas v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., has been...more

Proposal of significant tightening of the rules on tax credits regarding German equities

On 17 December 2015 the German Ministry of Finance (Bundesfinanzministerium) circulated its consultation draft bill on the reform of fund taxation (‘Ministry’s Draft’). The Ministry’s Draft still contains a complete revision...more

Paying for LTC insurance using a tax-free exchange

Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into an estate plan like incurring long-term care (LTC) expenses. An LTC insurance policy can offset these costs, but the premiums can be expensive. One potential source for funding LTC...more

NAIC Report: 2015 Fall National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its 2015 Fall National Meeting from November 17 through November 22 at National Harbor, Maryland. Notwithstanding the gigantic size of the Gaylord National...more

Group Life Insurance Claims by a Teacher’s Beneficiary Are Subject to ERISA Preemption: Woods v. American United Life Insurance...

On ERISA preemption grounds, a federal court has ruled against state law claims asserted by the beneficiary of a former school teacher who sought benefits from a group life insurance policy. Woods v. American United Life...more

Illinois Treasurer Lawsuit Highlights Contingency Fee Risks in Unclaimed Property Audits

On October 26, 2015, three life insurance companies (the “Kemper Companies”) filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Treasurer (the “Treasurer”) and private auditing firm, Verus Financial LLC, over the Treasurer’s...more

Tennesse Court Upholds Public Policy Against Wagering in STOLI Context

Litigation concerning stranger-originated life insurance (“STOLI”) continues to unfold in state and federal courts across the country. Among other issues, STOLI-related lawsuits often involve disputes concerning the...more

NAIC IUL Illustration Subgroup Proposes Revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49

On November 3, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) IUL Illustration (A) Subgroup circulated for comment proposed revisions (Proposed Revisions) to recently adopted Actuarial Guideline 49 governing...more

Putative Class Representative Accusing Life Insurer Of “Hollow Asset” Reinsurance Lacks Article Iii Standing

We previously reported on putative class actions pending against life insurers for allegedly misleading customers by engaging in “shadow” or “hollow” reinsurance transactions, doing so most recently on August 3, 2015. In...more

Seventh Circuit Slams STOLI Scheme, Permits Insurer To Retain Premium and Recover Attorneys' Fees

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion affirming summary judgment in favor of Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation in a STOLI-related case. The 14-page opinion authored by...more

Michigan Court Dismisses Cross-Claim as Insurer Not Properly Subject to a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

In Van Loo v. Cajun Operating Co, No. 14-cv-10604 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 17, 2015), the Eastern District of Michigan, a Sixth Circuit district court, held that the requirement for evidence of insurability was triggered based on...more

Ohio Judge Stays Bad Faith Action Pending Arbitration In Health Care Payment Row

A district court in Ohio granted defendant Pan-American Life Insurance Company’s (“Pan-American”) motion to stay pending arbitration finding a valid and enforceable arbitration provision within the pertinent group health...more

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