Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

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

FOS publishes Ombudsman News

The October 2015 issue of Ombudsman News includes complaints about life assurance and critical illness cover. FOS highlights the delicate considerations involved in such claims....more

New Legislation Extends Future Form 5500 and 990 Deadlines, Affects Veterans Health Benefits and Extends Excess Pension Asset...

On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, temporarily extending the Highway Trust Fund to provide continued funding for federal transportation...more

Observation 3.0: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the Volcker Rule and the Implications for Foreign Banks Investing in...

1. Question: What is the Volcker Rule, and when does it take effect? Answer: The Volcker Rule was enacted into law as section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank...more

How Can I Avoid Probate | Arizona Probate Attorney

One of the main questions clients will ask is, “How I can avoid probate when I pass away?” This common question stems from a long history of “probate” being associated as an evil word or a long and expensive legal process,...more

IREG Update - October 2015 #2

Hot Topic - The FIO's criticism of state regulators regarding captive reinsurance framework - The Federal Insurance Office in its September 2015 "Annual Report on the Insurance Industry" criticizes state insurance...more

NAIC Proposes Changes to Life Insurer Disclosure Requirements and Treatment of Investment Affiliates

This month, the NAIC set forth a variety of proposals relating to changes risk-based capital (“RBC”) requirements, as well as treatment of investment affiliates. In particular, the NAIC seeks to require life insurers to...more

Debate Over Unclaimed Property Continues Before the Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee

Proposed revisions to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act were under debate this past week in Washington, DC as the Uniform Law Commission (ULC or Commission) Committee to Revise the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (Drafting...more

Is the Irrevocable Trust Really Irrevocable?

I often meet with clients who have established an irrevocable trust or are beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust established by a deceased family member. Usually, these clients believe that the terms governing these trusts...more

EXPECT FOCUS: Onboard Technology, NAIC Cybersecurity, DOL, ACA Litigation, SEC Regulation (Vol. III, Summer 2015)

In This Issue: IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - Your Data Breach Collided With My Personal Injury Coverage LIFE INSURANCE - - Phantom Injury Dooms “Shadow Insurance” Case - Latest NAIC Cybersecurity News - A...more

A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule, which defines the term "fiduciary" as it applies to persons who provide "investment advice" to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of fiduciary...more

New 871(m) Regulations Finalize Dividend Equivalent Payment Withholding Rules for Equity Derivatives

On September 17, 2015, the IRS and the Treasury Department issued final, temporary, and proposed regulations under section 871(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (collectively, the “new regulations”) that provide the rules for...more

Insurer Victory in IUL Class Action

In a highly-anticipated opinion, a federal district court found for the insurer in a California class action involving alleged improprieties in the sale of indexed universal life insurance policies. Plaintiffs alleged that...more

Rhode Island Supreme Court Decides STOA Case

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island recently considered two questions of first impression: (i) whether an insurable interest requirement applies to an annuity with a death benefit, and (ii) whether an immediate incontestability...more

Phantom Injury Dooms “Shadow Insurance” Case

A recent federal district court decision dismissing a putative class action complaint against AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company may portend trouble for plaintiffs pursuing a number of similar so-called "shadow insurance"...more

Texas Surgical Centers: Aetna Improperly Denies or Underpays Out-of-Network Claims

Aetna is now facing another set of claims calling into question its determination and payment methodology for out-of-network reimbursement. On September 4, 2015, six surgical centers in Texas (Allied Center for Special...more

Variable Annuity with a No-lose Death Benefit Is Not Subject to the Statutory and Common Law Insurable Interest Requirement -...

Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. of Ohio v. ADM Associates, LLC, 116 A.3d 794 (R.I. 2015) - Case at a Glance - In a case of first impression, the Rhode Island Supreme Court held that a particular variable annuity...more

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