Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

New Wave of COI Rate Increase Lawsuits Hits the Industry

Historically, increases to cost of insurance (COI) rates on universal life (UL) policies have been met with legal challenges from policyholders, and sometimes, regulatory opposition spurred by policyholder complaints. The...more

Illinois Treasurer Holds Statewide Hearings on Life Insurers that Do Not Pay Death Benefits

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs has called for statewide hearings to educate the public on how life insurance companies avoid paying death benefits. The first hearing is scheduled for August 17th in Normal,...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 11, No. 2

IRS Seeks to Limit Valuation Discounts for Family-Controlled Entities: Proposed Section 2704 Regulations - Proposed regulations issued on August 2, if finalized in their present form, will significantly limit the ability...more

Ten Things You Should Know About the 2016 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

The 2016 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (2016 Act) was adopted unanimously by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) in a 49-0 vote at its 2016 summer meeting. The adoption of the revised model law is a significant step forward for...more

NAIC Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee Adopts Revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49

On July 27, 2016, the Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee adopted revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 (AG 49) to address situations where indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policies make available multiple index...more

Double Down! - Inter-Generational Split Dollar Throws Sand in the Face of the IRS Again

Recently I wrote an article on JD Supra called Split to Be Tied (May 4, 2016) regarding the Tax Court decision in Estate of Morrissette, (Estate of Clara M. Morrissette v. Commissioner, 146 T.C. No. 11 (April 13, 2016)). Once...more

District Court Finds Forum Selection Clause Unenforceable in ERISA Action

A federal district court in Illinois ruled that a plan’s forum selection was unenforceable because it conflicts with ERISA’s public policy of providing plaintiffs “ready access to the Federal courts.” Darlene Harris...more

Insurers Challenge Retroactive Application of New Florida Law that Requires Comparison of Names of Accounts to Death Master File

Amendments to the Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act in 2016 made significant changes to unclaimed property presumptions and insurance company obligations. See § 717.107, Fla. Stat. (2016) (the Act). Among other...more

Information note on non-life insurance products: over-simplification? Article published in Italian on Insurance Daily on July 12,...

The consultation period on Document no. 10/2016 (the Document) ended on June 20. IVASS (the Italian Insurance Supervisory Authority) had opened a public consultation on the amendments to Regulation no. 35/2010 on the...more

New York Life Industry Update: Principle-Based Reserving for Life Insurers coming in 2018

This week, the New York Department of Financial Services (the “Department”) announced that it will adopt a principle-based reserving (“PBR”) approach for life insurers beginning in 2018. The Department has also established a...more

Just How Is Basis Acquired After All?

Dorrance v. U.S., 2015 WL 8241954 (9th Cir. 2015) - This case is the latest in the cases involving tax impact of the sale of stock received by a policy holder from a mutual life insurance company on demutualization, and...more

New wave of putative class actions challenge cost of insurance charges

In recent months, life insurers across the country have faced a new onslaught of putative cost of insurance class actions. These cases bring novel theories but may also revive a decades-old jurisprudential debate over whether...more

California Supreme Court Holds That Brandt Fees Awarded Post-Trial By A Court Must Be Included In Denominator Of...

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co., holding that so-called Brandt fees should be treated as compensatory damages when calculating the ratio of...more

When Tragedy Strikes: How Employers Can Assist Employees Affected by Mass Shootings and Disasters

In the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, 49 innocent people lost their lives in a mass shooting in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This mass shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, has left the City of Orlando...more

Court Discusses Slayer Rule in Texas And Affirms Judgment For Bank That Froze Account

Preface to Case: The Texas Constitution states that “[n]o conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate.” Tex. Const. Art. I § 21 (emphasis added). The Texas Estates Code also states as much. Tex. Est....more

Should life insurance be a part of your estate plan?

Today, the federal gift and estate tax exemption stands at $5.45 million, so fewer families are facing estate tax liability. This begs the question: Can life insurance continue to play an important role in estate planning?...more

Insight on Estate Planning -June/July 2016

Portability is a thoroughly modern estate tax break - Computers and phones aren’t the only things that are portable today. The gift and estate tax exemption is also “portable” for married couples. Portability simplifies...more

Wealth Management Update - June 2016

June Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts The June § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs and GRATs...more

NAIC Report: 2016 Spring National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its 2016 Spring National Meeting from April 1 through April 6 in New Orleans, Louisiana. As host, Louisiana provided beautiful weather and bountiful great food....more

ERISA: Reviewing What Needs to Be Proved to Establish the Suicide Exclusion

For many reasons, some of the toughest cases to litigate involve the application of the suicide exclusion. There is a growing body of evidence challenging suicide exclusion determinations....more

Vanishing premiums part deux?

Those of you with gray hair like me may recall the life insurance vanishing premium lawsuits from the mid-1990s. As a refresher, that flood of lawsuits arose from life insurance policies sold in the 80s (mainly whole or...more

Unclaimed Property Primer for Health and Property & Casualty Insurance

Background - Unclaimed Property: It’s not just about life insurance. The same contingency-fee unclaimed property auditors that targeted unclaimed life insurance proceeds are now turning their focus to other types of...more

IRS Notice Offers Relief to Issuers of Variable Insurance Products in Response to Pending Money Market Fund Reforms

On May 5, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-32, 2016-21 I.R.B. 1, which affords relief with respect to the application of the diversification requirements of IRC § 817(h) to variable life insurance and annuity contracts...more

New and Disruptive Technologies: The Care and Feeding of the New Economy [Expect Focus – Vol. I, Winter 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - The CFPB Takes First Enforcement Action Related to Data Security Practices. LIFE INSURANCE - Class Certified in Unique Fixed Indexed Annuity Case. Alleged Misrepresentations to DFS Warrant...more

Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life insurance can play an important role in estate planning. It is important to understand the uses and purposes of life insurance and the tax consequences of owning a policy and receiving a death benefit....more

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