Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Federal Appellate Courts Address Stranger-Oriented Policies With Mixed Results

Federal appellate decisions concerning stranger-oriented annuity (STOA) and life insurance (STOLI) transactions are infrequent, making the First and Ninth Circuit’s decisions this winter particularly interesting....more

Favorable Secondary Life Market Report By Florida Regulator

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently issued an opinion favorable to the insurance industry in its Secondary Life Insurance Market Report. Responding to a Florida Legislature directive, the OIR conducted a...more

High Tide for Lapse Cases? New York Federal Court Holds That Investor Lawsuit Is Not Barred by Statute of Limitations

On March 28, 2014, a New York federal court issued an opinion that may have a significant impact on the already increasing number of lapse-related lawsuits in the life insurance industry. In Lebovits v. PHL Variable Insurance...more

California Supreme Court to Tackle Labor and Insurance Issues

The California Supreme Court has five civil cases scheduled for its April calendar, each addressing important questions of labor and insurance law. ...more

Report to NAIC on Captives: The Controversy About Principle-Based Reserves and Captives Continues

The use by life insurance companies of captive reinsurance companies to finance XXX and AXXX reserves has been a significant and contentious issue in recent years. Some members of the National Association of Insurance...more

NAIC's Newly Appointed Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Working Group Seeks Comments Before The Spring National Meeting

During its March 13, 2014 conference call, the NAIC's Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee appointed an Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits (A) Working Group charged with "undertaking a study to determine if...more

Legal Alert: NCOIL Unclaimed Property Task Force Springs Into Action; Co-Chair Keiser Seeks Proposed Changes to Model Unclaimed...

On Friday, March 7, 2014, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) Unclaimed Property Task Force (Task Force) met in-person at NCOIL’s spring meeting. Led by the Task Force’s Co-Chair George Keiser (ND), the...more

Providing A “Full and Fair Review” Does Not Make An ERISA Plan

A federal district court in Kansas concluded that attaching a statement of ERISA rights, i.e., a two page document listing and explaining the rights and protections provided by ERISA to plan participants, to a life insurance...more

Potential Impact of the Tax Reform Act of 2014 on Insurance Companies

On February 26, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) released a “Discussion Draft” of the Tax Reform Act of 2014, which sets forth his much-anticipated tax reform proposals. Of note, the Discussion...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds ERISA Fiduciaries Must Consider Social Security Determinations Issued After Claim Denial

Courts have long held that ERISA plan administrators need to consider the evidence considered and the determination made by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in evaluating disability benefits claims. But the Eleventh...more

Insurance Law - Feb 21, 2014: Legislative Update: 2013 New York Legislation Affecting Property/Casualty and Life Insurers

Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits (Chapter 10) - Amends Section 3213-a of the Insurance Law, enacted in 2012, to clarify and strengthen certain provisions relating to the requirement that life insurers perform regular...more

IRS Signals a Potential End to Its Administrative Pursuit of the Separate Account DRD

On February 4, the IRS issued a new revenue ruling – Rev. Rul. 2014-7 – that indicates that the IRS no longer plans to issue formal guidance concerning the treatment of the dividends-received deduction (DRD) with respect to...more

What Stipulations Can Be Included in a Premarital Agreement?

Just as there are many reasons why a couple may choose to enter into a premarital agreement, the issues they cover can vary significantly. California law has relatively few limitations for these contracts, as long as they do...more

Capital Thinking: Tax and Retirement

BAUCUS CONFIRMED AS AMBASSADOR TO CHINA - Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to China. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) will assume...more

Massachusetts Governor Proposes Insurance Industry Pass-Through Tax

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick released his proposed FY 2015 budget on January 22, 2014. The proposed budget includes a tax provision that is targeted directly at the licensed insurance industry. Currently, income...more

Tennessee Insurance Legal News - January 2014 • Volume 3, Number 1

In This Issue: - ARBITRATION PROVISION WITHIN TENNESSEE’S UNINSURED MOTORIST STATUTE HELD NOT APPLICABLE TO INSURANCE POLICIES ISSUED AND DELIVERED OUTSIDE TENNESSEE: The Tennessee Court of Appeals addressed the...more

Judge Finds Illinois Insurance Department's Policy Prohibiting Offshoring To Be Improper Rulemaking

On November 27, 2013, the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois issued an Order in a lawsuit filed by the American Council of Life Insurers, Inc. ("ACLI") v Andrew Boron, Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance and...more

West Virginia Trial Court: No Duty to Search the Death Master File

In a substantial victory for the life insurance industry on the unclaimed property issue, a West Virginia Circuit Court has held that insurers have no duty to search the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File...more

West Virginia Court Dismisses Lawsuits Challenging Life Insurers’ Unclaimed Death Benefits Practices

On December 27, 2013, a West Virginia court dismissed 63 separate lawsuits brought by the Treasurer of the State of West Virginia ("Treasurer") against life insurance companies doing business in West Virginia. The court...more

Covered Funds Aspects of the Volcker Rule – Frequently Asked Questions

The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") issued a final rule, and the Commodity Futures...more

Legal Alert: Cost of Insurance Litigation – Insurers Retain Discretion to Set COI Rates in Two Key Victories

In the first federal appellate decisions addressing cost of insurance (COI) charges in life insurance policies, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals handed two victories to insurers in opinions issued December 13, 2013. In...more

2013 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory

In this issue - - Federal Estate, GST and Gift Tax Rates - Annual Gift Tax Exclusion - Federal Income Tax Rates - President’s Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2014 - Important Planning...more

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2013: Estate Planning Pitfall: Your estate plan leaves specific assets to specific heirs

Planning an estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If specific assets — such as homes, cars or stock — are left to specific people, they may end up being disinherited. This article...more

Temporary Insurance Applications and Agreements: The Impact of Material Misrepresentations in Life Insurance Applications on...

Earlier this year, the Fourth Circuit upheld a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Banner Life Ins. Co. v. Noel, No. 12-1329, 2013 WL 221650 (4th Cir. Jan. 22, 2013), holding that a...more

Recent Court Decisions Concerning Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Can Assist Insurers in Defending Regulatory Audits and Future...

Perhaps the most significant litigation, regulatory and compliance issues facing life insurance companies can be found in the unclaimed property audits, multi-state regulatory settlements and class action lawsuits surrounding...more

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