Take the TOLI Challenge: In a Permanent Life Insurance Policy, the Cost of the Policy is Equal to the Premium – Yes or No?

The answer is an emphatic NO. Some permanent life insurance policies, specifically guaranteed universal life (GUL) and Whole Life (WL), have required premiums, though WL out of pocket premiums can be reduced by dividends, paid-up addition cash values or policy loans. But the premium paid is not the actual cost of the policy and finding the underlying costs on the policies is a challenge. For [...]

TOLI Trustees Should Heed NY State Regulator Warnings on Universal Life Policies

The acting Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, reacting to almost "1,400" complaints from in-state consumers, recently issued an alert about universal life policies that provided insight for any trustee managing universal life policies. The alert focused on flexible premium universal life policies without secondary death benefit guarantees. As pointed out in the publication, universal life is meant to be a [...]

Canadian Court Rules on Life Insurance Investment Scheme

Back in November, we wrote about the possible “squashing” of “investors’ hopes for unlimited returns using life insurance.” At that time, the government of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan altered the regulations for a specific universal life insurance policy that some investors had hoped would be their pot of gold. However, the regulation change did not affect a court case that has since settled in [...]

ITM TwentyFirst Alert: Lawsuit Filed Against John Hancock for COI Increase

In February of 2017 we reported John Hancock had placed restrictions on certain inforce illustrations. At that time, we mentioned this was a possible precursor to a cost of insurance increase.  A year later the carrier notified the New York Department of Financial Services that it would be raising the cost of insurance (COI) on some Performance UL policies. Last month we reported the first [...]

First John Hancock Cost of Insurance (COI) Increase Letters Arrive

In February of 2017 we reported John Hancock had placed limitations on inforce ledgers for certain Performance UL policies.  A year later, in February of this year, we wrote that The Life Settlements Report, a trade publication, reported that John Hancock had voluntarily notified the state of New York that it would be raising the cost of insurance (COI) on 1,700 Performance UL policies. Today, [...]

Carrier Offers Life Policy Buyback – Another Trustee Decision Dilemma

Lincoln National is offering some policy holders the opportunity to receive an “Enhanced Cash Surrender Value” if they surrender their life insurance policies within a specific time frame.  We began to receive letters from the carrier a few weeks back, along with a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) brochure explaining the offer. The offer is not unlike offers extended to variable annuity policy holders after the 2008-09 [...]

Lawsuit Filed Against Phoenix for 2017 Cost of Insurance (COI) Increase

On April 19th, a class action lawsuit was brought in the Southern District of New York against PHL Variable Life Insurance Company (Phoenix) for subjecting policyholders “to an unlawful and excessive cost of insurance (“COI”) increase” …“in violation of their insurance policies.” We reported on the cost increase in August of last year. A 2010-11 COI increase resulted in a 2015 settlement against Phoenix for [...]

New Transamerica Cost of Insurance Increase Is One of the Largest Yet

In the summer of 2017 we posted a blog about another Transamerica cost of insurance (COI) rate increase affecting Ultra 115 and TransSurvivorship products purchased in 1998-99. We anticipated that the increases would be around 58%—a hefty raise. What we are seeing now could easily surpass that. We are now beginning to receive notices of monthly deduction rate increases for some policies. Some of the [...]

Shared Characteristics of Long-Term Care and Life Insurance Cost Increases

Sally Wylie, a retiree living on an island in Maine, was stunned when her long-term care (LTC) policy premium almost doubled. According to the Wall Street Journal article that recounted her dilemma, the one-time learning specialist took on part-time work to help with the finances, and she and her husband cut back on expenses to afford the premium for the policy that was purchased to [...]

How About Just Doing the Right Thing?

During an ITM TwentyFirst University webinar on trustee liability, I described a replacement case that came into our remediation department. A grantor with a whole life contract in his trust had decided to stop gifting. His agent advised him to complete a 1035 exchange of the cash value from the existing policy into a new current assumption policy. The exchange, with no other premium, would [...]

NCOIL Tables Model Legislation Efforts to Deal with Cost of Insurance Increases in Life Insurance

NCOIL, the National Council of Insurance Legislators, met in Atlanta last weekend to discuss, among other things, “legislative solutions to unjustified premium increases (1).” NCOIL is an organization made up of state legislators interested in insurance and financial matters, many of whom serve on related committees in their home states. The goal of the organization is to inform state legislators by creating a venue for [...]

New York State Issues New Regulations Regarding Cost of Insurance (COI) Increases

In November of last year we reported on a regulation floated by the New York State Department of Financial Services to “govern life insurance company practices related to increases in the premiums” of life insurance and annuity policies. The goal was to “protect New Yorkers from unjustified life insurance premium increases.” This week, the department issued their final regulation. According to a press release announcing [...]

Lincoln National Consolidated COI Lawsuit Update – The Case Is Moving On

A little over a year ago we posted a blog about a Lincoln Financial cost of insurance (COI) increase on Legend Series Universal Life policies issued between 1999 and 2007 that originated at Jefferson Pilot (Lincoln Financial purchased Jefferson Pilot in 2006).  Earlier this year we reported on a class action lawsuit filed in in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Lincoln.  Other lawsuits soon followed, and in May we reported that [...]

Transamerica Cost Of Insurance (COI) Case Results In Win for Plaintiffs

Less than two weeks ago we reported on an interesting COI increase lawsuit. In that case, DCD Partners v Transamerica Life Insurance Company, a Los Angeles church pastor who enlisted an outside investor to finance life insurance policies providing burial funds for congregants had filed suit, along with the investor, against Transamerica for a 50% COI increase in policies issued to the group. In their lawsuit, the [...]

WSJ Article Highlights Interesting Cost of Insurance Case

An interesting cost of insurance (COI) increase lawsuit has been playing out over the span of two years in a Los Angeles courtroom.  The case was featured in a Wall Street Journal today as the case is set to go to trial next week.  (1) The case involves a Los Angeles church pastor and an investment group that financed life insurance policies on his church [...]