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Litigation follows close behind cost of insurance increases

Over the past few years a number of life insurers have raised annual cost of insurance charges (COI) in ways that many consumers once thought impossible.  For the most part, COI increases have targeted flexible premium universal life policies – the kind of life insurance policies that the insurance industry marketed as retirement savings vehicles.  Now, it turns out that flexible premiums are not so flexible after all.  Life insurance companies such as AXA, Voya Financial, Tranamerica, and William Penn/Banner have increased COI charges on universal life policies by as much as 200% sending shock waves through retirement communities across the nation and irking the life settlement industry, the secondary market purchasers of life insurance policies.

While the insurance companies point to contractual provisions in their policies permitting these increases as a justification for the hefty premium increases, more scrutiny is required and will inevitably follow.  Some of the recent lawsuits allege discrimination; others highlight the insurance industries infatuation with “shadow insurance” – a sneaky way for insurers to hold fewer assets in reserve by transferring liabilities to wholly owned captive insurers located in “regulation light” jurisdiction.

If you own a universal life policy and were suddenly hit with an unreasonably large premium increase contact us at (203) 504-8425 or via email at eddie@edwardstonelaw.com.  We may be able to help.