September 10, 2015 Last Updated on April 18, 2019. This Settlement does not affect your life insurance policy or death benefit in any way. In order to be a class action, the court must approve it as such. Even if you don’t believe the guaranteed rates are “realistic”, the fact is they are a theoretically possible scenario, else they wouldn’t be there. A lawsuit could also help enact change in the industry â and stop insurance companies from engaging in these allegedly deceptive practices. strategy, or any other savings/wealth accumulation plan there are certainly shade of necessity for blending as a crucial component of the plan implementation. UPDATE: Transamerica Pays $195 Million Settlement in Life Insurance Class Action Transamerica Life Insurance Co. will pay $195 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing the company of increasing the monthly charges on 70,000 universal life insurance policies. When someone purchases a life insurance policy, the insurance company may provide him or her with an âillustrationâ of the policyâs benefits. Several consumer groups, policyholders, financial regulators and other insurance companies have even complained about the practice. Universal life insurance policies have a guaranteed interest rate. So PacLife could theoretically explain away its underperformance as variability in the market. Its approach to multipliers and other common IUL features can be confusing and seemingly over-complicated. In May 2018, Nationwide privately paid a settlement in a similar class action lawsuit over the cost of life insurance. Universal life insurance allows customers to buy policies at a relatively low cost, although the exact premium is variable. Attorneys The policy in question is very new in relative terms. What will be most interesting here is if the plaintiffs' attorneys can prove their allegations based on little historical evidence and a majority of hypothetical future performance. If a lawsuit can be filed, indexed universal life insurance policyholders may be able to recover compensation for any harm they suffered in buying these policies. Agents who market life insurance as a savings vehicle, but fail to make use of blending have always ventured into territory that might one day be illegal, and this lawsuit might be the catalyst for that eventual discussion/reality.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theinsuranceproblog_com-banner-1','ezslot_4',146,'0','0'])); Ultimately, the blending discussion is one of simple suitability. The class action lawsuit (the “Action”) alleges that Prudential requested payments from policy owners in excess of the amounts provided for under certain universal and variable universal life insurance contracts issued by Prudential when those policies entered default or lapsed. An Earlier Lawsuit against Lincoln In No. It will also be interesting to see what happens with the agent Tiffant Xu and her insurance agency. The insurance industry will be watching closely in the coming months as a class-action lawsuit over an indexed universal life policy plays out in … Blending for indexed universal life insurance policies normally has little long term effect on cash value accumulation and most typically results in a reduced surrender charge. It is believed that some insurers are using current interest rates and costs to project policy benefits without taking into account how the performance of stock indexes and costs charged to the policyholder can fluctuate over time. If this lawsuit is certified as a class action, retirees who meet certain criteria will be included in this class even if they don’t sign up with us. Lawsuits filed against insurers in recent years for their practices around universal life insurance policies highlight the risks these products can pose to unwary financial advisers and clients. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has ruled that a proposed $2.5-billion class action against insurance giant Sun Life Assurance Co. over the alleged miss-selling of certain universal life policies by predecessor Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. can go ahead. lawsuits can be viewed here. Others may be representing a higher growth rate of the stock index than what most financial experts would believe to be reasonable. The lawsuit seeks class-action status welcoming the possibility that the attorneys working for the plaintiffs can prove that PacLife's behavior in marketing a certain indexed universal life insurance policy violates the law and hurts many people across the United States. Attorneys are investigating potential class action lawsuits on behalf of people who hold annuities or universal life insurance policies through any of the following companies: John Hancock Life Insurance Company Transamerica Life Insurance Company The Prudential Insurance … It's peculiar, however, that Xu is a named defendant given the suit seeks class-action status.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theinsuranceproblog_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_7',137,'0','0'])); It will also be interesting to see what, if any, future regulation comes about from this lawsuit. While many of us might look at market conditions and quickly draw such a conclusion, that case may be much more difficult to argue in a court of law. New cases and investigations, settlement deadlines, and news straight to your inbox. Interest rates were quite high during this period, so insurers had to guarantee minimum interest rates to sell these policies. The class action Life Insurance Rip Off lawsuit against Transamerica is seeking reinstatement of any policy surrendered as the result of the rate increases. Universal life insurance policyholders are not covered by the recent Missouri class action lawsuit, but could also be unknowingly affected by these overcharges as they’re not typically detectable due to the complex ways these charges are hidden. I think you are very correct in the context of an agent motivated to write more permanent life insurance per the budget/death benefit need, but the context of this discussion was blending used to maximize cash building potential of a policy. A list of open investigations and State Farm Life Insurance Company and State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging misleading sales practices of traditional whole life and universal life insurance policies sold in the United States dating back to 1982. For those seeking out whole life insurance as a retirement option, Infinite Banking® et. join a free universal life insurance class action lawsuit investigation If you qualify, an attorney will contact you to discuss the details of your potential case at no charge to you. The Plaintiffs allege that Premier Financial Group has been carrying out an unlawful pyramid scheme involving the sale of universal life insurance policies issued by National Life Group. working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. Blending allows us to take many of the cash-building advantaged attributes universal life insurance has and give them to whole life insurance. In February 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed against Transamerica Life Insurance Co. for raising the cost of insurance on some universal life contracts. Any non-guaranteed element in any policy is necessarily a question mark. This isn’t just an IUL issue. Some of Transamerica’s universal life insurance policies were payin… Please Note: If you want to participate in this investigation, it is imperative that you reply to the law firm if they call or email you. 16-cv-60442 (S.D. Some policyholders have filed insurance class action lawsuits against their insurance companies, alleging that the insurers are hiking universal life insurance cost in order to give larger payouts to shareholders. That said, I do have some additional thoughts on what the plaintiffs' legal team might have in their possession that could be bad news for PacLife, and potentially bad news for the insurance industry as a whole. In August of this year, two California residents filed a lawsuit against the Pacific Life Insurance Company alleging: The lawsuit seeks class-action status welcoming the possibility that the attorneys working for the plaintiffs can prove that PacLife's behavior in marketing a certain indexed universal life insurance policy violates the law and hurts many people across the United States. I can only speculate, but I'm guessing that the plaintiffs' legal team's case will hinge heavily on its ability to prove that PacLife cannot return to the capability it assumed at policy issue and that those assumptions were never going to materialize. That's a big question many have asked for years. A lawsuit could also help enact change in the industry – and stop insurance companies from engaging in … information here is for reference only. This is exactly why showing the worst-case scenario on a life insurance illustration is important. The NAIC amended AG49 this year to eliminate multipliers from sales illustrations. How, you ask? They get a fat commission check and leave the policy underfunded, waiting to blow up in a few years. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. agreed Wednesday to pay at least $1.7 billion to settle allegations that 7 million of its current and former policyholders were hit with deceptive sales practices. After the fifth annual payment, Xu claimed Li would owe no future premiums and even be able to take income from the indexed universal life insurance policy in the amount of $175,000 per year.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theinsuranceproblog_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_8',135,'0','0'])); Li and her family met a second time with Xu and at that meeting, Xu presented Li with a new life insurance illustration for the same PacLife IUL policy, but with a few alterations from the original proposal that appeared to make little significant change to policy values. Before commenting, please review our comment policy. But outside of a very complex legal/ethical issue for selling life insurance, it's amusing to me that indexed universal life insurance is the focal point for a blending conversation and its necessity when marketing and selling life insurance. Blending exists as a way to manipulate a policy's design and augment the cash value achievable in the policy. If a lawsuit can be filed, indexed universal life insurance policyholders may be able to recover compensation for any harm they suffered in buying these policies. It's a weird concept for universal life insurance (since it's effectively term insurance already). An IUL class action lawsuit investigation is underway to probe into allegations that people who purchased Indexed Universal Life (IUL) insurance policies were misled into expecting unrealistic rates of return that comes after insurance companies presented used fabricated and false illustrations in marketing literature and sales material. Not blending in an IUL is more devastating than in whole life. Welcome to the website for the class action lawsuit known as 37 Besen Parkway, LLC v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.). We might speculate on future scenarios using math equations, but that’s all they are — speculations. This is an interesting lawsuit for several reasons and while I'm not surprised PacLife is at the center of an indexed universal life insurance lawsuit, I'm suspect of the strength of the plaintiffs' argument.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theinsuranceproblog_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_2',131,'0','0'])); Not that I want to discount the plaintiffs' potential suffering, I simply feel that the evidence provided in the complaint falls short of proving wrongdoing. The Thompson case is the second class action lawsuit challenging increases in the monthly charges imposed by Transamerica on universal life insurance policies. You can design it as 100k base policy and 900k as term in a whole life. This class action lawsuit is known as Hanks v. But that application usually applies to whole life insurance. Class Action Filed Against Transamerica Life Insurance Co. Over Massive Premium Increases In May 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed against Transamerica Life Insurance Company on behalf of a group of universal life policyholders who experienced a sudden 38% increase in monthly deductions withdrawn from their accumulation accounts. The plaintiff, who owned an "Ensemble II" Lincoln variable universal life insurance policy, filed his complaint in an Indiana state court in … Universal Life Class Action. They are both named as defendants in the complaint. Florida). A class action settlement has been preliminarily approved in Rodriguez v. Universal Property, No. Welcome to the Voya (f/k/a Aetna) COI Life Insurance Class Action Lawsuit Website If you own a universal life insurance policy issued by Aetna (now, Voya) that was subject to a cost of insurance rate increase announced in 2016, this class action may affect your rights. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that PacLife knowingly brought the product to market under conditions it knew it had no chance of sustaining and used extremely optimistic assumptions to illustrate values to lure in unsuspecting new policy owners. What is this lawsuit about? It is believed that some companies, including AXA Equitable and Pacific Life, may have used misleading financial return illustrations when selling their permanent life insurance policies. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has ruled that a proposed $2.5-billion class action against insurance giant Sun Life Assurance Co. over the alleged miss-selling of certain universal life policies by predecessor Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. can go ahead. The plaintiffs allege that PacLife designed and marketed this product specifically to skirt the spirit of Actuarial Guideline 49 (AG49). https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/insuranceproblogpodcast/An_Ugly_Indexed_Universal_Life_Insurance_Lawsuit.mp3, Violation of Unfair Competition Law Business and Professions Code. Executive Summary Introduction. The complaint does allege specific wrong-doing on the behalf of agent Xu. I'm not necessarily saying that was the circumstance in this specific case, but the complaint brought it up and it could become a subject for further exploration among insurance regulators. The same should be done in IUL. Side note on this: the complaint does charge that PacLife materially misrepresented the conservative nature of IUL by both failing to disclose the risk of loss when an index return is zero (net loss due to insurance expense deductions) as well as the impact the multiplier has on the policy. Is it suitable to sell someone a life insurance contract that lacks the features known to enhance cash value when you the agent know cash value accumulation is the primary goal? The attorneys we work with, however, tipped us off to reports within the industry that suggest some companies may be misleading their customers when putting together their financial return illustrations. Filing a lawsuit as a class action does not automatically make it a class action. But unscrupulous agents are writing all 1 million in IUL. We've had our skepticism about the products for a long time. If you own Minnesota Life’s Eclipse Indexed Universal Life Insurance, you may not be receiving all of the benefits promised to you upon purchase. Policyholders who have been affected by universal life insurance policy premium increases have a few options moving forward. Acting on a tip she received from a family member, who holds an insurance license, Li requested several in force illustrations from PacLife depicting varying scenarios premium payment scenarios to the policy moving forward; one of those scenarios included staying the course. ClassAction.org is a group of online professionals (designers, programmers and writers) with years of experience in the legal industry. There is no denying the notion that PacLife has one of the most complex indexed universal life insurance products on the market. According to an Investment News article, the plaintiffs allege the action “constitutes a breach of obligations under the policies and has led to damages against contract holders.” If You Own a Universal Life Insurance Policy with John Hancock, You May Be Eligible for a Payment from a Class Action Settlement. Basics of Indexed Universal Life Insurance What exactly is “universal life insurance”? Simple! The objective of this executive summary is to provide a simple, short but comprehensive overview of the sales problems and abuses associated with the Universal Life policies. 157 (posted April 20, 2016), I wrote about an earlier COI class action lawsuit against Lincoln. The Thompson case is the second class action lawsuit challenging increases in the monthly charges imposed by Transamerica on universal life insurance policies. You may be eligible to join a lawsuit or participate in a life insurance class action lawsuit investigation. Write a 100k IUL and another 900k a 30 year term policy. It sets expectations. We're certainly no strangers to policy blending, and we're big advocates of its use. The in-force illustrations provided by PacLife depicted much lower values than the ones Li saw in the original illustration used by agent Xu to sell her the PacLife PDX policy.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theinsuranceproblog_com-leader-1','ezslot_6',136,'0','0'])); The dramatic change in policy values was the motivation for filing the lawsuit. The complaint mentions policy blending by noting that: …PacLife offers agents higher commissions–up to three times higher–to steer customers into a PDX Policy with all or a substantial portion of the face amount allocated to base coverage, even the policy charges would be far less under a blended structure. Agent Xu recommended Li buy a PacLife PDX policy designed to accept five $500,000 annual payments. On June 5, 2018, Jeffrey Leonard (Leonard) and others filed a class action lawsuit against John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York (John Hancock) and others relating to huge cost-of-insurance (COI) increases on certain universal life insurance policies. Li agreed to buy the policy and PacLife officially issued the policy effective mid-2018. If you purchased an Indexed Universal life insurance policy, read on for more information. Allow me to explain. That’s criminal! This is the first I'm aware of blending showing up in an official legal complaint against a life insurer, and it introduces something I have long wondered about the life insurance industry and the marketplace for cash value-focused life insurance sales. At the core of this lawsuit are PacLife's PDX Indexed Universal Life Insurance policy and its extremely obtuse multiplier bonus. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company. The We work closely with class action and mass tort attorneys across the country and help with investigations into corporate wrongdoing. The same logic applies to whole life, too. Transamerica Life Insurance Co. will pay $195 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the company improperly increased the monthly charges on … The lawsuit also seeks a … The class action was filed in June 2016, in the Western District of Missouri by Michael Vogt and other individuals who owned universal life insurance policy form 94030 issued by State Farm. al. If You Insured Real Property With Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company Between September 1, 2013 and March 31, 2016, You Can Receive Relief from a Class Action Settlement. Let’s say, someone has a $1 million life insurance need. PacLife has always taken a different approach to blending and certainly manufactured products where blending term insurance did enhance policy cash value performance. Plaintiff Hong Li and her family met with agent Tiffany Xu in 2018. The complaint spends several pages building a case to define PacLife's character.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theinsuranceproblog_com-box-4','ezslot_3',133,'0','0'])); It also mentions another aspect of PacLife's product that touches on a very interesting subject…. After making two $500,000 premium payments, Li became suspect of the policy when statements she received from PacLife reported value far different from the figures she anticipated. Transamerica notified its policyholders in 2015 that it was increasing the cost of insurance on universal life insurance policies that it sold during the late 1980s and early 1990s, some by up to 38 percent. So regulatory action already removed one of the key pillars of the plaintiffs' case against PacLife. On June 10, 2016, all of the named plaintiffs filed a consolidated class action complaint in that district under the caption Gordon Feller, et al. 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