Recent announcements by numerous life insurers that they are raising the cost of insurance (“COI”) on certain universal life policies have spurred litigation across the country relating to those increases. In the last few years, several life insurers have announced cost of insurance COI increases on old blocks of universal life policies, mostly sold in the 1980s and 1990s. The COI increases have, in turn, resulted in significant increases to policyholder premiums, as policyholders subject to the increases must now pay more to maintain their coverage. In response to the recent COI increases, several policyholders have filed putative class action lawsuits against their life insurers alleging that the increases were based on factors not permitted by the terms of their policies—most significantly past performance rather than future expectations. This article discusses some of the key pending cases based on recent COI rate increases.
General Publications Spring 2018
“Cost of Insurance Increases Spur Policyholder Lawsuits in Federal Courts Worth Watching,” American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Health and Disability & Life Insurance Law Committee Newsletter, Spring 2018.