Universal Life or Flexible Premium Policies
Many Baby Boomers are faced with losing their insurance policies after decades of payments
Tens of thousands of consumers who purchased Universal Life or Flexible Premium life insurance policies decades ago are now facing huge premium increases. Many won’t be able to make these payments and be forced to forfeit their policies, especially faced with limited affordable replacement options due to advanced age.
Universal Life or Flexible Premium Policies vs. Basic Policies
Basic “term” life insurance policies usually span 20 to 30 years with a fixed premium in exchange for a payout if the insured dies during the term of the policy. If the buyer outlives the term, no benefit is received with no cash accruement.
In contrast, Universal Life or Flexible Premium life insurance policies last for the holder’s entire life. In addition to a death benefit, the policies accrue value over time. These policies were popular in the early 1980s to the 1990s when interest rates were high since Baby Boomers who purchased these policies were guaranteed a rate of no less than 5.5% annually.
But, many companies are breaching their original contract policies by sharply increasing its monthly deduction rate. This is the amount taken from policyholders’ accounts to cover premiums, the cost of the policy’s death benefit and other expenses and fees. It is speculated this is done to avoid paying the policyholders the interest rates agreed to when the policies were sold.
Along with taking more money out of the policy, the monthly premiums have increased, too. Transamerica’s cost increased 40% while AXA skyrocketed to a 70% increase. This could cause the policies to lapse more quickly than investors expect and the contract will no longer be funded.
So, many are faced with two unfair options: tap into other savings to pay the doubled monthly premium or surrender their policy and take whatever cash value remains. And for many policyholders, this means losing a death benefit to help their loved ones when they pass.
At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, our attorneys would like to speak with individuals who received a letter stating that their cost of insurance, mortality rate, or monthly deduction would be going up, as well as with individuals with these charges on their policy statements. Such charges may also be located in the annual policyholder report and are described in the insurance policy itself. Please call us today at 877-513-9517.
Consumer Federation of America Asks for Investigation
The Consumer Federation of America recently sent a letter to the insurance commissioners in each state asking them to investigate why these insurance practices are occurring. Additionally, they are calling for state insurance regulatory officials to require insurance companies to justify their actions.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation, during which we will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.