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July 2014 Archives

Not their fault? Insurer appeals $18 million bad faith verdict

We don't often have the chance to discuss a bad faith lawsuit against an insurance company. The cases may settle out of court, or they may not be interesting enough to get the attention of even legal periodicals. Whatever the reason, an excellent example of bad faith crossed our desks in a case about a couple's decades-long fight over an auto claim.

Second verse, same as the first: Chinese drywall co. in contempt

In February, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. has jurisdiction over the lawsuits against Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. The court also ordered the company to pay $2.7 million to the named plaintiffs in the class action.

If it walks like a STOLI ... it could be a scam

We are finishing up our discussion of stranger-originated life insurance policies. If history has taught us anything, it is that the idea is fraught with risk -- and not the kind of risk insurance companies like to take on. When we left off, we were going through some of the ways STOLIs can actually harm the seniors involved.

If it walks like a STOLI and talks like a STOLI ... p2

The concept of insurable interest does not come up often in day-to-day discourse. Even for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, it must be rare to sit in meetings devoted to questions of insurable interest. A few years ago, however, that was not the case. The subject came up when the OIR launched an investigation into stranger-oriented life insurance schemes, or STOLIs.

If it walks like a STOLI and talks like a STOLI ...

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation looked at third-party, or "stranger-originated life insurance" in some detail before faced with the Pasco County offer. The OIR researched the issue in-depth in 2010 -- even holding a public hearing in August that year. Stranger-originated life insurance policies, shorthanded in the industry as STOLIs, had come onto regulators' radar all over the country a few years earlier, when insurance companies had noticed a decided increase in the number of STOLIs being sold.

Florida OIR, proposal to Pasco County and insurable interest p2

It is easy to be cynical these days. Someone offers you a great deal on furniture, for example, and your first thought is, "What's wrong with it?" Another person does a kind gesture, and you ask, "What's in it for him?" Expect the worst, and you will never be disappointed.

Florida OIR, proposal to Pasco County and insurable interest

We are still talking about a recent Florida Office of Insurance decision. The OIR was looking over a proposal from an investor group, represented by Pollock Financial Group LLC, to purchase life insurance policies for all employees of the Pasco County School District. Pollock had pitched the program -- the Benefit Stabilization Funding Program -- to school districts around the state. Pasco was either the first or the only district to consider the program and to send it to the OIR for review.

State insurance regulator tells Pasco to just say 'no' p2

We are still talking about an unusual business proposition that the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently nixed. Pollock Financial Group LLC had approached Pasco County with an offer to purchase life insurance policies for employees of the county school district. Pollock was looking for a "nontraditional" opportunity for a group of investors. The county and the state were looking for legal pitfalls presented by the nontraditional opportunity, and they found some big ones.