Welcome to Insurance Lovers The Willard Scott Conundrum

For many years, Willard Scott would announce each forenoon those lucky folks who'd hitting the 100 twelvemonth marker inward life. They in all likelihood didn't know, however, the affect that reaching such a milestone would acquit choke along on whatever "permanent" life insurance they owned.

Wait merely a min there, Henry: what's amongst the "scare quotes?"

Glad you lot lot asked.

Recently, co-blogger For decades, life insurance carriers ... sold permanent universal life insurance policies, marketed every chip "insurance for life," utilizing outdated mortality tables that did non convey into depict of slice of run draw human human relationship the fact that Americans were, besides every bit are, increasingly living to besides every bit past times the historic stream of 100."

In his mass "My Life inward Court," the late, slap-up litigator Louis Nizer wrote of a instance where a beau was killed when the railroad train he rode on his daily commute crashed besides every bit he was killed. The courtroom originally based his lost besides every bit time to come wages on an older mortality tabular array which generated a relatively little settlement; Mr Nizer was able to acquaint that this was a grave injustice due to more than recent tables, besides every bit won a more than substantial curt town for the young widow.

Now, what does a 1950's-era railroad train wreck acquit choke along to practise amongst a centenarian's life insurance policy?

Well, it turns out that the life insurance industry seems to acquit choke along been playing fast besides every bit unloosen amongst that intelligence "permanent." The instance at mitt concerns a Universal Life policy, but this let on would human face to affect Whole besides every bit Variable Life plans, every chip well.

The run is that when plans "mature" (end) at historic stream 100, they aren't permanent:

"The life insurance industry has left its customers (who faithfully paid their premiums amongst the expectation that they would acquit choke along coverage for the residue of their lives) uninsured."

And it gets better:

"These terminations acquit choke along exposed customers to adverse taxation consequences that are inward forthwith contradiction to the guarantees made when these policies were purchased."

One of the slap-up benefits of cash value life insurance (another industry term of art, peradventure much more than useful inward this discussion) is that the equity inward the policy grows amongst no taxes due if the policy is paid out every chip expire practise goodness (those that do  cash inward their policies early may acquit choke along a taxation liability if the sum they conduct maintain is greater than the premiums paid in). But what if you've paid your premiums inward the expectation that the conception would pay out whenever it was that you lot lot shuffled off this soul coil, solely to teach that, upon reaching that wonderful milestone you'd handgrip out uninsured and, adding insult to injury, owe a potentially astronomical taxation bill?

Now, unopen to (many?) carriers acquit choke along addressed this past times issuing policies that choke to historic stream 120 (or 121). But that's solely skillful for folks who've bought plans from these carriers inward recent years. The vast volume of folks, I daresay, don't tumble into this category.

And frankly, I'm a fighting nonplussed that this let on has been thence long under the radar. Why's that you lot lot ask?


"The U.S.A. of America currently has the greatest let on of known centenarians of whatever land amongst 53,364 according to the 2010 Census"

Of course, non all of them ain life insurance, but flush a petty percent way thousands, peradventure tens of thousands do.

What then?

Mr Belth proposes a cast activeness lawsuit. My ain understanding of these is that they by together with large practise goodness the lawyers that file them much more than than the plaintiffs themselves. Still, if that's the clue-by-four my industry needs to address this, well...