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Oct 09, 2009 Legislation targets those who bet on death: Some investors pay seniors for the right to take out life policies on them. Proposed bill in California has some industry support.

QUOTE: New efforts are underway in Sacramento to regulate how investors buy and sell existing life insurance policies, a practice that critics contend allows speculators to make money by wagering on when a person will die.

Los Angeles Times
Sep 05, 2009 New Exotic Investments Emerging on Wall Street

QUOTE: some are dismayed by Wall Street’s quick return to its old ways, chasing profits with complicated new product

New York Times
Jun 26, 2009 Getting Insurance for One’s Frailest Years

QUOTE: Long-term care insurance, something that wasn’t so common back when my dad could have bought it, seems like one solution. These policies are offered as a way to pay for a nursing home, assisted living, home health care and other costs associated with growing older. But where to begin?

New York Times
Nov 14, 2008 What Happens When Your Insurer Goes Under? (Your Money)

QUOTE: If you’re looking to switch insurance companies, start with a top-rated one, but also keep an eye out for too-good-to-be-true terms or brand new riders or features. They may not be truly battle-tested. Also, don’t stop paying premiums on your old policy until the new one is up and running.

New York Times
Sep 17, 2008 Outrage: Widow Loses Out on Spouse’s Insurance

QUOTE: ...Spherion changed life insurance providers while Amschwand was ill. He requested a copy of the new policy numerous times but was told that it wasn’t ready yet and that he shouldn’t worry. Amschwand never saw the policy, which his widow received a year after his death. And only then did Bellinger discover that the new policy contained a clause requiring employees to work at least one day during the policy period...

Jul 03, 2008 Georgia Bars Insurance Firm Over Violations

QUOTE: Regulators in Georgia have barred a California company from doing business in their state, saying it violated rules adopted in 2007 to prevent the sale of misleading or unsuitable life insurance policies to military personnel.

New York Times
Jul 20, 2007 Senate Panel Investigates How Insurers Sell to Elderly

QUOTE: A Congressional committee has opened an investigation into companies that train sales agents to market themselves to older consumers through impressive-sounding credentials and controversial tactics.

New York Times
Jul 18, 2007 Ground Zero Workers Seek Insurance Funds

QUOTE: Ailing rescue workers from the World Trade Center site filed a lawsuit Tuesday charging that a $1 billion insurance fund set up after Sept. 11, 2001, violated a congressional mandate to pay their injury claims and instead spent millions of dollars fighting those claims.

Washington Post
Jul 13, 2007 Micro coverage a big help for Mexico's poor: A new plan to promote microinsurance could have a ripple effect in the region.

QUOTE: Once just a safeguard for the middle and upper classes, insurance is finding its way to all sectors of Mexico. For the poorest, microinsurance policies...are giving protection to those Mexicans who work in the informal economy, often don't have bank accounts, and never dreamed of the luxury of having a Plan B.

Christian Science Monitor
Apr 12, 2007 The High Price of Free Insurance: Deals that fund, then buy out, big life policies may shortchange seniors

QUOTE: The transactions often work like this: Insurance brokers, attorneys, and other promoters arrange for high-net-worth seniors to apply for multimillion-dollar life insurance policies paid for with loans from the promoters and other lenders. A senior isn't typically required to put up any cash or collateral aside from the policy itself. If the insured dies in the policy's first two years, the heirs are entitled to keep the death benefit so long as they repay the loan and interest. Otherwise, when the loan comes due, the policyholder must pay it off from personal funds or sell the policy to investors. If a sale generates more than what's needed to retire the loan, the senior can pocket the excess. If a sale won't cover the loan, the senior simply signs the policy over to the lender and walks away.

Mar 26, 2007 Aged, Frail and Denied Care by Their Insurers

QUOTE: Tens of thousands of elderly Americans have received life-prolonging care as a result of their long-term-care policies. With more than eight million customers, such insurance is one of the many products that companies are pitching to older Americans reaching retirement. Yet thousands of policyholders say they have received only excuses about why insurers will not pay... some long-term-care insurers have developed procedures that make it difficult — if not impossible — for policyholders to get paid.

New York Times
Feb 23, 2007 Critics: Army holding down disability ratings

QUOTE: The Army denies there is any intentional effort to push wounded troops off the military rolls. But critics say many troops being evaluated for possible disability retirement accept the first rating they are offered during their first informal board — but that if they were to request a formal board, and then appeal the decision of that board, they would receive higher ratings.

Army Times
Jan 31, 2007 One Uninsured Group Can Now Exhale

QUOTE: "Hello, this is Webb Hubbell," the recording begins, with appropriate mellow jazz in the background. "For years, responsible marijuana smokers have not been able to access affordable life insurance," explains the former Little Rock mayor and Arkansas chief justice.

Washington Post
Jan 07, 2007 STAGE MOTHER (The Ethicist)

QUOTE: (1) Most playwrights license their work to be performed only as written -- no cuts, no "improvements".... (2) If you act openly and honestly with both departments, there's no ethical bar to your donning a uniform in one state while collecting a disability pension from another if the law permits.

Dec 01, 2006 Pursuing Peace of Mind: Long-term care insurance provides security for a rainy day. But can you afford it?

QUOTE: Many people simply cannot afford the kind of coverage they need to make a policy worthwhile. The best long-term care policy has a reasonable deductible, covers a wide range of care options, guarantees a sufficient financial benefit and is buttressed by inflation protection. This kind of security doesn't come cheap...

AARP Bulletin
Dec 01, 2006 Is the security of long-term care insurance worth the expense? Here’s what you need to know.

QUOTE: 1. The best policies are flexible, allowing you to use your benefits for a range of services.... 4. Don't use a national cost average to determine the coverage you need

Nov 01, 2006 Update your insurance coverage

QUOTE: Insurance experts say now is the perfect time to begin reevaluating your family's financial needs. The following are some of the best bets for insurance in 2007.
Oct 17, 2006 Young and healthy? You need disability insurance

QUOTE: Employers usually provide short-term disability or sick leave. But fewer offer long-term disability for non-work-related injuries or problems, and you could be on your own if you don’t get better quickly. (Workman’s compensation, which employers are required to provide, only applies to work-related injuries. Social Security also offers a long-term disability benefit, but most financial planners say it is barely sufficient to cover basic expenses.)

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette/News-Sentinel (Indiana)
Oct 01, 2006 Shop Smart For Insurance

QUOTE: it's not just picking the right health plan at work that confounds consumers when it comes to insurance choices. Many people aren't getting the best deal for their auto insurance. Or they don't have enough disability insurance, if they have it at all. Or there are gaps in their homeowner's insurance coverage. Kimberly Lankford, a columnist at Kiplinger's Personal Finance who has covered the industry for 10 years, says many people make big mistakes when they purchase insurance.

Washington Post
Aug 19, 2006 70's Law Costs 61,000 Military Widows Thousands of Dollars in Survivor Benefits

QUOTE: As many as 61,000 military widows whose husbands died of causes relating to their military service lose out on thousands of dollars a year in survivor benefits because of a law that dates from the 1970’s...referred to by many critics as the “widow’s tax.’’

New York Times
Aug 04, 2006 Insurer Settles Charges Over Its Sales to Soldiers

QUOTE: The American Amicable Life Insurance Company has agreed to pay up to $70 million to settle state and federal complaints that it used deceptive sales practices to sell unsuitable insurance products to thousands of American service members...

New York Times
Jun 12, 2006 Two Elderly Women Suspected as Femmes Fatales in Insurance Fraud Scheme

QUOTE: ...the two women extended helping hands to two homeless men, getting them off the streets and putting them up in apartments, while at the same time plotting their deaths.

New York Times
May 28, 2006 Death Pays Off

QUOTE: I registered the name of a promising young local athlete as a domain name, intending to create a sports Web site. ecause I could not be sure how they would use it, I decided simply to give it to his family. My brother thought I was nuts to give away something so potentially valuable and urged me to ask the family for a fee based on the son's future earnings. Fair?

New York Times
Apr 19, 2006 Accidental death insurance: common as credit cards

QUOTE: Each of the four major credit card brands -- American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa -- offers some form of what the insurance industry calls "accidental death and dismemberment," or AD&D, coverage on some or all of their consumer credit cards.
Apr 17, 2006 Is long-term care insurance right for you?

QUOTE: Recent legislation makes it harder for Americans of limited means to depend on help from the government to pay for nursing home costs through Medicaid. The Deficit Reduction Act, signed into law in February, tightens restrictions for nursing-home eligibility to anyone who gives away assets to charities or family members for less than fair market value.
Nov 20, 2005 Life Insurers Can Hold Travel Against You

QUOTE: "Historically, life insurance was life insurance, no matter where you died,"...But rejections based on travel to countries insurers evidently consider risky are becoming increasingly common...

Washington Post
Nov 17, 2005 Curbs on Insurance for Military Are Urged

QUOTE: ...Government Accountability Office strongly urges Congress to act to protect military personnel from the deceptive sales practices and unsuitable investments and insurance policies that the report says have been a disturbing fact of military life.

New York Times
Sep 22, 2005 Looking for insurance info online? Start right here

QUOTE: This electronic convergence of policies, rates and carriers can save consumers money, as long as they shop online as carefully as they do in the offline world.
Jun 01, 2005 House Bill Targets Military Benefits: Measure Would Reduce Wait to Get Both Disability, Retirement

QUOTE: Proponents of changing the system argue that disability compensation and retirement pay address two different issues, and that denying veterans the full benefit of both shortchanges their service and sacrifice. Other critics say that some veterans are seeking more than their fair share...

Washington Post
Feb 02, 2005 Military Chiefs Criticize Curbs In Plan to Raise Death Benefits

QUOTE: Military leaders took issue yesterday with a Pentagon plan that would limit higher death benefits to troops killed in designated combat zones or operations, saying the extra payments should apply to all troops who die on duty.

Washington Post
Feb 01, 2004 You Call This Peace of Mind?

QUOTE: Insurance companies preach that long-term-disability insurance is vital to your security. But now they've made it scarce, expensive and complex -- and, for some, arbitrary and temporary.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance