life insurance

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Pandemic Results in Record Life Insurance Payouts

Also, 15% year-to-year increase is biggest since 1918 influenza epidemic

(Newser) - The life insurance industry was forced to hand out more money in death-benefit payments in 2020, otherwise known as the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, than in any other single year—though 2021 has probably been worse, reports the Wall Street Journal . Death-benefit payments from US life insurers totalled $90....

For Life Insurers, a Surprise Development in Age of COVID

There's a big reduction in estimate of death claims exposure, as many killed have little to no insurance

(Newser) - Back in March, actuaries for life insurance companies started crunching the numbers on possible COVID-19 death claims, trying to anticipate how many would eventually roll in. The Wall Street Journal reports life insurance companies are now significantly reducing the estimates on their exposure to death claims, by an average of...

Want Life Insurance? Of Course. Now Try Getting It.

Insurers make 'unprecedented' changes during the pandemic

(Newser) - Looking for life insurance during—or because of—the pandemic? Be prepared for companies raising their prices, lowering benefits, and even refusing to sell some products, the Wall Street Journal reports. Penn Mutual Life Insurance, for example, is among companies that hit pause on selling life insurance to people 70...

He Got Away With Wife's Murder, Until He Killed Their Son

Karl Karlsen convicted of killing 2nd family member for insurance money

(Newser) - Cindy Karlsen was right to be worried when her husband, following the 2008 death of his son, received $700,000 in insurance money and invested some of it in a $1.2 million life insurance policy for her. She donned a wire and in 2011 recorded Karl Karlsen admitting to...

Man Who Used Corpse to Fake His Own Death Pleads Guilty

Igor Vorotinov did it for the $2M life insurance payout

(Newser) - In 2011, a decomposing body was found on the side of a dirt road in Moldova; the man was carrying Igor Vorotinov’s passport and other identifying documents, and soon his ex-wife, Irina, traveled from Maple Grove, Minn., to Moldova to identify the body as that of her ex. A...

Court: Man Put Clothes on Stand-In Corpse for Scam

Minnesota man accused of $2M fraud

(Newser) - A Minnesota man accused of faking his own death seven years ago to collect a $2 million life insurance policy arranged for a stand-in corpse to be dressed in his clothes in Moldova, according to a judge's detention order. Igor Vorotinov, 54, also planted his identification on the body...

The Key to Easy Life Insurance: a Selfie?

Insurance companies testing facial analytics

(Newser) - A selfie reveals more than whether it's a good hair day. Facial lines and contours, droops and dark spots could indicate how well you're aging, and, when paired with other data, could someday help determine whether you qualify for life insurance, the AP reports. Several life insurance companies...

Feds Go After San Bernardino Shooter's Life Insurance

Funds should go to families of victims, US attorney says

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors have filed a lawsuit to seize payments on life insurance policies taken out by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook in the years before the December attacks. The US attorney's office in Los Angeles filed the civil asset forfeiture lawsuit Tuesday for two policies worth a total...

Elaborate Insurance Scam Ends in Housekeeper's Death

Cops: Dad, son planned murder of Anita Fox, 72

(Newser) - A father and son in Texas committed the ultimate crime of "greed," police tell NBC DFW . Cops say Gerard Gorman, 48, and his son Bernard Gorman, 27, allegedly followed 72-year-old housekeeper Anita Fox on her rounds for a few days last September, then murdered her in her employer'...

Tech Honcho Nabs History's Biggest Life Insurance Policy

Identity remains a mystery

(Newser) - An unnamed Silicon Valley billionaire has purchased the world's most valuable life insurance policy. Guinness Book of World Records officials say the $201 million life insurance policy is more than double the previous record, set in 1990 by an unidentified "entertainment industry figure," the San Jose Mercury ...

Lawyer: Guy Attacked With Sledgehammer Over $1.5M

Weird attack was supposedly over life insurance money

(Newser) - With two psychiatrists, a $1.5 million life insurance policy, and a sledgehammer, an attempted murder case in Manhattan has all the elements of a 20/20 episode—at least according to the victim's lawyer. Michael Weiss had conveniently just changed his life insurance policy to benefit fellow shrink Pamela...

States Suspect Life Insurers Are Screwing the Dead

Some ignoring information showing policy holders are dead

(Newser) - Dozens of states are investigating the possibility that major insurance companies have been less than conscientious about paying out life insurance benefits for their dead customers. The investigations began when 35 states signed up for an auditing firm’s offer to look for unclaimed life insurance benefits that could be...

1 in 3 US Households Has No Life Insurance

Coverage of middle-class families wanes

(Newser) - As increasing financial pressure bears down on middle-class families, ever more are cutting life insurance from their household budgets. About 35 million US households, almost a third, now have no life insurance whatsoever, up from 24 million households in 2004. Many households have recently lost employer-sponsored coverage due to layoffs...

Insurers Rip Off Families of Fallen US Soldiers

Keep payouts in interest-bearing accounts and skim off profits

(Newser) - It turns out that insurers handling death benefits for American soldiers have got a sweet scam going that enables them to keep profiting from the money even after it is supposedly paid out to families. They tell bereaved relatives that they've opened a convenient, interest-bearing account for their money that's...

Police Rule Census Worker Hanging a Suicide

Say Bill Sparkman faked his death to collect on life insurance

(Newser) - Authorities are saying a Kentucky census worker found hanging from a tree with "fed" scrawled on his chest committed suicide and staged his death to look like a homicide. According to Kentucky police, 51-year-old Bill Sparkman died where he was found, bound, gagged and with an ID badge taped...

Life Insurance Scam Eyed in Hanging
Life Insurance Scam Eyed
in Hanging

Life Insurance Scam Eyed in Hanging

Census worker may have disguised suicide as murder

(Newser) - A census worker found hanged in September may have staged his death for insurance reasons, police say. Sources tell the AP that Bill Sparkman may have manipulated the scene to make his suicide look like murder so that his son could collect on his insurance policy. "If it's deemed...

Hendrix 'Murdered by Manager'
 Hendrix 'Murdered by Manager' 

Hendrix 'Murdered by Manager'

(Newser) - Jimi Hendrix's manager murdered the legendary rocker to cash in on a $2 million life insurance policy, an aide reveals in a new book. Hendrix was "worth more dead to him than alive," according to roadie James Wright. Wright said manager Michael Jeffrey confessed to him that he...

Banks Use Worker Life Insurance to Pay Exec Bonuses

Dead employees keep on giving

(Newser) - Former employees of the big banks often end up handing the bosses a final reward when the workers die, the Wall Street Journal reports. The banks have taken out life insurance policies on hundreds of thousands of workers, and the tax-free death benefits are used to finance executive compensation and...

Big Life Insurers Will Get TARP Funds

(Newser) - Now that the banks' stress tests are done, it's on to the insurance industry. The Treasury Department said today it will give TARP funds to the nation's biggest life insurers, the Washington Post reports. Hartford Financial has been given preliminary approval to receive $3.4 billion, and as-yet unspecified amounts...

Hasselhoff Ex Wants Money Even if He Dies

(Newser) - David Hasselhoff ex Pamela Bach has asked a judge to force the actor to maintain life insurance so her support payments would continue in the event of his death, TMZ reports. The couple’s divorce proceedings have now reached an epic scale. Hasselhoff argues that the life insurance proviso wasn’...

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