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For many years, Willard Scott would denote each morn those lucky folks who'd hitting the 100 twelvemonth marking inward life. They probable didn't know, however, the impact that reaching such a milestone would conduct keep on whatever "permanent" life insurance they owned.

Wait simply a infinitesimal there, Henry: what's alongside the "scare quotes?"

Glad you lot asked.

Recently, co-blogger For decades, life insurance carriers ... sold permanent universal life insurance policies, marketed every bit "insurance for life," utilizing outdated mortality tables that did non accept into describe of piece of work concern human relationship the fact that Americans were, as well as are, increasingly living to as well as yesteryear the historic menstruum of 100."

In his mass "My Life inward Court," the late, slap-up litigator Louis Nizer wrote of a illustration where a fellow was killed when the develop he rode on his daily commute crashed as well as he was killed. The courtroom originally based his lost as well as hereafter payoff on an older mortality tabular array which generated a relatively pocket-size settlement; Mr Nizer was able to present that this was a grave injustice due to to a greater extent than recent tables, as well as won a to a greater extent than substantial short town for the immature widow.

Now, what does a 1950's-era develop wreck conduct keep to create alongside a centenarian's life insurance policy?

Well, it turns out that the life insurance manufacture seems to conduct keep been playing fast as well as unloosen alongside that news "permanent." The illustration at manus concerns a Universal Life policy, but this number would look to impact Whole as well as Variable Life plans, every bit well.

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

"The life insurance manufacture has left its customers (who faithfully paid their premiums alongside the expectation that they would conduct keep coverage for the balance of their lives) uninsured."

And it gets better:

"These terminations conduct keep 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 manufacture term of art, maybe much to a greater extent than useful inward this discussion) is that the equity inward the policy grows alongside no taxes due if the policy is paid out every bit expire create goodness (those that do  cash inward their policies early on may conduct keep a taxation liability if the total they have is greater than the premiums paid in). But what if you've paid your premiums inward the expectation that the innovation would pay out whenever it was that you lot shuffled off this soul coil, entirely to larn that, upon reaching that wonderful milestone you'd hold out uninsured and, adding insult to injury, owe a potentially astronomical taxation bill?

Now, closed to (many?) carriers conduct keep addressed this yesteryear issuing policies that become to historic menstruum 120 (or 121). But that's entirely expert for folks who've bought plans from these carriers inward recent years. The vast bulk of folks, I daresay, don't autumn into this category.

And frankly, I'm a combat nonplussed that this number has been thence long nether the radar. Why's that you lot ask?


"The U.S. of America currently has the greatest number of known centenarians of whatever acre alongside 53,364 according to the 2010 Census"

Of course, non all of them ain life insurance, but fifty-fifty a little per centum agency thousands, maybe tens of thousands do.

What then?

Mr Belth proposes a shape activity lawsuit. My ain agreement of these is that they mostly create goodness the lawyers that file them much to a greater extent than than the plaintiffs themselves. Still, if that's the clue-by-four my manufacture needs to address this, well...

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