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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 8 : Banking and Insurance

Chapter 103 : LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES AND ANNUITY CONTRACTS

Subchapter 005B : Life Settlements

(Cite as: 8 V.S.A. § 3843)
  • § 3843. General rules

    (a)(1) A life settlement provider entering into a life settlement contract shall first obtain:

    (A) if the policy owner is the insured, a written statement from a licensed attending physician that the policy owner is of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence to enter into a life settlement contract; and

    (B) if the medical records of the insured are intended or required to be released in connection with a proposed life settlement transaction, a document in which the insured consents to the release of his or her medical records to a licensed life settlement provider, life settlement broker, the insurance company that issued the life insurance policy covering the life of the insured, and any other person to whom the medical records will be released.

    (2) Within 20 days after a policy owner executes documents necessary to transfer any rights under an insurance policy or within 20 days of entering any agreement, option, promise, or any other form of understanding, expressed or implied, to subject the policy to a life settlement contract, the life settlement provider shall give written notice to the insurer that issued that insurance policy that the policy has or will become a policy subject to a life settlement contract. The notice shall be accompanied by the documents required by subdivision (3) of this subsection.

    (3) The life settlement provider shall deliver a copy of the medical release required under subdivision (1)(B) of this subsection, a copy of the policy owner's application for the life settlement contract, the notice required under subdivision (2) of this subsection, and a request for verification of coverage to the insurer that issued the life policy that is the subject of the life settlement transaction. A form for verification of coverage approved by the Commissioner shall be used.

    (4) The insurer shall respond to a request for verification of coverage submitted on an approved form by a life settlement provider or life settlement broker within 30 calendar days of the date the request is received and shall indicate whether, based on the medical evidence and documents provided, the insurer intends to pursue an investigation at this time regarding the validity of the insurance contract or possible insurance or life settlement fraud. The insurer shall accept a request for verification of coverage made on a form approved by the Commissioner. The insurer shall accept an original or facsimile or electronic copy of such request and any accompanying authorization signed by the policy owner. Failure by the insurer to meet its obligations under this subsection shall be a violation of sections 3844 and 3848 of this title.

    (5) Prior to or at the time of execution of the life settlement contract, the life settlement provider shall obtain a witnessed document in which the policy owner consents to the life settlement contract, represents that the policy owner has a full and complete understanding of the life settlement contract and of the benefits of the life insurance policy, acknowledges that he or she is entering into the life settlement contract freely and voluntarily, has received the disclosures required in section 3841 of this title and, for persons with a terminal or chronic illness or condition, acknowledges that the insured has a terminal or chronic illness and that the terminal or chronic illness or condition was diagnosed after the life insurance policy was issued.

    (6) If a life settlement broker performs any of these activities required of the life settlement provider, the provider is deemed to have fulfilled such requirement.

    (b) All medical information solicited or obtained by any licensee shall be subject to the applicable provisions of state law relating to confidentiality of medical information and to the department's Regulation No. IH-2001-I, Privacy of Consumer Financial and Health Information.

    (c) All life settlement contracts entered into in this State shall provide the policy owner with an absolute right to rescind the contract before 30 calendar days after the date upon which the life settlement contract is executed by all parties. Rescission by the policy owner may be conditioned upon the policy owner's both giving notice and repaying to the life settlement provider within the rescission period all proceeds of the settlement and any premiums, loans, and loan interest paid by or on behalf of the life settlement provider in connection with or as a consequence of the life settlement. If the insured dies during the rescission period, the life settlement contract shall be deemed to have been rescinded, subject to repayment to the life settlement provider or purchaser of all life settlement proceeds and any premiums, loans, and loan interest that have been paid by the life settlement provider or purchaser, which shall be paid within 60 calendar days of the death of the insured. In the event of any rescission, if the life settlement provider has paid commissions or other compensation to a life settlement broker in connection with the rescinded transaction, the life settlement broker shall refund all such commissions and compensation to the life settlement provider within five business days following receipt of written demand from the life settlement provider, which demand shall be accompanied by either the policy owner's notice of rescission if rescinded at the election of the policy owner or notice of the death of the insured if rescinded by reason of the death of the insured within the applicable rescission period.

    (d) The life settlement provider shall instruct the policy owner to send the executed documents required to effect the change in ownership, assignment, or change in beneficiary directly to an independent escrow agent. Within three business days after the date the escrow agent receives the document (or from the date the life settlement provider receives the documents, if the policy owner erroneously provides the documents directly to the provider), the provider shall pay or transfer the proceeds of the life settlement into an escrow or trust account maintained in a state- or federally chartered financial institution whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Upon payment of the settlement proceeds into the escrow account, the escrow agent shall deliver the original change in ownership, assignment, or change in beneficiary forms to the life settlement provider or related provider trust or other designated representative of the life settlement provider. Upon the escrow agent's receipt of the acknowledgment of the properly completed transfer of ownership, assignment, or designation of beneficiary from the insurance company, the escrow agent shall pay the settlement proceeds to the policy owner.

    (e) Failure to tender consideration to the policy owner for the life settlement contract within the time set forth in the disclosure pursuant to subdivision 3841(a)(7) of this title renders the life settlement contract voidable by the policy owner for lack of consideration until the time consideration is tendered to and accepted by the policy owner. Funds shall be deemed sent by a life settlement provider to a policy owner as of the date that the escrow agent either releases funds for wire transfer to the policy owner or places a check for delivery to the policy owner via the U. S. Postal Service or another nationally recognized delivery service.

    (f) Contacts with the insured for the purpose of determining the health status of the insured by the life settlement provider or life settlement broker after the life settlement has occurred shall only be made by the life settlement provider or broker licensed in this State or its authorized representatives and shall be limited to once every three months for insureds with a life expectancy of more than six months and to no more than once every two months for insureds with a life expectancy of six months or less. The provider or broker shall explain the procedure for these contacts at the time the life settlement contract is entered into. The limitations set forth in this subsection shall not apply to any contacts with an insured for reasons other than determining the insured's health status. Life settlement providers and life settlement brokers shall be responsible for the actions of their authorized representatives.

    (g)(1) In order to assure that terminally ill policy owners receive a reasonable return for entering into a life settlement contract, the following shall be minimum payouts; provided that upon request of the policy owner the Commissioner may waive the requirements of this subdivision:

     

    Terminally Ill Policy Owner's                        Minimum Percentage of Ex-

    Remaining Life Expectancy                           pected Death Benefit (Net

    At Time of Settlement                                    of Loans and Any Cash

    Surrender Value) to be

    Received by the Terminally

    Ill Policy Owner

    Less than 6 months                                                     85%

    At least 6, but less than 12 months                             80%

    At least 12, but less than 18 months                           75%

    At least 18, but less than 24 months                           70%

    At least 24, but less than 36 months                           60%

     

    (2) The expected death benefit is the death benefit provided under the terms of the policy subject to the life settlement contract, assuming the death of the insured were to occur on the date the life settlement contract is signed.

    (3) The payout shall be increased by 100 percent of any net cash surrender value of the insurance at the time the life settlement contract is issued.

    (4) Payouts may be reduced by the minimum premium, including premiums payable for additional benefits retained at the option of the terminally ill policy owner, if any, required to keep the contract in force for the duration of the terminally ill policy owner's remaining life expectancy. Other than this allowable reduction in payout, there shall be no other retention for expenses or broker's fees. At the time of settlement, the life settlement provider shall place in trust a sum equal to the amount the payout was reduced for future premiums. Sums placed in trust under this section shall only be reduced by the life settlement provider upon payment of policy premiums as they come due. If the terminally ill policy owner dies with a sum held in trust under this section, the sum remaining in trust shall become the property of the life settlement provider.

    (5) If the life settlement provider becomes insolvent or is the subject of a bankruptcy or other insolvency proceeding during the life of the terminally ill policy owner whose policy had riders retained, the life settlement provider shall notify the terminally ill policy owner and other insureds of the insolvency or initiation of insolvency proceedings. Persons with an interest in the continuation of riders retained may pay any premiums required to keep riders retained in force.

    (6) In computing the minimum percentage of expected death benefit (net of loans and cash surrender value) the death benefit value of any accidental death benefit rider shall not be included. There shall be no minimum percentage payment required for the transfer of an accidental death benefit rider to the life settlement company.

    (7) Life expectancy shall be determined by a physician selected by the terminally ill policy owner, on the basis of medical records. The physician selected will send life expectancy information to the life settlement provider. If the life settlement provider disagrees with the life expectancy estimate of the physician selected by the terminally ill policy owner, the terminally ill policy owner will select a second physician to make an estimate of life expectancy, based on medical records. The second physician's decision shall be final. (Added 2009, No. 53, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.)