Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Secret Sauce?

Today I did something I haven’t done before: write a story in which the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington; and the Life Insurance Settlement Association, Orlando, Fla., found some common ground.

[Full disclosure: for those of you who don’t know, I was recently appointed managing editor of the Life Settlement Review. However, these views are entirely my own.]

The common ground was the realization that STOLI is bad for everyone. I think it is a common ground everyone has realized but this is the first time I can recall it being verbalized. Or, perhaps it was just verbalized separately at different times in different ways. The verbalization was a reaction to a New York state life settlement law enacted on November 16 in a special session.

The New York insurance department, New York state Senator Neil Breslin and Assemblyman Joseph Morelle deserve a lot of credit for crafting legislation that is generally getting such a warm reception.

A total of 38 states have legislation that address life settlements or viatical settlements in some way: a model developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.; a model developed by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Troy, N.Y.; or a hybrid approach. But for those states that have yet to enact a law or for those who are considering changes to their existing law, the New York law may be well worth a look.

Maybe, just maybe New York has the secret sauce.

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