CFA Calls on State Insurance Commissioners to Stop Unfair Price Hikes in Universal Life Insurance

Washington, D.C. – The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has sent a letter to all state insurance commissioners asking them to take action to study and prohibit any unfair price increases being imposed on consumers who own Universal Life (UL) insurance policies.

The increases are being applied to cost of insurance (COI) rate schedules by at least three insurers: AXA Equitable, VOYA Financial (formerly ING) and Transamerica, which have notified their agents of this action.  Other insurers may also be doing this so CFA has asked the commissioners to extend their research beyond just these three insurers.

“We request that you review these practices to determine if the insurers are using COI increases to maintain profits when the interest rates they have been crediting to cash values have been reduced to the contractually guaranteed rates.  CFA believes that you should require UL insurers to justify COI rate schedule increases by demonstrating that current mortality experience of the affected block(s) of business exceeds pricing assumptions when the policies were sold,” said James H. Hunt, CFA’s Life Insurance Actuary and former Vermont Insurance Commissioner.

“Our fear is that this could become a widespread practice and could, in effect void the interest rate guarantees in affected policies, as we explain in detail in our letter,” said J. Robert Hunter, CFA’s Director of Insurance and former Texas Insurance Commissioner.

Contact: James H. Hunt 603-224-2805; J. Robert Hunter, 703-528-0062

The Consumer Federation of America is a national organization of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.