Frankel & Newfield, P.C.

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December 2013 Archives

US Supreme Court Decision is Bad News for ERISA Claims

The United States Supreme Court has handed down a decision that is sending shock waves through the disability plaintiff's bar. In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., the U.S. Supreme Court has held unanimously that the time limit contained within the ERISA plan is enforceable - and the clock starts ticking from the date that the plaintiff's "proof of loss" is due - even before a lawsuit is filed, and possibly, even while a claimant is still receiving benefits, or has not yet "exhausted" their administrative remedies, a predicate to even being permitted to bring litigation.

Good News for the Insurance Business from Moody's

Financial ratings service Moody's has upgraded its negative outlook on the US insurance sector from negative to stable - good news that points to expectations that the national economy is finally moving forward in a positive direction. The projected rise in interest rates will especially benefit annuity products with long-term guarantees (e.g., payout annuities, structured settlements); old blocks of individual fixed annuities with high guaranteed rates; life insurance products with embedded interest rate guarantees (e.g., universal life insurance policies); and certain specialized long-tailed health products, including long term disability and long-term care policies.

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