life insurance

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Elaborate Insurance Scam Ends in Housekeeper's Death

Cops: Dad, son planned murder of Anita Fox, 72

(Newser) - A father and son in Texas committed the ultimate crime of "greed," police tell NBC DFW . Cops say Gerard Gorman, 48, and his son Bernard Gorman, 27, allegedly followed 72-year-old housekeeper Anita Fox on her rounds for a few days last September, then murdered her in her employer'... More »

Lawyer: Guy Attacked With Sledgehammer Over $1.5M

Weird attack was supposedly over life insurance money

(Newser) - With two psychiatrists, a $1.5 million life insurance policy, and a sledgehammer, an attempted murder case in Manhattan has all the elements of a 20/20 episode—at least according to the victim's lawyer. Michael Weiss had conveniently just changed his life insurance policy to benefit fellow shrink Pamela... More »

States Suspect Life Insurers Are Screwing the Dead

Some ignoring information showing policy holders are dead

(Newser) - Dozens of states are investigating the possibility that major insurance companies have been less than conscientious about paying out life insurance benefits for their dead customers. The investigations began when 35 states signed up for an auditing firm’s offer to look for unclaimed life insurance benefits that could be... More »

1 in 3 US Households Has No Life Insurance

Coverage of middle-class families wanes

(Newser) - As increasing financial pressure bears down on middle-class families, ever more are cutting life insurance from their household budgets. About 35 million US households, almost a third, now have no life insurance whatsoever, up from 24 million households in 2004. Many households have recently lost employer-sponsored coverage due to layoffs... More »

Insurers Rip Off Families of Fallen US Soldiers

Keep payouts in interest-bearing accounts and skim off profits

(Newser) - It turns out that insurers handling death benefits for American soldiers have got a sweet scam going that enables them to keep profiting from the money even after it is supposedly paid out to families. They tell bereaved relatives that they've opened a convenient, interest-bearing account for their money that's... More »

Life Insurance Scam Eyed in Hanging

Census worker may have disguised suicide as murder

(Newser) - A census worker found hanged in September may have staged his death for insurance reasons, police say. Sources tell the AP that Bill Sparkman may have manipulated the scene to make his suicide look like murder so that his son could collect on his insurance policy. "If it's deemed... More »

Hendrix 'Murdered by Manager'

(Newser) - Jimi Hendrix's manager murdered the legendary rocker to cash in on a $2 million life insurance policy, an aide reveals in a new book. Hendrix was "worth more dead to him than alive," according to roadie James Wright. Wright said manager Michael Jeffrey confessed to him that he... More »

Banks Use Worker Life Insurance to Pay Exec Bonuses

Dead employees keep on giving

(Newser) - Former employees of the big banks often end up handing the bosses a final reward when the workers die, the Wall Street Journal reports. The banks have taken out life insurance policies on hundreds of thousands of workers, and the tax-free death benefits are used to finance executive compensation and... More »

Big Life Insurers Will Get TARP Funds

(Newser) - Now that the banks' stress tests are done, it's on to the insurance industry. The Treasury Department said today it will give TARP funds to the nation's biggest life insurers, the Washington Post reports. Hartford Financial has been given preliminary approval to receive $3.4 billion, and as-yet unspecified amounts... More »

Hasselhoff Ex Wants Money Even if He Dies

(Newser) - David Hasselhoff ex Pamela Bach has asked a judge to force the actor to maintain life insurance so her support payments would continue in the event of his death, TMZ reports. The couple’s divorce proceedings have now reached an epic scale. Hasselhoff argues that the life insurance proviso wasn’... More »

Pastor Charged With Killing Disabled Man

Police say preacher paid hitman with $50K in church funds

(Newser) - Baltimore police say a pastor has admitted to killing a mentally disabled and blind man to collect on his life insurance money, the Baltimore Sun reports. Charged yesterday, Kevin Pushia, 32, confessed to hiring a hit man with $50,000 in church funds to kill Lemuel Wallace—one of several... More »

US Extends Bailout to Life Insurers

Treasury throwing a lifeline to a third industry

(Newser) - The Treasury Department has decided to give struggling life insurance companies access to federal bailout funds, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. The industry—which had earlier seemed largely immune to the credit crisis—has been hit hard by stock market and real estate declines, leaving some firms on the... More »

AIG's Woes Point to Larger Insurance Crisis

Federal aid may offer AIG a competitive advantage in ailing industry

(Newser) - AIG’s troubles were quickly blamed on a single, obscure wing of the company, but its problems extend to its core life-insurance division—underscoring dangerous weaknesses across the entire industry and pointing to the possibility of a second financial crisis, the Los Angeles Times reports. What's more, by offering AIG... More »

As Life Insurers Face Losses, Next Bailout Decision Looms

Life insurers, a key cog in capital markets, seek TARP funds

(Newser) - Life insurance companies, an oft-overlooked yet important cog in the financial infrastructure, haven’t been immune to tumbling markets, the Wall Street Journal reports, which are eroding both their portfolios and consumer confidence. A Dow Jones life insurance index is off 59% this year and 82% from its 2007 high,... More »

Fear of Unforeseen Chaos Keeps Feds Bailing Out AIG

(Newser) - If you want to understand the phrase “too big to fail,” look no further than AIG, the Los Angeles Times reports. With $1.1 trillion at the end of 2007, operations in 130 countries and 74 million customers, AIG is so entrenched in the global financial system that... More »

Dow Off 177 on Poor Earnings

Goldman report sends life insurance down

(Newser) - Stocks declined today as poor earnings reports made investors bearish, the Wall Street Journal reports. Although news of the Fannie/Freddie plan to speed refinancing efforts for distressed homeowners checked midday losses, the Dow dropped 176.58 to close at 8,693.96. The Nasdaq dropped 35.84, settling at 1,... More »

Ledger Tot Sues as Insurance Balks at $10M Payout

Company says it can't rule out suicide

(Newser) - A trustee representing Heath Ledger's 3-year-old daughter is suing the actor's insurance provider, who is balking at paying out his $10 million death benefits, TMZ reports. ReliaStar Life Insurance Co. says it's withholding payment until they determine whether Ledger's accidental overdose death was a suicide, an investigation that includes quizzing... More »

LA's 'Black Widows' Get Life in Prison for Murders

Pair killed two homeless men for life insurance

(Newser) - Two elderly women who carried out a cold-blooded scheme to murder homeless men have been sentenced to life without parole by a Los Angeles judge. Helen Golay, 77, and 75-year-old Olga Rutterschmidt—nicknamed the "Black Widows" in the media—lured two vagrants off the street, cared for them for... More »

Employers Use Law to Withhold Benefits

Think you're covered? Not if your company decides you're not

(Newser) - Thomas Amschwand was dying, but made sure his wife would collect on his $426,000 life insurance policy. Yet when he died, his boss withheld the money, and his wife was powerless—because a federal law stops workers from suing employers for large sums of health, life, or retirement benefits.... More »

Quick-Fix Cash Schemes Find More Takers

Reverse mortgages, insurance buyouts among risky moves

(Newser) - Big banks aren’t the only ones struggling to find the cash to keep going. Americans are feeling the pinch, and grabbing cash anywhere they can find it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Credit-card debts remains high, but more are turning to options that bring a quick infusion of cash... More »

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