California Court Certifies Nationwide Class in Cost of Insurance Litigation


On March 23, 2017, Judge  Brad Seligman of  the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Alameda, granted class certification on behalf of a class of consumers who own or owned a John Hancock Flex V Premium Variable Whole Life Insurance Policy.

The case alleges that the terms of the Flex V policy required John Hancock to charge for insurance based on John Hancock’s expectations of future mortality, but John Hancock impermissibly inflated the insurance charge by adding “margin over mortality” not permitted by the policy terms. Plaintiff also claims that John Hancock wrongfully collected administrative charges in excess of the caps set forth in the policy, and failed to reduce the insurance charge despite improving expectations of future mortality. 

The case is Larson, et al., vs John Hancock Life Insurance Company, et al. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Stueve Siegel Hanson and Miller Schirger.

Stueve Siegel Hanson has a history of handling alleged life insurance policy overcharges cases. In March 2016, an Indiana Court granted final approval of a $2.25 billion settlement of a class action lawsuit against The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company over alleged life insurance policy overcharges.  Lincoln National agreed to settle the case by, among other things, issuing term life insurance certificates to a settlement class consisting of approximately 77,000 policy owners across 30 states.  The term life insurance certificates will have a total face amount of death benefits estimated at $2.25 billion, with a market value of approximately $171.8 million. 

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