Can my ex boyfriend take a life insurance policy on me?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:29 pm   Post subject:   

Mark, I appreciate the response.



Do you know of any real world examples of a death claim not being paid because of this? I'm having trouble seeing it since, as Max put it, changing beneficiaries is a perogative of ownership.



I can see how this can cost the agent his job and how the agent may have to worry about his E&O. I just don't see how the insured would have any issues.



The insured was 100% honest and followed all of the rules of the insurance company. In this case, obviously, the rules of the insurance company are "one can't name a lesbian partner as beneficiary, but one can change the beneficiary to a lesbian lover."



It's not the insured's responsibility to make sure that one department of the insurance company talk to another one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:54 pm   Post subject:   

Once a week, I teach the Ethics portion of the class going through CA’s Insurance School of the Central Valley. In these classes, 12-14 new students each week attempt to learn enough about the insurance business to pass the state exam and get their licenses.



I’ve been told by other instructors that I have a great ability to create parallels (a set of similar, but unrelated subjects) which tend to make those “harder -to-grasp” subjects a little easier to comprehend.



For example: If you rob a bank in California with a gun, you’ll typically spend more time in jail than you will if you use a knife. This doesn’t mean that doing so is “less-wrong”. Robbing a bank with a Pez dispenser is just as dishonest and you’ll still do time.



Now, let’s say you rob a bank in California (with a Pez dispenser) and make a clean getaway. After all, you gave the plan a considerable amount of thought and everything went exactly as planned. However, if you get caught 20 years later, IT IS JUST AS WRONG as it would have been on the day of the robbery.



If, in 1990, it was against the law (for this example) to name your gay partner as your beneficiary, it is illegal in every single instance you can think of. If the law hadn’t been changed later on (you’re welcome), it would still be illegal today and manipulating the system would not alter the legality in any way, shape, or form.



Doing 100 mph in a Ford is just as wrong as doing 100 mph in a Toyota. It doesn’t matter that you’re in a hurry to go home to use the bathroom – it’s still wrong.



I’m done with this one. I’m begging someone else in the Community to help me with his next response.



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:35 pm   Post subject:   

Mark, please don't be done with this. I may be argumentative, but I'm not doing this for argument's sake. I'm truly trying to understand.



In 1990, was it illegal to change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy to a lesbian partner? If it wasn't, how was a law broken? If it was, didn't the insurance company have a responsibility at the time of the beneficiary change instead of waiting until death occurred 20 years later? The insured would have no way of knowing that they broke a law.



Forget about ethics here. Ethics is very important, but it is the agent who needs to be ethical. We're talking about what happens to the insured. That is why I am asking if you can name any similar case in which a death benefit wasn't paid.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:01 am   Post subject:   

Let me jump back in.



Quote:
The insured was 100% honest and followed all of the rules of the insurance company.




Doesn't really matter! The insurance company can make all the "rules" it wants to make, but if any of the rules violate state law which governs insurance, it's the law that controls. California law, for example says a husband cannot obtain life insurance on his wife without her knowledge and consent. The husband applies according to the insurer's "rule" that they don't need the wife's consent. The policy/contract is still void by state law.



You also see that today in the problem of a few individual states recognizing "marriage" between two persons not male and female, while most others still do not. Generally, one state will recognize a marriage formed in any other state . . . if it would be lawful in the state where the marriage did not occur. Since California has, by referendum, overturned the right of gays/lesbians to be "married" legally, we do not acknowledge those marriages that have occurred in Hawaii and the couple of other states where it is allowed, but we have no power to invalidate them either. (We do have the registered domestic partner provision that confers many, but not all, of the same privileges of marriage.)



California's Insurance Code is also clear on beneficiaries: there is no need for insurable interest to exist between the insured and the beneficiary. If the policy was issued here, as a contract, it is governed by California law, even if the insured and/or beneficiary later reside in one of the few stone-age states where it still is required. The beneficiary will get the money if the insured dies -- the new state's court cannot interfere with that right, it must apply California law to its decision if the payment of a claim was challenged.



As to fraud, which has been woven into some of the prior discussion, to prove that, one party must show "intent" to try to gain an advantage over the other party by their actions. The scenario Mark dissects fairly depicts what probably is a fraudulent set of circumstances.



But . . . I don't know why there's all this discussion. It's a moot point today in all but about 4 or 5 states (if that many). And those few states' laws could probably be overturned quite easily by the courts today as discriminatory.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:30 pm   Post subject:   

Thanks Max



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm   Post subject:   

Do you know of any real world examples of death claims not being paid because of this?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:48 am   Post subject:   

The only examples of death claims I know of for certain that have not been paid by insurers in the last 7-10 years involve instances of fraud or criminal conduct, but not gender/sexual orientation issues.



I think the most egregious example of life insurance fraud that the Cal Dept of Insurance has reported in the past 10 years was in 2001 or 2002. Seems this fellow assumed the identity of a person who would have been the same age, but died years earlier (apparently found the name and birth/death dates on a tombstone -- how difficult is that?). The fellow and his girlfriend and another female accomplice applied for about $6,000,000 in death benefits on the man from 5 or 6 companies, eventually accepting about $3,000,000 from 3 or 4 of them.



The whole thing fell apart when one of the female accomplices called one of the insurers to report the "death." Problem was the phone call was made on the day prior to the date of death shown on the phony death certificate. An "oops" in layman's language. A sharp claims examiner caught the problem and CDI ran the investigation. If I'm not mistaken, the trio went to prison for several years.



Another fellow was deep in debt, bought a little more than the exact amount of insurance necessary to eliminate the debt on his wife and kids, and shortly after policy issue the insureds were found in the family van at the bottom of an urban lake. Probably took about 30 minutes of thought for police to point the finger at the would-be debt-free husband.



You'll most likely have to find someone outside California with the direct knowledge you're seeking, because sexual orientation issues haven't been an issue in California for a number of years. The closest I can come to it is not exactly germane . . .



An insurer I was writing business for prior to passage of California's Registered Domestic Partners law about 6 or 7 years ago had a strange philosophy that allowed agents to write boyfriend/girlfriend on the same policy as if they were husband/wife. But they would refuse to allow two persons of the same gender to appear as "primary" and "spouse". As soon as the RDP law took effect, the restriction was dropped. It was never an issue with the same company to name persons of the same gender as beneficiary.



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:26 pm   Post subject: no can do  

The application can not be submitted if the persons do not have an insurable interest. All insurance brokers should know this.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:07 pm   Post subject:   

You can have whoever you want s your beneficiary. I have my bff down on my policy after my bff are my kids. I trust my bff to handle the money and make sure my kids dad can't touch a dime. If it is YOUR policy and you put down a S.O. and break up but forget to change the beneficiary on it and you die. They still have right to it.


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