Monday, April 23, 2012

A (Not So) Mighty Fortress

Time again for an update on the on-going battle between life insurers and would-be viatical investors. This time out, the Fortress Investment Group bought a thousand "junk" policies in the hopes that at least a few would pay out the big bucks.

What's a "junk" policy, you ask?

Well, it's a new term to me, as well; it seems to refer to policies other investors had dumped on the market as it became more and more apparent that collecting on them was getting to be problematic. There are two diametrically opposed forces at work here: the (bogus) insurable interest issue and the (very real) issue of fraud.

Part of the problem, of course, stems from the fact that some carriers - Phoenix apparently among them - fell on hard times through the last decade, victims of the economic downturn and their own financial strategies. Faced with the possibility of paying out hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars, these carriers are fighting tooth-and-nail to hold onto their assets.

Can't say I blame them.
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