What is this lawsuit about?
The class action lawsuit alleges that that American National Insurance Company ("ANICO") violated its contractual commitment to policyholders by refusing to decrease its cost of insurance ("COI") rates despite alleged, improved future mortality expectations. Plaintiff asserts that he and members of the Class have been damaged as a result. ANICO denies Plaintiff’s claims; however, both sides have agreed to the Settlement to avoid the risks, costs, and delays of further litigation, including an appeal, so that people affected will get a chance to receive compensation.
How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you own or owned a universal life (including variable universal life) insurance policy issued in California by ANICO, or its predecessors in interest, that provides that COI rates are determined based on expectations as to future mortality experience, and that was subjected to monthly COI deductions on or after January 1, 2010. See FAQ 3 and FAQ 8 for more information.
What does the Settlement provide?
A Settlement Fund of $5 million will be established for Settlement Class Members. The Settlement Fund will be reduced proportionally if there are any opt outs from the Settlement Class. After payment of the cost to administer the Settlement Fund (estimated to be $62,520) as well as attorneys’ fees (not to exceed $1,666,666.67 or 33 1/3% of the cash component of the Settlement) and litigation expenses (estimated to be $182,418.34), and the payment to the Plaintiff (up to $25,000) (see FAQ 18), the Settlement Administrator will distribute the remaining amounts to Settlement Class Members in proportion to their share of the overall COI overcharges collected from the Settlement Class through February 28, 2023, with each Class Member receiving a minimum distribution of $100. No portion of the Settlement Fund will be returned to ANICO.
ANICO has also agreed to provide the following relief, quantified as having present value of $362,289, not to:
- Increase current COI rate scales for the Class Members’ policies for a period of five years after the Court finally approves the Settlement.
- Take any legal action (including asserting as an affirmative defense or counter-claim), or cause to take any legal action, that seeks to void, rescind, cancel, have declared void, or seeks to deny coverage under or deny a death claim for any Class Policy based on: (1) an alleged lack of valid insurable interest under any applicable law or equitable principles; or (2) any misrepresentation allegedly made on the application for, or otherwise made in applying for the policy.
More details are in a document called the Settlement Agreement, which is available on the Important Documents page.