Trans World Assurance News

Trans World Assurance Corrects the Record: Compliance With New Military Regulation Was Prompt and Voluntary


SAN MATEO, CA - In response to a recent press release by the California Department of Insurance, Trans World Assurance Company issues the following statement:

“The recent press release by the California Department of Insurance regarding our company is inaccurate and misrepresents the result of an agreement that was reached between Trans World Assurance Company and the CA Department of Insurance. Trans World complied promptly with California’s new Military Insurance Sales Regulation; we voluntarily adjusted our policies, created a new life insurance product, and made refunds to all consumers that were affected by the legislation, prior to any enforcement. Trans World did this even though we believed the regulations to be unfair to those serving in the military—treating them differently than their civilian counterparts—and we felt that the changes could be harmful to those military individuals."

“The Military Insurance Sales Regulation adopted by various state insurance departments, including California, limits the types of policies that may be sold to members of the military. The same limitations do not apply to civilians. We do not think this is right."

“We have disputed whether the Military Insurance Sales Regulation is applicable to FDB. However, we voluntarily modified our FDB policies to comply with the Regulation, and developed a new universal life product. On December 21, 2010, the California Insurance Commissioner issued a press release about the recent settlement between Trans World and the California Department of Insurance. Unfortunately, the release is not accurate in material respects, and wrongly suggests that Trans World sold policies that took advantage of service members. That simply is not true. The automatic payment provision (where insurance premiums were automatically deducted from the accumulation fund part of the policy) protected the valuable insurance policies of many policyholders as they transitioned from the service into civilian life. However, Trans World voluntarily modified our procedures in all states—including California—by deleting the automatic payment provisions and modifying the interest computations of our policies. We advised the California Department of Insurance of our actions before it initiated its administrative proceedings. Long before the settlement, in which Trans World specifically did not admit to any wrongdoing, all of our policies were modified and all service members were reimbursed, in full compliance with the new Regulation.

“Trans World Assurance Company has provided the members of our military with safe, top-performing life insurance products for over 50 years. We have tens of thousands of satisfied policyholders who can attest to the value of our products and our commitment to honoring the trust they place in us. Trans World was among the first underwriters and continues to underwrite Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). In short, Trans World supports the men and women who serve our country and believes that they should have the same rights as their civilian counterparts to consider and purchase financial products.”

Trans World Assurance Co., founded and run by experienced life insurance professionals, provides innovative products designed to meet the specialized needs of career military and municipality workers, as well as small businesses, throughout the United States and around the world. Established in 1962, TWA is headquartered in San Mateo California, and is licensed in 46 states and worldwide. For more information call (650) 348-2300 or visit www.transworldassuance.com.

Tags: military life insurance, lawsuit, Flexible Dollar Builder (FDB), California Department of Insurance, Military Insurance Sales Regulation

Trans World Assurance Co. wins policyholder class action trial March 21, 2003


Recent Jury Verdicts and a Court decision found that Trans World Assurance Co. did not defraud its policyholders. In the highly publicized California class action lawsuit Heathcock v. Trans World Assurance Company, the Jury's Special Verdict rejected the class plaintiffs' claims and specifically found that no misrepresentations were made and that there was no breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In its Decision, the Court concurred in the Jury's findings and found that Trans World did not act unlawfully, fraudulently or unfairly in selling and servicing its Flexible Dollar Builder (FDB) life insurance policies. The Court also reversed earlier rulings certifying the case as a class. The Court also entered a judgment against the plaintiffs for $71,000 for costs.

All appeals by the plaintiffs have now been dismissed. The Jury Verdicts and Court Decision are consistent with the results of other cases that have gone to trial and prove once and for all that TWA's agents fairly disclose the material terms of the FDB. Unfortunately, while the Heathcock lawsuit was pending, its unproved allegations received much notoriety and cited inappropriately as evidence of misconduct by TWA's agents. The Jury Verdicts and Court Decision confirm that Trans World and its agents involved with the plaintiffs are innocent of any wrongdoing. "We are pleased that Trans World and its agent sales force have been vindicated by the Jury Verdicts and the Court Decision," stated Trans World Assurance Co.'s management.

In summarizing the Jury's decision the Court stated: The jury returned its special verdicts in favor of both TWA and AFLI. These special verdicts included the following findings:

  1. Neither TWA nor AFLI made any false representation, whether intentionally or negligently, to Heathcock, Cavanaugh or Bremer; 
  2. Neither TWA nor AFLI concealed or suppressed any material fact to Heathcock, Cavanaugh or Bremer; 
  3. Neither TWA nor AFLI breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which breach caused damage to Heathcock, Cavanaugh or Bremer.

Tags: lawsuit, Flexible Dollar Builder (FDB), Heathcock v. Trans World Assurance Company