Scott Ward Discusses Proposed Life Settlements Legislation in California

The Deal

Orrick Public Policy Of Counsel Scott Ward was recently quoted in The Deal’s coverage of a life settlement bill proposed in California by Orrick client Fortress Investment Group (FIG). The legislation would allow investors to seek court orders confirming the validity of life insurance policies if they believe in "good faith" that insurers might challenge them for lack of insurable interest. Orrick’s Public Policy team has been assisting FIG in its efforts to push through similar legislation in states across the country, including a bill that was successfully passed in Minnesota in 2014.

The bill being proposed by FIG in California would only apply to policies issued before 2010. Before voting on the bill, the California State Legislature has suggested changes that would prevent the policy's current investor owner as well as the insurance company from seeking court action against the insured person or the original owner.

In regards to these proposed changes, Scott noted, “We appreciate the thoughtful analysis,” before adding, “We are committed to working with you.”

Scott went on to describe the bill as giving the life insurance industry a one-year window to ferret out potentially void policies issued prior to 2010. He noted that the state passed a life settlement law in 2010 that would address policies lacking insurable interest after that.