AXA Equitable has begun a program to deny life settlement companies VOCs in an apparent attempt to prevent the sale of their policies. They appear to be targeting California and New York which are not regulated and therefore don’t have laws requiring insurance companies to provide VOCs. However, one competitor says they were refused VOCs in Florida and Texas which are regulated. Several of our competitors have received letters denying their request for a VOC and we received our first denial letter recently for a current transaction we were processing. Their letter also implies they may deny the owners of the policies VOC request if they suspect the policy is being sold. This is preventing sellers of policies to assign (sell) their property which is a lawful right and by preventing this AXA may be violating their fiduciary duty to their customers. All life insurance contracts provide that they are assignable, so this would seem somewhat illegal. Unfortunately, the California Department of Insurance has sided with AXA stating they don’t know of any requirement in the insurance code for an insurer to provide VOCs to a third party. They state that there are privacy concerns that support this position. However, that does not explain how they can restrict information being given to an owner. Obviously, LISA is getting involved in this situation as will many other legal departments and policy owners by contacting their regulatory authorities. But for us this story ends on a happy note as the broker of the above referenced transaction was working the writing agent rot the AXA policy. The agent contacted AXA and said he needed the VOC immediately and he got it. So while AXA may give their customers and life settlement providers the run around, the agent, if important enough to the insurance company, can get needed information quickly.