ILNews

Insurance policy does not fall under Pre-Need Act

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A Marion Superior Court correctly ruled that a company that sells an insurance policy with the option to assign it to a trust to use the funds for funeral services is not subject to the Pre-Need Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

The State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service issued a cease and desist order to Settlers Life Insurance Co. after it determined the company was selling insurance policies that are simultaneously assigned into irrevocable funeral trusts that restrict dispersal of trust funds to funeral expenses designated as pre-paid services or merchandise by I.C. 30-2-13-8 without the certificate of authority required by I.C. 30-2-13-33. The issue came to the board’s attention from Frain Mortuary in Winamac – the mortuary believed Settlers was in violation of the Pre-Need Act.

Evan Hughes bought at $10,000 insurance policy from Settlers, payable upon proof of her death. Because she did not have the funds to pay for her burial, she opted to assign the policy irrevocably to a National Guardian Life Insurance Co. Trust. Upon her death, the insurance proceeds could only be paid for funeral and burial goods and services as listed in the trust.

Frain Mortuary received Hughes’ policy on transfer from Settlers.

After the board issued its order, Settlers filed a petition for judicial review, in which the Marion Superior Court overturned the order, and issued a declaratory judgment stating that the Pre-Need Act does not apply to the type of policy Settlers sells.

The plain language of the Pre-Need Act supports Settlers’ argument that its at-need product is not covered by the Act, Judge John Baker wrote in State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service v. Settlers Life Insurance Company, 49A05-1307-PL-365. Settlers’ product does not obligate it to provide pre-paid services or merchandise; instead, it pays a death benefit for funeral expenses that may be used at any mortuary. Settlers isn’t defined as a seller under the Act, and its product is not designed to cover pre-need purchases, the court held.

“While we agree that Settlers’s product may not meet the needs of those who wish to prepay their funeral expenses, it is because we find that Settlers sells a product that fulfills a different purpose than pre-need products. It is not a product for those who wish to pre-purchase their funeral services; it is a product that is meant to provide funds to purchase funeral expenses on an at-need basis,” he wrote.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

  2. Today, I want to use this opportunity to tell everyone about Dr agbuza of agbuzaodera(at)gmail. com, on how he help me reunited with my husband after 2 months of divorce.My husband divorce me because he saw another woman in his office and he said to me that he is no longer in love with me anymore and decide to divorce me.I seek help from the Net and i saw good talk about Dr agbuza and i contact him and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me which i use to get my husband back within 2 days.am totally happy because there is no reparations and side-effect. If you need his help Email him at agbuzaodera(at)gmail. com

  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

ADVERTISEMENT