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Regulators, insurers fight release of shadow insurance files

December 19, 2016

The insurance industry and its regulators are asking a judge to allow documents detailing "shadow insurance" subsidiaries created by life insurers to remain secret.

The Iowa Insurance Division and the Federation of Iowa Insurers are opposing a lawsuit filed by Indiana University professor emeritus Joseph Belth, who's seeking the documents under Iowa's open records law.

Belth believes that the "shadow insurance" instruments threaten the solvency of insurers, and the public has a right to know.

Companies such as TransAmerica have transferred hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities to subsidiaries to loosen the amount of capital they need in reserves.

An assistant attorney general argued last week that regulators properly denied Belth's request and the documents should be kept confidential.

The insurance federation says the practice is well-regulated and justified.
 

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