NU Online News Service, March 11, 2003, 10:29 a.m. EST – Jefferson-Pilot Corp., Greensboro, N.C., says it has received preliminary approval for a class-action settlement from a state court in Greensboro.

The company has agreed to use free term life insurance and special deals on purchases of new life insurance and annuities to resolve a dispute over 165,000 excess interest whole life and participating whole life policies sold in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The dollar value of the proposed settlement was not immediately available.

The lawyers representing the plaintiffs have accused Jefferson-Pilot of misrepresenting the policies, but, in the proposed settlement, Jefferson-Pilot vigorously denies any allegations of wrongdoing.

“Jefferson-Pilot Life believes that its sales, servicing and administrative practices are — and always have been — designed to match customers’ needs with appropriate products and to fully inform customers about the operation and features of those products,” the company says in a statement about the proposed settlement.

The proposed settlement is subject to final court approval later this year.