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Conseco To Meet With Florida Regulators

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Conseco Life Insurance Company says officials from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation have agreed to meet with the company to discuss a dispute about universal life insurance premiums.

The Florida office filed an order to show cause against Conseco, a unit of Conseco Inc., Carmel, Ind., Dec. 22, 2008, after the company announced it was seeking additional premiums on universal life insurance products it had sold in the state and elsewhere.

Conseco says it has agreed to talk about the issues that caused it to seek additional payments on policies that owners had thought were paid up.

In December, the Iowa Division of Insurance issued a cease-and-desist order against Conseco after some policyholders and insurance salespeople complained that the company was seeking additional premiums on UL policies it sold in that state.

UL policies give policyholders the flexibility to vary their premium payments and still maintain insurance coverage.

Conseco says that, because of an administrative problem, some of its UL policyholders paid inadequate premiums, or no premiums, because they never received notices that additional premiums were due.

No policyholder received reduced benefits because of the error, the company says.

About 5,000 Conseco policyholders in Florida were notified in letters the company sent Oct. 27, 2008, that there would be an increase in their monthly cost of insurance rates and expense charges, according to Florida insurance regulators.

Conseco says it has brought the issue to the attention of regulators in a number of states. It recently announced a 90-day nationwide moratorium on further action on the policies, sold under its Lifetrend brand, pending discussions with regulators.

Individuals purporting to own Conseco UL policies have posted messages on consumer Web sites reporting that they recently have received bills for thousands of dollars in UL policy premiums.