Close Close

Life Health > Life Insurance

Michael Moore Draws Fire From COLI Defenders

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Insurance industry groups are ramping up efforts to keep a documentary from affecting corporate-owned life insurance.

Michael Moore, who skewered the U.S. health finance system in the documentary Sicko, briefly focuses on COLI in his new film, “Capitalism: A Love Story.”

The film implies that COLI is a vehicle employers use to profit from the deaths of their employees.

Word broke last week that several trade groups — including the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington; the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Falls Church, Va.; and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church – were working on a joint effort to speak up for COLI and the role it plays in helping employers protect themselves against the risk of losing valued employees.

Now the team drafting the pro-COLI statement has come out with a final joint industry statement. The signatories include GAMA International, Falls Church, and the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, Fairfax, Va., as well as the ACLI, the AALU and NAIFA.

“COLI is a life insurance policy used by employers to keep businesses running and protect jobs after the death of owners or key employees,” the groups say in their joint statement. “It also is used to finance employee benefits, including broad-based health, disability, survivor and supplemental retirement benefits. Through COLI, employers are taking the responsible step of setting aside assets to protect jobs and to make sure they are able to deliver on their employee benefit promises. Employers do not receive a tax deduction for purchasing COLI and employees pay nothing but receive substantial benefits in connection with the product.”

Current law makes it clear that COLI can only be taken out on officers, directors and highly compensated employees with notice and their informed consent, the groups say.