Bankers Life Terminated Agent Commissions Charge Back Lawsuit

In April 2016, a former Bankers Life insurance agent commenced an action against Bankers Life for breach of the agent agreement on behalf of all terminated Bankers Life agents who have been subject to commission charge-backs for so-called policy rewrites.

As alleged in the Complaint it is common company practice at Bankers Life for senior agents to "'re-write' policies [sold] by former agents in order to justify commission chargebacks and to reassign the policy [renewal] commission stream from the [former agent] to a current senior agent." However, "the 're-writing' of the policies is pretextual, with Bankers Life typically making nothing more than an immaterial change, such as altering the policy name." Bankers Life then seeks repayment of commissions from the former agent based on these "re-writes," often using debt collectors and reporting the unpaid commissions to the Vector One data base, while a current agent receives the commission for the "rewritten" policy. In October, the Northern District of Illinois denied, in part, Bankers Life's motion to dismiss the Complaint. See Woerner v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148825, *4 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 27, 2016).

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