North Carolina Raises Limit on Aid for Lindberg Firms’ Policyholders

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Policyholders with three insurance companies once owned by billionaire Greg Lindberg and who have as much as $50,000 in the bank may now qualify for financial hardship payments, the North Carolina insurance commissioner announced Wednesday.

“This will make policy funds more available to policyholders in financial hardship under the criteria of the program,” Commissioner Mike Causey said in a statement. “The hardship program provides an exception to the court-ordered moratorium to assist customers who are in immediate need of funds so that they may meet everyday living expenses.”

North Carolina’s hardship program allows payments for policyholders of insurance companies that are in state-ordered rehabilitation. The aid has been limited to people who have less than $25,000 in liquid assets, but the order from Causey raises the limit to $50,000.

The insurance companies are Southland National Insurance Co., Bankers Life Insurance Co. and Colorado Bankers Life Insurance.

A 2019 court-ordered moratorium, part of the fallout from Lindberg’s collapsed business empire, had forbidden cash surrenders, new annuitizations and policy loans while Lindberg’s former companies are in rehab. Causey’s plan provides an exception to the moratorium, the commissioner said.

The insurance companies have made payments and will continue to make payments for death claims, health insurance claims, required minimum distributions from IRAs, and for annuities that reach their maturity date, Causey’s statement said.

It’s the latest development in the Lindberg story, which has seen Lindberg convicted of attempting to bribe Causey, then having his conviction set aside in June and a new trial ordered. Regulators had grown concerned that Lindberg was funneling too much money from his insurance companies and investing it in his other businesses.

In May, the three insurers and Southland National Reinsurance Corp. won a court judgment, finding that Lindberg and his affiliated companies breached their contracts. In 2019, Lindberg had agreed to let some of his companies be run by an independent board, but he did not uphold that agreement, the court found.

More information on the hardship program and the rehabilitation plans can be found on the insurance firms’ websites: Colorado Bankers Life, Bankers Life Insurance Company, and Southland National Insurance Company.

“The insurance companies are continuing to work to hold Greg Lindberg to his promises to perform the rehabilitation plan set out in the memorandum of understanding so that the rehabilitator will be able to provide additional access to policy funds,” Causey’s statement said.