Barnes testified in November before the U.S. House’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on the “Internet of cars,” a term that refers to the many ways in which vehicles are connected through digital technology. During the hearings, Barnes urged Congress to establish safeguards for drivers of connected vehicles. “Consumers are grossly unaware and privacy policies are opaque,” Barnes says. “People aren’t aware of the level of detail of the data collected.” OnStar, the company behind the in-car communication system from General Motors, raised a stir in 2011 after it proposed changing user agreements. The changes would have allowed it to continue collecting information from customers who stopped their subscriptions and sell the data to third parties. Facing a wave of protest and a congressional investigation over its practices, the company withdrew the plan. … [Read more...] about How much privacy are drivers willing to give up for better car insurance rates?
20 year life insurance rates
The ruling affects other types of insurance, too. Women live longer, so they traditionally paid lower rates for life insurance. (The insurer could earn more investment income off the premium while waiting for the woman’s demise.) So women will see life insurance rates rise, perhaps by 20%. … [Read more...] about Europe Just Cost Women a Bunch of Money on Their Car Insurance By Switching to Gender Equality
"Before the Affordable Care Act, consumers were in the dark about their health insurance premiums because there was no nationwide transparency or accountability," said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Now, insurance companies are required to disclose rate increases over 10 percent and justify these increases. It’s time for Trustmark to immediately rescind the rates, issue refunds to consumers or publicly explain their refusal to do so." … [Read more...] about Affordable Care Act Holding Insurers Accountable for Premium Hikes
The Wimmer CaseIn Wimmer v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2012-157 (June 4, 2012), the Tax Court held that gifts of interests in a family partnership that was funded with publicly traded and dividend paying stock qualified for the annual exclusion from gift tax because the beneficiaries had a present right to income. The Tax Court stated that the gifts must convey a substantial economic benefit by allowing the use, possession or enjoyment of either property or income in order to qualify as a present interest. Based on the many restrictions on transfer of partnership interests, the court found that the beneficiaries did not have the right to use the property. In determining whether the beneficiaries had a right to income, the court applied a three-part test: 1) whether the partnership would generate income; 2) whether some portion of the income would flow steadily to the donees; and 3) whether that portion of income could be readily ascertained. All three elements were … [Read more...] about 2012 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory
Local Developments in 2013: State-Specific ConsiderationsCaliforniaContemporaneous with the Windsor decision, the Supreme Court also dismissed an appeal from the federal district court ruling that struck down California’s Proposition 8 (which prohibited marriages of same-sex couples in California following a brief six-month period in which such marriages were permitted as a result of a prior California Supreme Court decision) as unconstitutional in the Perry decision. In Perry, two same-sex couples wished to marry in California. Though the California Supreme Court held in 2008 that the California Constitution required the State to recognize marriages of same-sex couples, California voters passed Proposition 8 later the same year, amending the California Constitution to provide that only “marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.” As a result of Proposition 8’s passage, the two couples were unable to marry. … [Read more...] about 2013 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory