Regions Southwest Virginia

Shenandoah Life Insurance emerges from receivership

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The State Corporation Commission has ended its three-year receivership of Roanoke-based Shenandoah Life Insurance Co. after the successful rehabilitation of the company.

Shenandoah Life has resumed possession of its property and the management of its affairs as a stock company owned by Prosperity Life Insurance Group LLC.

In a news release, Shenandoah Life heralded its emergence from receivership as “a rare occurrence” in the insurance industry.

It announced that Hans Carstensen, former president and CEO of Aviva Life Insurance Co., is Shenandoah Life’s new Roanoke-based president and chief executive officer. 

“Policyholders can be assured that Shenandoah Life policies remain secure, and that we will continue to provide the high-quality customer service they expect,” Carstensen said in statement.  “We are working diligently to honor the needs of our customers and agents as we re-invent our company.

As part of the rehabilitation and agreement with Prosperity Life, Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham has lifted a moratorium on cash withdrawals by Shenandoah Life policyholders.
The moratorium on policy loans, cash or surrender values, surrenders, fund transfers, lapses, cash outs and similar payments has been in place since Feb. 12, 2009.

That was when the SCC became the receiver of Shenandoah Life to protect the interests of policyholders and creditors after the commission determined the company’s financial condition was impaired.

The SCC approved a rehabilitation plan in October. In mid-December, 97 percent of nearly 23,000 policyholders voted in favor of converting the company from a mutual life insurer to a stock insurance company under the control of Prosperity Life.

Prosperity Life is investing a minimum of $60 million in Shenandoah Life and will continue to operate the company from the Roanoke office.

Shenandoah Life will also be able to issue new insurance policies now that the acquisition is complete.

The insurance company, founded in 1914,  has more than 175,000 insurance policies in-force, and more than $1.4 billion in assets

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