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ATLANTA, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Berkshire Settlements, Inc., a family-owned and operated life insurance settlement provider dedicated to maximizing the value of consumers’ life insurance policies, today announced the launch of a newly streamlined application process for seniors who are interested in selling their life insurance policies through life settlement transactions. “Life settlements are safe and well-regulated, but a factor that has discouraged many consumers from pursuing the sale of their life insurance policies has been an underwriting process that can be onerous and time-consuming,” said John Dallas, chief executive officer of Berkshire Settlements. “We’ve rolled out an efficient workflow that enables us to handle all underwriting in-house at Berkshire. This innovative process can reduce the time required to complete a life settlement transaction from three months to less than a month.” A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy by the owner to a third party. The seller of the policy receives a cash payment that is greater than the policy’s cash surrender value and less than its death benefit; the buyer of the policy assumes all future premium payments and receives the death benefit when the insured person passes away. Americans who sell their unwanted life insurance policies collectively receive, on average, more than four times the amount they would have received had they surrendered them to their life insurance companies. For more than a decade, Berkshire has been working directly with consumers -- or their trusted advisors -- to help them maximize the value of a life insurance policy they no longer want or can afford. Berkshire’s new process for life settlement transactions eliminates the usual medical underwriting process and substitutes a streamlined application review. The new workflow is principally designed for policies that insure seniors age 75 or older who have one or more health issues and with a death benefit of less than $1 million. “This innovative approach to medically underwriting a potential life settlement transaction reduces the amount of time it takes us to review an application and also takes significant administrative cost out of the process,” said Dallas. “We can in turn pass on these cost-efficiencies to consumers who are seeking to unlock value from a policy, rather than just allowing it to lapse or surrendering it back to the insurance company.” For more information, please visit www.berkshiresettlements.com. About Berkshire Settlements, Inc. Berkshire Settlements, Inc. is an Atlanta-based company that is one of the leading life settlement providers in the U.S. The company is a direct buyer of life insurance policies from policy sellers, helping them to maximize the value of policies they no longer need or can afford, and is highly regarded for its integrity, ability to execute and transparency in the transaction. Berkshire is a member of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement industry. For more information, please click here or call (800) 233-1745.


ATLANTA, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Berkshire Settlements, Inc., a family-owned and operated life insurance settlement provider dedicated to maximizing the value of consumers’ life insurance policies, today announced the launch of a newly streamlined application process for seniors who are interested in selling their life insurance policies through life settlement transactions. “Life settlements are safe and well-regulated, but a factor that has discouraged many consumers from pursuing the sale of their life insurance policies has been an underwriting process that can be onerous and time-consuming,” said John Dallas, chief executive officer of Berkshire Settlements. “We’ve rolled out an efficient workflow that enables us to handle all underwriting in-house at Berkshire. This innovative process can reduce the time required to complete a life settlement transaction from three months to less than a month.” A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy by the owner to a third party. The seller of the policy receives a cash payment that is greater than the policy’s cash surrender value and less than its death benefit; the buyer of the policy assumes all future premium payments and receives the death benefit when the insured person passes away. Americans who sell their unwanted life insurance policies collectively receive, on average, more than four times the amount they would have received had they surrendered them to their life insurance companies. For more than a decade, Berkshire has been working directly with consumers -- or their trusted advisors -- to help them maximize the value of a life insurance policy they no longer want or can afford. Berkshire’s new process for life settlement transactions eliminates the usual medical underwriting process and substitutes a streamlined application review. The new workflow is principally designed for policies that insure seniors age 75 or older who have one or more health issues and with a death benefit of less than $1 million. “This innovative approach to medically underwriting a potential life settlement transaction reduces the amount of time it takes us to review an application and also takes significant administrative cost out of the process,” said Dallas. “We can in turn pass on these cost-efficiencies to consumers who are seeking to unlock value from a policy, rather than just allowing it to lapse or surrendering it back to the insurance company.” For more information, please visit www.berkshiresettlements.com. About Berkshire Settlements, Inc. Berkshire Settlements, Inc. is an Atlanta-based company that is one of the leading life settlement providers in the U.S. The company is a direct buyer of life insurance policies from policy sellers, helping them to maximize the value of policies they no longer need or can afford, and is highly regarded for its integrity, ability to execute and transparency in the transaction. Berkshire is a member of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement industry. For more information, please click here or call (800) 233-1745.


ATLANTA, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Berkshire Settlements, Inc., a family-owned and operated life insurance settlement provider dedicated to maximizing the value of consumers’ life insurance policies, today announced the launch of a newly streamlined application process for seniors who are interested in selling their life insurance policies through life settlement transactions. “Life settlements are safe and well-regulated, but a factor that has discouraged many consumers from pursuing the sale of their life insurance policies has been an underwriting process that can be onerous and time-consuming,” said John Dallas, chief executive officer of Berkshire Settlements. “We’ve rolled out an efficient workflow that enables us to handle all underwriting in-house at Berkshire. This innovative process can reduce the time required to complete a life settlement transaction from three months to less than a month.” A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy by the owner to a third party. The seller of the policy receives a cash payment that is greater than the policy’s cash surrender value and less than its death benefit; the buyer of the policy assumes all future premium payments and receives the death benefit when the insured person passes away. Americans who sell their unwanted life insurance policies collectively receive, on average, more than four times the amount they would have received had they surrendered them to their life insurance companies. For more than a decade, Berkshire has been working directly with consumers -- or their trusted advisors -- to help them maximize the value of a life insurance policy they no longer want or can afford. Berkshire’s new process for life settlement transactions eliminates the usual medical underwriting process and substitutes a streamlined application review. The new workflow is principally designed for policies that insure seniors age 75 or older who have one or more health issues and with a death benefit of less than $1 million. “This innovative approach to medically underwriting a potential life settlement transaction reduces the amount of time it takes us to review an application and also takes significant administrative cost out of the process,” said Dallas. “We can in turn pass on these cost-efficiencies to consumers who are seeking to unlock value from a policy, rather than just allowing it to lapse or surrendering it back to the insurance company.” For more information, please visit www.berkshiresettlements.com. About Berkshire Settlements, Inc. Berkshire Settlements, Inc. is an Atlanta-based company that is one of the leading life settlement providers in the U.S. The company is a direct buyer of life insurance policies from policy sellers, helping them to maximize the value of policies they no longer need or can afford, and is highly regarded for its integrity, ability to execute and transparency in the transaction. Berkshire is a member of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement industry. For more information, please click here or call (800) 233-1745.


ORLANDO, Fla., May 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The life settlement marketplace is poised for new growth opportunities as industry participants better leverage emerging technologies to facilitate the sale of seniors’ life insurance policies, according to speakers at this week’s 23rd Annual Spring Life Settlement Conference. The conference was hosted by the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement Industry, and took place May 14-16, 2017, at the Omni Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas. “A series of experts who addressed attendees at this year’s Spring Conference illustrated that there are a number of exciting opportunities in the works to take the life settlement industry to the next level,” said Darwin M. Bayston, CFA, president and chief executive officer of LISA. “By leveraging new technologies and data systems, we will see faster transactions conducted and more efficient underwriting methodologies. That is good news for seniors who no longer need or can afford their life insurance policies.” A life settlement is the sale by the owner of a life insurance policy for an immediate cash payment. The buyer of the policy assumes all future premiums payments and receives the death benefit upon the passing of the insured. On average, consumers receive four to seven times more from a life settlement than what they would have received from surrendering it back to the insurance company. The conference opened with a panel discussing the vulnerability and risks that come along with any data breach in the life settlement industry, a poignant session in light of the recent worldwide ransomware attack. Attendees discussed the importance of responding to the “new normal” of cybersecurity threats and developing a sound cybersecurity program. The Panel also outlined the requirements established by the New York’s Cybersecurity Regulation, which makes life settlement providers, life settlement brokers and life agents subject to key compliance requirements in the event of a cybersecurity incident. In a timely follow-up session, David Souders addressed the coverage and pricing trends for data and privacy liability insurance. In one of the featured panel sessions, “Innovations in Life Expectancies,” Lori Austin and Brian Lanzrath discussed new and innovative strategies to estimate life expectancies, including technology tools that will help professionals to arrive at more accurate projections – such as a new data-driven approach that relies on prescription and clinical history database searches. “Attendees were thrilled to have a major laboratory such as ExamOne discuss innovations in the space,” said Bayston. Additional sessions discussed innovations in projecting Life Expectancies (LEs) and the impact of better LE data. A new study was also presented by Jiahua (Java) Xu, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, who traced the patterns of LE estimates in both secondary and tertiary markets by major medical underwriters and provided important results from her findings. The conference also included a “Regulator Panel” session that addressed a variety of issues potentially impacting the life settlement and life insurance businesses. The session included a discussion about proposed consumer disclosure regulations that would require life insurance companies to notify consumers of all of their options prior to lapsing or surrendering a policy. One of the panelists, Korey Harvey (Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Health, Life & Annuity at the Louisiana Department of Insurance), observed that “it would probably only be fair” if insurers were required to provide some sort of notification, just as life settlement companies are required to inform consumers of alternatives to selling a policy. Attendees also learned about practical strategies for addressing life settlement tax issues, such as taxation of transactions where the insured is terminally or chronically ill, possible tax consequences of retained death benefit transactions and long-term care funds, and the use of alternative structures to minimize the impact of taxation for life settlements funds. The event also featured the annual election of members of the LISA Board of Directors and officers of the LISA Board. Three members were elected to new three-year terms on the board: Alan Buerger; John Dallas; and John McFarland. The newly elected LISA officers are: Other board members continuing to serve terms to which they were previously elected include Dan Young, John Welcom and Cynthia Poveda. About the Life Insurance Settlement Association The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) is the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement Industry, with a current membership of more than 90 companies doing business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The mission of LISA is to promote the development, integrity and reputation of the life settlement industry, to advance the highest standards of practice and professional development for the industry, and to educate consumers and advisors about a life settlement as an alternative to lapse or surrender of a life insurance policy. For more information, visit www.lisa.org.


ORLANDO, Fla., May 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The life settlement marketplace is poised for new growth opportunities as industry participants better leverage emerging technologies to facilitate the sale of seniors’ life insurance policies, according to speakers at this week’s 23rd Annual Spring Life Settlement Conference. The conference was hosted by the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement Industry, and took place May 14-16, 2017, at the Omni Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas. “A series of experts who addressed attendees at this year’s Spring Conference illustrated that there are a number of exciting opportunities in the works to take the life settlement industry to the next level,” said Darwin M. Bayston, CFA, president and chief executive officer of LISA. “By leveraging new technologies and data systems, we will see faster transactions conducted and more efficient underwriting methodologies. That is good news for seniors who no longer need or can afford their life insurance policies.” A life settlement is the sale by the owner of a life insurance policy for an immediate cash payment. The buyer of the policy assumes all future premiums payments and receives the death benefit upon the passing of the insured. On average, consumers receive four to seven times more from a life settlement than what they would have received from surrendering it back to the insurance company. The conference opened with a panel discussing the vulnerability and risks that come along with any data breach in the life settlement industry, a poignant session in light of the recent worldwide ransomware attack. Attendees discussed the importance of responding to the “new normal” of cybersecurity threats and developing a sound cybersecurity program. The Panel also outlined the requirements established by the New York’s Cybersecurity Regulation, which makes life settlement providers, life settlement brokers and life agents subject to key compliance requirements in the event of a cybersecurity incident. In a timely follow-up session, David Souders addressed the coverage and pricing trends for data and privacy liability insurance. In one of the featured panel sessions, “Innovations in Life Expectancies,” Lori Austin and Brian Lanzrath discussed new and innovative strategies to estimate life expectancies, including technology tools that will help professionals to arrive at more accurate projections – such as a new data-driven approach that relies on prescription and clinical history database searches. “Attendees were thrilled to have a major laboratory such as ExamOne discuss innovations in the space,” said Bayston. Additional sessions discussed innovations in projecting Life Expectancies (LEs) and the impact of better LE data. A new study was also presented by Jiahua (Java) Xu, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, who traced the patterns of LE estimates in both secondary and tertiary markets by major medical underwriters and provided important results from her findings. The conference also included a “Regulator Panel” session that addressed a variety of issues potentially impacting the life settlement and life insurance businesses. The session included a discussion about proposed consumer disclosure regulations that would require life insurance companies to notify consumers of all of their options prior to lapsing or surrendering a policy. One of the panelists, Korey Harvey (Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Health, Life & Annuity at the Louisiana Department of Insurance), observed that “it would probably only be fair” if insurers were required to provide some sort of notification, just as life settlement companies are required to inform consumers of alternatives to selling a policy. Attendees also learned about practical strategies for addressing life settlement tax issues, such as taxation of transactions where the insured is terminally or chronically ill, possible tax consequences of retained death benefit transactions and long-term care funds, and the use of alternative structures to minimize the impact of taxation for life settlements funds. The event also featured the annual election of members of the LISA Board of Directors and officers of the LISA Board. Three members were elected to new three-year terms on the board: Alan Buerger; John Dallas; and John McFarland. The newly elected LISA officers are: Other board members continuing to serve terms to which they were previously elected include Dan Young, John Welcom and Cynthia Poveda. About the Life Insurance Settlement Association The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) is the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement Industry, with a current membership of more than 90 companies doing business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The mission of LISA is to promote the development, integrity and reputation of the life settlement industry, to advance the highest standards of practice and professional development for the industry, and to educate consumers and advisors about a life settlement as an alternative to lapse or surrender of a life insurance policy. For more information, visit www.lisa.org.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

Leading Life Settlements Company Discusses Policy Changes for Consumers to Increase their Awareness Life Insurance Settlements, Inc., the leading broker of life insurance settlements in the United States, is proud to have supported the successful effort to bring consumer disclosure to the company’s home state of Florida. The Florida state legislature passed a bill earlier this month that contains a key consumer disclosure requirement to protect Florida consumers who are considering making changes to a life insurance policy. The legislation, HB 1007, is a wide-ranging bill designed to combat insurer fraud in the state of Florida. Consumers have scored a victory in Florida, as they will now have a wider range of options available to them if they own a life insurance policy they no longer need or can no longer afford. The great majority of them will be hearing of the life settlement option for the very first time The Life Insurance Settlements Association (LISA) plans to work with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the Department of Financial Services to develop additional resources, including brochures for consumer policyholders who may be considering selling their policy instead of lapsing and/or surrendering, as well as helpful resources for professional insurance or financial advisors to discuss with their clients. For more information, call Life Insurance Settlements, Inc. at 866-326- 5433 or visit them online today at www.lisettlements.com. Life Insurance Settlements, Inc. is the leading source for life settlements. Their professional and experienced management team have been involved with brokering over 26,000 cases throughout their careers. An exceptional reputation has allowed them to maintain partnerships with a large number of funding entities on behalf of their clients. Based in the state of Florida, Life Insurance Settlements, Inc. has maintained an excellent, good-standing status in the state with the Florida Divisions of Corporations. To learn more or schedule a consultation, please visit http://www.lisettlements.com/.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

The incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Sweden has decreased sharply since the late 1990s. These are the findings of a study from Sahlgrenska Academy which included almost three million adult Swedes. In relative terms, the biggest winners are persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. "This is a huge improvement and a testament to the improvements in diabetes and cardiovascular care throughout Sweden," says Aidin Rawshani, medical doctor and doctoral student in molecular and clinical medicine. The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and deaths among individuals with diabetes in Sweden dropped significantly between 1998 and 2014. The population in general exhibited the same trend, albeit to a smaller extent. Among persons with type 1 diabetes, with an average age of 35 years, the incidence pf cardiovascular disease was reduced by 40 per cent during the period in question. In the control group of persons of similar age but without diabetes, the decrease was 10 per cent. Among individuals with type 2 diabetes, with an average age of 65 years, the incidence of cardiovascular disease decreased by 50 per cent. Among control persons of similar age without diabetes, the decrease was 30 per cent. "We were surprised by the results, specially for persons with diabetes. Some smaller studies in the past have indicated that numbers were improving, but nothing of this magnitude," says Aidin Rawshani. In total, approximately 2.96 million individuals were studied, of which 37,000 had type 1 diabetes and 460,000 had type 2 diabetes. The results of the study are based on linked processing of data from the National Diabetes Register, the Cause of Death Register and the part of the Patient register that concerns inpatient care. In addition to matching by age and gender, the groups that were compared were also matched geographically using register data from LISA (the longitudinal integration database for health insurance and labour market studies). The deaths that took place in the groups during the study period were almost exclusively related to cardiovascular disease. Individuals with diabetes have previously shown to suffer a risk of cardiovascular disease and early death that was between two and five times as high as in the general population. "One of the main findings of the study is that both deaths and the incidence of cardiovascular disease is decreasing in the population, both in matching control groups and among persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. One paradoxical finding is that individuals with type 2 diabetes have seen a smaller improvement over time regarding deaths compared to the controls, while persons with type 1 diabetes have made an equal improvement to the controls," notes Aidin Rawshani. The positive trends that have been observed in the study are most likely due to an increased use of preventative cardiovascular medicines, advances in the revascularisation of atherosclerotic disease and improved use of instruments for continual blood sugar monitoring, and the fact that Swedish diabetes care has generally worked well with good treatment guidelines and quality assurance efforts. "Out study and analysis does not include explanations of these trends, but we believe that it is a matter of better control of risk factors, better education patients, better integrated treatment systems for individuals with chronic illnesses and individual care for persons with diabetes. There is often an entire team working with a patient, ensuring that their needs are met," says Aidin Rawshani.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Scientists hope to take advantage of LISA Pathfinder's record-breaking sensitivity to acceleration to map out the distribution of tiny dust particles shed by asteroids and comets far from Earth.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Sweden has decreased sharply since the late 1990s. These are the findings of a study from Sahlgrenska Academy which included almost three million adult Swedes. In relative terms, the biggest winners are persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. "This is a huge improvement and a testament to the improvements in diabetes and cardiovascular care throughout Sweden," says Aidin Rawshani, medical doctor and doctoral student in molecular and clinical medicine. The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and deaths among individuals with diabetes in Sweden dropped significantly between 1998 and 2014. The population in general exhibited the same trend, albeit to a smaller extent. Among persons with type 1 diabetes, with an average age of 35 years, the incidence pf cardiovascular disease was reduced by 40 per cent during the period in question. In the control group of persons of similar age but without diabetes, the decrease was 10 per cent. Among individuals with type 2 diabetes, with an average age of 65 years, the incidence of cardiovascular disease decreased by 50 per cent. Among control persons of similar age without diabetes, the decrease was 30 per cent. "We were surprised by the results, specially for persons with diabetes. Some smaller studies in the past have indicated that numbers were improving, but nothing of this magnitude," says Aidin Rawshani. In total, approximately 2.96 million individuals were studied, of which 37,000 had type 1 diabetes and 460,000 had type 2 diabetes. The results of the study are based on linked processing of data from the National Diabetes Register, the Cause of Death Register and the part of the Patient register that concerns inpatient care. In addition to matching by age and gender, the groups that were compared were also matched geographically using register data from LISA (the longitudinal integration database for health insurance and labour market studies). The deaths that took place in the groups during the study period were almost exclusively related to cardiovascular disease. Individuals with diabetes have previously shown to suffer a risk of cardiovascular disease and early death that was between two and five times as high as in the general population. "One of the main findings of the study is that both deaths and the incidence of cardiovascular disease is decreasing in the population, both in matching control groups and among persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. One paradoxical finding is that individuals with type 2 diabetes have seen a smaller improvement over time regarding deaths compared to the controls, while persons with type 1 diabetes have made an equal improvement to the controls," notes Aidin Rawshani. The positive trends that have been observed in the study are most likely due to an increased use of preventative cardiovascular medicines, advances in the revascularisation of atherosclerotic disease and improved use of instruments for continual blood sugar monitoring, and the fact that Swedish diabetes care has generally worked well with good treatment guidelines and quality assurance efforts. "Out study and analysis does not include explanations of these trends, but we believe that it is a matter of better control of risk factors, better education patients, better integrated treatment systems for individuals with chronic illnesses and individual care for persons with diabetes. There is often an entire team working with a patient, ensuring that their needs are met," says Aidin Rawshani.


After a lengthy period of delays, the European Space Agency (ESA) has finally announced that its Laser Interferometer Space Antenna mission (LISA, for short) is ready to begin — though it won’t actually launch till 2034. LISA is a space observatory that’s designed to measure gravitational waves, tiny ripples in the underlying fabric of the universe, caused by the motions of massive objects. Gravitational waves were first hypothesized by Albert Einstein way back in 1915, but they were only detected for the first time by the ground-based LIGO system in 2015. “They’re a brand-new way of seeing the universe and extremely exciting,” Professor Mark McCaughrean, senior advisor for Science and Exploration at ESA, told Digital Trends. “Measuring gravitational waves from space will enable us to see whole new kinds of phenomena that can’t be seen by LIGO. For example, LISA will be able to see gravitational waves caused when two supermassive black holes, each perhaps millions of times more massive than our sun, spiral around each other and merge. This can happen when galaxies collide, and by observing these black hole mergers, we can learn about the history of galaxy evolution over the 13.8 billion history of the universe.” LISA is actually three separate spacecraft in a triangle, each separated by roughly 2 million kilometers. The spacecraft are linked by high-powered lasers, and by accurately measuring the changes in distances between one another, they’ll be able to detect the gravitational waves as they sweep through the solar system. While 2034 is still a long way off, though, McCaughrean said that plenty needs to be done between now and then. “We still need to develop the telescopes and high-powered lasers that will link the spacecraft over 2 million kilometers along, and then we need to build and test the three very complicated spacecraft,” he said. “None of this will be easy, and such missions often take decades to put together. It’s also a question of money: We’re already building several other very exciting scientific space missions, including one which will be launched to Mercury next year called BepiColombo; one that’ll go close to the Sun called Solar Orbiter; one to measure the influence of dark matter and dark energy in the universe called Euclid; two to discover planets going around other stars called CHEOPS and PLATO; a mission to Jupiter and its icy moons called JUICE; and a new large X-ray observatory called Athena. Even in the best case, it’ll take us until 2030 to get the technology fully together and built. Working in space requires a lot of hard work and patience, and even though I’ll be retired by the time LISA flies, you can be very sure that I’ll be watching on with huge interest when it finally flies.” Between projects like this, NASA designing futuristic chainmail for space missions, 3D printing on the International Space Station, and pretty much everything Elon Musk is doing with SpaceX, it certainly seems like we’re living on the cusp of a great era in space exploration.

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