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When your life insurance gets sick

Some firms use complex financial manoeuvres to pay hefty shareholder dividends

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Jo Ann Sparks, with her parents Sara and James Cook, who were forced to drop a life insurance policy they paid into for 25 years after massive premium increases.

New York

LIKE clockwork, Sara and James Cook paid US$452 a month for life insurance. That is, until a letter arrived last year telling the elderly Georgia couple the premiums on the policy they'd had for 25 years were rising sharply.

They held a universal life policy, a popular

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