Vera is an epidemiologist with over 30 years of experience in the life and health insurance industries. She is one of the leading mortality experts in the life insurance industry. She writes underwriting manuals and policy and procedure manuals for life and health insurance companies.
Vera has testified in both state and federal court, and has been retained in over 150 cases since 2006 for plaintiffs and defense on an equal basis. She is very credible testifying in deposition and on the stand.
* Life expectancies that are personalized and accurate to the standards of the life insurance and life settlement industries. Addresses the cases when life expectancies that are simply taken from a life table or estimated by a doctor, actuary or biostatistician are too long, too short, insufficient or not credible. Addresses the cases when a complete insight into the individual's medical conditions and/or personal history of high-risk behaviors is needed to assist the judge or jury in their decision. This information often decides the case, see publication for details.
* Expert in bad faith/wrongful denial of life/health insurance claims.
* Expert in life/health insurance underwriting material misrepresentation.
* Expert in medical risk assessment and underwriting issues.
* Expert in life insurance underwriting policies and procedures.
* Expert in epidemiology. Previous cases include infectious diseases, occupational and environmental exposures, pesticides and tobacco.
* Approved life expectancy expert with the U.S. Department of Justice.
* Active consultant to the life insurance industry conducting cohort mortality studies, and writing underwriting and policy and procedure manuals.
* Over 100 articles published on mortality research and underwriting.
* Friendly, clear, concise, objective and quantitative.
* There is no charge for the initial phone consultation.
* There is no charge for travel time.
Areas of Expertise
- Actuary - Actuarial
- Bad Faith
- Health/Medical/Disability Insurance
- Insurance Customs & Practices
- Life Care Planning
- Life Insurance
- Medical Insurance
- Personal Injury
- Structured Settlements
- Wrongful Death
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: MSPH University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Epidemiology, 1981
BA The Johns Hopkins University, Public Health, 1979
FALU Fellow of the Academy of Life Underwriting, 1998
ELS Editor in the Life Sciences, 2003
- Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
- A: Association of Home Office Underwriters
Canadian Institute of Underwriters
American Academy of Insurance Medicine
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: “Life Expectancy for Litigation” Collegium of Pecuniary Damage Experts, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 31, 2017
“Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentencing and Resentencing Case Update” CLE presentation (4.5 hours, course no. 168516), University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina, December 16, 2016
“Isolated Hematuria: What Is the Risk?” Northern California Life Insurance Association, Walnut Creek, California, May 10, 2012
“Positive Cocaine Tests and Mortality” Northern California Life Insurance Association, Berkeley, California, September 17, 2009
“Actuaries and Public Health: From Analysis to Action” Society of Actuaries Health Spring Meeting, Los Angeles, California, May 28, 2008, with Grady Catterall and Dana Goldman
“Research Results: Potential Impact of a Pandemic on the U.S. Health Insurance System” Society of Actuaries Health Spring Meeting, Los Angeles, California, May 28, 2008, with Jim Toole and Jim Walbridge
“How the World Has Changed, and How Medical Underwriting Will Benefit Your Applicants and Your Companies’ Bottom Line” Annual Product Development Actuary Symposium, Denver, Colorado, June 26, 2007, with Robert L. Stout
“Non-Underwritten Life Products – Do They Work?” Annual Product Development Actuary Symposium, Denver, Colorado, June 25, 2007, with Jack Simon
“Pandemics and Extreme Events” Actuarial Society of Greater New York Annual Meeting, New York City, New York, November 9, 2006, with Janet Carstens
“Underwriting Simplified Issue Life Insurance Products” Group Underwriting Association of America, San Diego, California, October 31, 2006, with Ernie Testa
"The Life Settlements Market” Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, October 18, 2006, with Tony Duscio and Jay Vadiveloo
“Preparing for Extreme Events” Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, October 18, 2006, with Janet Carstens and Max Rudolph
“Pandemic Exposure and Risk Management Strategies in Asia as Compared to the United States” Society of Actuaries Life Spring Meeting, Hollywood, Florida, May 24, 2006, with Ronald Klein
“Current Trends in Distribution Channels: New Underwriting for a New Millennium” Society of Actuaries Life Spring Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 23, 2005, with Jim McArdle and Ernie Testa
“Gynecologic and Obstetric Disorders” Institute of Caribbean Home Office Underwriters, Almond Beach Resort, Barbados, September 14, 2004
“Sleep Dysfunction and Disorders” Institute of Caribbean Home Office Underwriters, Almond Beach Resort, Barbados, September 13, 2004
“Sleep Dysfunction and Disorders” Western Home Office Underwriters Association, Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 3, 2004
“Nail a Front Door on Your Back Room” Social Enterprise Alliance, San Francisco, California, March 5, 2004, with David Allburn and Russ Combs
“Multiple Sclerosis” Northern California Life Insurance Association, Emeryville, California, October 22, 2003
“Post-Stroke Morbidity” Northern California Life Insurance Association, San Rafael, California, March 21, 2001
“Variable Life Insurance – The New Frontier!” National Association of Variable Annuities, Palm Beach, Florida, November 6, 2000, with Mark Daley
"Analysis of Profitability by Customer: Banking Case Study" Society of Actuaries, Orlando, Florida, June 19, 1997, with Rex Atwood and Nancy Church
"Establishing Underwriting Guidelines Using General Population Data" International Underwriting Congress, Mexico City, Mexico, February 25, 1997, with Rick Bergstrom
"They Came for AIDS; They Stayed for Liver" Society of Actuaries, Orlando, Florida, October 28, 1996, with Rick Bergstrom and Hank George
"Detecting and Evaluating Marital Violence" Western Home Office Underwriters Association, Squaw Valley, California, June 9, 1995
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: No
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Over 150 cases
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Life expectancy calculations, bad faith/wrongful denial of life/health insurance claims, life/health insurance underwriting material misrepresentation, epidemiologist
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: 50% by plaintiff
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: 50% by defense
- Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
- A: 20
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: January 11, 2019. Last trial was February 21, 2018.
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: 13
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: 13
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: Since 2006
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: Case investigation, consulting, document review and analysis, literature review and analysis, data statistics and analysis, reports, testimony, life expectancy calculations
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: $350 per hour. First telephone consultation is free.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: $350 per hour.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: $350 per hour
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: $350 per hour
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: There is no charge for travel time.
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