US law firm Emerson Scott has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all owners of Athena Universal Life II policies issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA) that were subjected to a cost of insurance rate increase announced by AXA on or about 15 October 2015.

This case is on behalf of insureds or policy holders or owners with AXA universal life insurance policies who had sudden increases in their monthly deductions withdrawn from accumulation accounts and/or were hit with premium bills that increased massively and unexpectedly.

According to the law firm, the plaintiffs allege this class action brought against AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company arises due to the sudden unilateral action by AXA of massively increasing plaintiffs’ premiums and falsely stating that the increase was permitted by the policy terms

The plaintiffs also allege AXA’s real reason for the premium increase was to subsidise its cost of meeting its interest guarantee, to recoup past losses on the policies and on its investment portfolio, and to make the polices more profitable by inducing policy terminations by those policyholders who could not afford the increase.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages and equitable relief to reverse this massive increase in premiums either through monthly deductions withdrawn from their accounts each month or premium billings.