Friday, June 7, 2013
ACLI Statement on California Unclaimed Property Group Settlement
Washington, D.C. (June 7, 2013)—The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is pleased to see an agreement reached between California and 11 leading life insurers. This will result in greater numbers of beneficiaries receiving their life insurance benefits, and prompt “escheating” of funds to the states when heirs cannot be found. It is a positive outcome for all concerned.
ACLI would like to stress that life insurers adhere to the letter and spirit of all laws and regulations pertaining to unclaimed life insurance benefits. For more than 200 years, life insurers have been committed to keeping their promises to consumers who look to the industry for their financial and retirement security needs. In 2011, life insurance companies validated this commitment by paying more than $7 billion in life insurance benefits in California. In each of the three years preceding 2011, life insurers paid out approximately $7 billion annually in death benefits in the state. (2012 data unavailable).
The fact is, the vast majority of claims made for benefits are paid promptly – in the normal course of business.
Unclaimed life insurance benefits represent a very small percentage of total claims paid. But life insurers operating in California and throughout the nation know the percentages represent real people and historically, if those consumers did not come forward, unpaid claims were and continue to be paid to the states as unclaimed property per the current state laws. Many companies are using new technology to take proactive measures to locate missing policyholders and the industry is working with regulators and lawmakers on new ways to help ensure all beneficiaries get the benefits they are due.
The ACLI and its members also support state lost policy locator programs, such as those in Missouri, Louisiana, New York and Ohio. These programs help consumers search for deceased family members’ life insurance policies. To help consumers keep track of their life insurance policies, ACLI has developed My Insurance Log to help consumers maintain a file of important information about their life insurance policies and other relevant matters so it is readily available, now and in the future.
The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association with more than 300 member companies operating in the United States and abroad. ACLI advocates in federal, state, and international forums for public policy that supports the industry marketplace and the 75 million American families that rely on life insurers’ products for financial and retirement security. ACLI members offer life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care and disability income insurance, and reinsurance, representing more than 90 percent of industry assets and premiums. Learn more at www.acli.com.
Date Posted: June 7, 2013
Document ID: NR13-021