Monday, April 18, 2016
Life Insurers Support National Standard on Unclaimed Benefits
ACLI Supports All States Adopting Unclaimed Benefits Standard
American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Governor Dirk Kempthorne issued the following statement on the industry’s support for national standards on unclaimed life insurance benefits:
Washington, D.C. (April 18, 2016) – “The life insurance industry is proud of its long history of honoring its obligations to policyholders. In the past ten years alone, insurers have paid more than $600 billion to beneficiaries of life insurance policies.
“State insurance departments strictly regulate the life insurance claims payment process. The states also have well-established laws delineating when unclaimed life insurance benefits default to the government.
“In a small percentage of cases, life insurance benefits go unclaimed because family members are unaware that they are listed as beneficiaries in existing policies. Life insurers want everyone to receive the benefits to which they are entitled rather than paying unpaid benefits to state governments. That is why the American Council of Life Insurers has advocated since 2012 for state legislatures to adopt a national standard on the issue. Twenty states have enacted laws based on this standard that requires all life insurers to use new technologies to identify policyholders who have died but whose beneficiaries have yet to make a claim. ACLI is urging all states to adopt this standard no later than the end of 2017.
“The legislation requires companies to regularly compare their records against the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to quickly connect people to the benefits they are entitled to receive. All life insurers are complying with the law. Most companies are going well beyond what current laws require to identify policyholders who have died, locate beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance and help them initiate the claims process.
“Life insurers also support the implementation in all states of lost policy finder programs. Through these programs, consumers who believe their loved ones may have had a life insurance policy can submit a request to all life insurers doing business in the state to search their records. Programs have been established by insurance departments in 15 states, and more are in development.”
To read more about ACLI’s position on unclaimed benefits and to learn how beneficiaries can access unclaimed policies, visit our FAQ [here].
The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association with approximately 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: April 18, 2016
Document ID: NR16-017