. – The Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today announced that Kentucky has become the 20th regulatory jurisdiction to sign the multi-agency, multi-state life claims settlement agreement
with Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates (Prudential). CFO Jeff Atwater of the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Attorney General Pam Bondi of the Office of the Attorney General (AG), and the Office of Insurance Regulation jointly conducted the investigation on behalf of Florida.
Florida was one of seven lead investigatory states to initially sign the agreement; the signatures from an additional 13 regulatory jurisdictions were required to make the agreement effective.
“I am encouraged by the fact that other state regulatory officials have quickly added their signatures to make the agreement official,” said Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. “Fully implementing this agreement will help safeguard Florida’s policyholders and their beneficiaries.”
The Office first announced the agreement in a press release
dated February 2, 2012, which involved the industry’s use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master List. Insurers are required to investigate claims and to turn over unclaimed funds to the unclaimed property bureau.
The national $17 million settlement with Prudential will be divided among all participating regulatory jurisdictions. The final distribution amounts for each regulatory jurisdiction will be determined after March 31; however, Florida expects to receive in excess of $1 million to be distributed equally among the Office of Insurance Regulation, the Department of Financial Services (DFS), and the Attorney General’s (AG) office.
The lead investigatory states were Florida, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and North Dakota. The additional 13 regulatory jurisdictions to sign the agreement to date include Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
In early 2011, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) formed the Investigation of Life/Annuities Claim Settlement Practices Task Force (chaired by Commissioner McCarty) to guide the multistate examination process. In May 2011, public hearings were conducted on this issue in Florida and California. John Hancock Life Insurance Company reached a similar agreement
with the Office, DFS and the AG in May 2011.