New Unclaimed Property Law Helps to Return More Life Insurance Benefits to Floridians
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today announced that Florida is the first state in the nation to implement comprehensive legislation requiring life insurance companies to search the United States Social Security Death Master File (DMF) and compare the records of current life insurance policies and those going back to January 1, 1992, when trying to find beneficiaries of a life insurance benefit. Senate Bill 966, signed today by Governor Scott, will give Floridians more protections of their life insurance benefits and provide life insurance companies with a standardized methodology for locating beneficiaries.
"This is a monumental win for the state of Florida in addressing an inequitable industry-wide claims practice in the life insurance industry that was uncovered more than five years ago. Through the joint efforts of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and my Office, we have returned more than $500 million to Florida beneficiaries and the state’s unclaimed property program. Today’s new law makes sure all life insurance companies doing business in Florida will abide by the same guidelines in their searches for beneficiaries, meaning more life insurance benefits will be discovered and returned to their rightful owners where they belong. I thank Governor Scott for signing this bill and the Florida Legislature for unanimously passing this important piece of legislation," said Kevin M. McCarty, Florida’s Insurance Commissioner.
Florida led the multistate examination process that was coordinated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life/Annuities Claim Settlement Practices Task Force. The other lead states included California, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. For more information regarding the multi-agency, multi-state life claim settlement agreements, visit the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s “Life Claim Settlement Practices” webpage. For consumers who wish to search the CFO’s unclaimed property database, visit: www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE/(850) 413-3089.