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A00023
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
152
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY M. QUINN, DeLUCA, PICKETT, BARRAR, BIZZARRO,
CALTAGIRONE, DAVIDSON, DAVIS, DOWLING, DRISCOLL, FLYNN,
GAINEY, HELM, LONGIETTI, MURT, O'NEILL, PASHINSKI, READSHAW,
WARD, WATSON AND MATZIE, JANUARY 23, 2017
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON INSURANCE, JANUARY 23, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Title 40 (Insurance) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in general provisions, providing for life insurance
database.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 40 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
ยง 102. Life insurance database.
(a) Contact information.--The following shall apply
regarding contact information:
(1) The department or its designee shall maintain an
electronic database of contact information for each life
insurer that has life insurance policies or annuity contracts
in force in this Commonwealth.
(2) All life insurers, including those insurers under
Article XXIV of the act of May 17, 1921 (P.L.682, No.284),
known as The Insurance Company Law of 1921, having a life
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insurance policy or annuity contract in force in this
Commonwealth shall provide and maintain with the department
or its designee a valid e-mail address to which the
department or its designee may send the requests received
under this act.
(b) Who may request search.--
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the following may file
with the department or its designee a request to conduct a
search for life insurance policies or annuity contracts
covering a decedent:
(i) A member of the decedent's family who has
requested and obtained a copy of the decedent's death
certificate.
(ii) An executor or administrator of the decedent's
estate.
(2) A request to conduct a search may occur only if:
(i) the decedent was a resident or former resident
of this Commonwealth; and
(ii) the request is accompanied by a copy of the
decedent's death certificate.
(3) The right to file a request to conduct a search may
not be assigned.
(c) Submittal of search request.--
(1) The department or its designee shall transmit a
request to conduct a search to all life insurers having life
insurance policies or annuity contracts in force in this
Commonwealth along with information necessary for responding
directly to the person filing the request.
(2) The information submitted to insurers must be on a
standardized form or the search requests must be available to
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the life insurers on the secure website of the department or
its designee.
(d) Good faith efforts.--
(1) In response to a search request under this section,
each insurer shall in good faith examine its books and
records to determine whether the decedent is covered by a
life insurance policy or annuity contract. Upon a finding
that coverage does exist, the insurer shall directly notify
the person filing the request beneficiary or beneficiaries to
whom the benefits are due .
(2) Within 90 days of receiving the search request from
the department or its designee, the insurer shall complete
good faith efforts to confirm the death of the insured,
annuity contract holder or retained assets account holder
against other available records and information. The efforts
shall be documented by the insurer and determine whether
benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or
contract.
(e) Beneficiary claim.--If, as a result of the search under
this section, benefits are due, the insurer shall:
(1) Use good faith efforts to locate each beneficiary.
The efforts shall be documented by the insurer.
(2) Provide the appropriate claims forms or instructions
to each beneficiary to make a claim, including instructions
on the need to provide an official death certificate, if
applicable under the policy or contract.
(f) General procedure.--An insurer under this section shall
implement procedures to account for all of the following:
(1) Common nicknames, initials used in lieu of a first
or middle name, use of a middle name, compound first and
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middle names and interchanged first and middle names.
(2) Compound last names, maiden or married names and
hyphens, blank spaces or apostrophes in last names.
(3) Transposition of the month and date portions of the
date of birth.
(4) An incomplete Social Security number.
(g) Fees.--
(1) The department may charge a fee of $10 for each
search request processed through the database.
(2) The department may develop and implement an
electronic payment system that may be used regarding search
requests.
(3) Beginning one year after the effective date of this
section, the department shall have authority to increase the
fee charged. The fee increase may not exceed:
(i) an annual cost-of-living adjustment as
calculated by applying the percentage increase in the
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for
the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland area
for the most recent 12-month period for which figures
have been officially reported by the United States
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; and
(ii) twenty percent annually.
(h) Rules and regulations.--The department may promulgate
rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of
this section.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017, or
immediately, whichever is later.
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