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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 4, 2015 03:03 PM
From: Representative Marguerite Quinn
To: All House members
Subject: Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits
In an effort to ensure that beneficiaries are made aware of any unclaimed life insurance benefits, I am introducing legislation which will require insurance companies to compare in-force life insurance policies with the U.S. Social Security Death Master file and identify matches.

Some insurance companies have been using the Social Security Death Master file in the annuity side of their business, so they know when to stop paying, but not on the life insurance side of their business, when the company needs to pay. This asymmetrical use of the Social Security Death Master File has resulted in a series of multi-state settlement agreements. Pennsylvania has been one of the lead states involving the claim settlement practices of some of the nation’s largest life insurers, but these settlements do not ensure consistent business practices in the future.

My proposal would require insurance companies to match Death Master File records, or an equally comprehensive service, with in-force life insurance policies on a semiannual basis. It also calls for timely effort by an insurance company to confirm a policyholder’s death, locate any beneficiaries, and provide claims forms or instructions. In the event that benefits go unclaimed, the legislation provides clear procedures for life insurance companies to notify Pennsylvania’s Treasury Department and escheat the funds, per our state’s unclaimed property laws.

It is not uncommon for the beneficiary of life insurance policy to be unaware that a policy is in place. The beneficiaries deserve to receive that money in a timely fashion, not years later when it may have lapsed into Unclaimed Benefits.

I would appreciate your co-sponsorship of this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1403