December 16, 2013
Missouri will receive more than $115,000 in two multistate insurance settlements
Insurance companies will make business reforms to benefit policyholders and beneficiaries
Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Insurance has reached a settlement with Midland National and Aviva after examinations into their handling of life insurance and annuity benefits. Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff announced that as part of two multistate settlements, Missouri will receive $82,011 from Aviva and $36,455 from Midland National.
The settlement was reached after a multistate market-conduct examination reviewed how these companies identified and paid beneficiaries of life insurance policies and annuities. The settlements include Midland National Life Insurance Company and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, Aviva Life and Annuity Company and Aviva Life and Annuity Company of New York, and First Allmerica Financial Life Insurance Company and Presidential Life Insurance Company - USA.
"Life insurance companies have an obligation to pay benefits to their policyholders when they die, and that requires doing everything they can to learn of the death and pay beneficiaries," Huff said. "With this agreement, these insurance companies will do everything they can in a timely manner to locate beneficiaries and pay life insurance claims."
The companies are required to implement business reforms that will promote a timely and efficient search for beneficiaries by using the Social Security Death Master File to match the names of their insureds and annuitants against the death master files.
Last month, the department announced a similar settlement of $179,916 with New York Life. The department also announced a $360,216 settlement in October with Transamerica Life Co. for similar business practices. Since the beginning of 2009, the Department of Insurance's Market Conduct Section has recovered more than $17 million in refunds and fines.
The Department of Insurance offers a Life Policy Locator service that helps consumers find lost life insurance policies or annuity contracts purchased in Missouri. Once consumers submit a form to the department a search for policies of deceased loved ones is done from licensed life insurers in Missouri. If the policy is located, the insurance company will notify beneficiaries.
Consumers who would like to use the Life Policy Locator service, or who have complaints or general questions about life and other types of insurance, can call the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.