11/30/2016 1:35:02 PM
For Immediate Release:
SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that Minnesotans now have access to a new online service they can use to help locate lost life insurance policies or annuity contracts that belonged to a deceased family member.
“Many people don’t know where to begin when searching for a lost life insurance policy or annuity,” said Rothman, whose agency regulates the insurance industry in the state. “This new tool streamlines and simplifies the process to connect people with the benefits owed to them.”
Developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the free Life Insurance Policy Locator allows individuals who believe they are beneficiaries, executors or legal representatives of a deceased person to submit a search request for life insurance policies and annuities. The online request is encrypted and secured for confidentiality.
Participating insurers will compare a submitted request with available policyholder information. When there is a match, an insurance company will directly contact the beneficiaries or their authorized representatives. It can take up to 90 business days for a response; there will be a response only if a company finds relevant information.
Access to the online service is available through the NAIC at locator.naic.org or through the Commerce Department website at mn.gov/commerce.
During the past five years, the Minnesota Commerce Department has investigated the failure of life insurance companies to pay life insurance and annuity benefits owed to beneficiaries.
To date, the Commerce Department has reached settlements with nine major life insurers to reform their claims and payment practices. As a result, at least $143 million in claims owed on Minnesota policies have been paid directly to beneficiaries. An additional $31 million owed to beneficiaries who could not be located has been transferred to unclaimed property programs in Minnesota and other states, which hold the funds in trust until claimed by the rightful owners or their heirs.
These nine insurance companies have also made a total of $12.6 million in settlement payments to the State of Minnesota. Investigations of additional insurance companies are ongoing.
“I urge Minnesotans to make sure their life insurance companies have up-to-date contact information for themselves as well as their beneficiaries,” said Rothman. “Many people are never told they are named as beneficiaries in life insurance policies, so they often have no idea an insurance payment is owed to them.”
Commerce is here to help
Contact the Minnesota Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | firstname.lastname@example.org