New York regulators have said that by July 10, the nationwide investigation has already been very successful.
According to regulators in New York, the investigations that have been going on nationwide have already resulted in the recovery of over $1.1 billion in unclaimed life insurance benefits.
Previously, insurers had not been using available lists in order to discover recent deaths that had occurred.
The Department of Financial Services in New York explained that many life insurance companies were failing to consult with the Social Security Administration lists of recent deaths in order to discover whether or not their policyholders were still living. Therefore, if family members were not aware of a policy, did not know with which company the policy was held, or if they forgot to file their claim, then there would not be a payout from that policy.
Regulators have since directed life insurance companies to use the master file from Social Security.
According to those New York regulators, since that time, the life insurance providers have investigated their unclaimed policies using that Social Security list, and have discovered a large number of payments that needed to be made. Governor Andrew Cuomo explained that the investigators from the state are working with the insurers to help them to find the beneficiaries and to make payments to approximately 100,000 people across the country, so far.
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That figure included over 25,000 people in New York State, alone. The oldest payment that was made was on a policy from a death that occurred back in 1960.
Among the $1.15 billion that have been recovered so far, the beneficiaries – or their heirs – have not yet been found for $339 million worth of payments. The money that has gone unclaimed will be held until claims are made by the beneficiaries in order to receive it.
Cuomo explained from a prepared statement that “Going forward, we will continue these efforts to ensure consumers get every single penny they are entitled to.” Officials in New York have worked with the life insurance companies to create an online lost policy finding tool at NYPolicyFinder.com, where residents of the state can check to see if they might be a beneficiary of an unpaid policy.