California life insurer’s under investigation

Ten of California’s largest life insurance companies have come under investigation by state regulators for their handling of dormant policies. The ten are the latest in a sleuth of insurance companies nationwide that have been accused of withholding benefits from a policyholder’s family upon their death. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, along with State Controller John Chiang, will be leading the investigation. “The goal is to determine whether the insurance industry has engaged in unfair practices,” says Jones. The state’s probes uncovered some troubling information throughout the state, much of which…

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Unclaimed billions from life benefits…who will get it?

Lawmakers in the U.S. are battling over billions of dollars in unclaimed life insurance benefits. A number of states have stepped into the legal arena, hoping to lay claim to the money. Technically, the money belongs to beneficiaries, but states have laws that impose statutes on how long benefits can go unclaimed. The money presents an enticing opportunity for states that have dangerously thin wallets. California, in particular, has been aggressive in their pursuit of these funds. The state, after meandering through the legal process, is now pressuring insurance companies…

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California insurance bill addresses health premium rate hikes

Lawmakers in California are pushing a new bill that would grant the state’s insurance regulators the authority to either reject or approve rate increases imposed on health insurance policies. The issue of rate hikes is not a new one in California. Several months ago, some of the state’s biggest insurers proposed rate increases by as much as 40%. The debate raged until the insurers withdrew their proposals, but the turbulence left many legislators wondering where the decision making power for these issues should lie. The bill caused division within the…

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