Several companies are currently lobbying against the passing of the law in American Congress.
A number of Dutch insurers have been fervently and determinedly lobbying U.S. Congress in order to discourage them from passing the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act.
According to recent reports, some of the largest insurers have joined together in this effort.
The Dutch companies that are working together include ING, Aegon, and the Dutch Association of Insurers, among others. According to De Telegraaf, a daily newspaper in Amsterdam, they have “lobbied jointly dozens of times” against a number of different versions of the bill for the Holocaust Insurance Act.
Should the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act pass, it would give survivors new legal rights.
If the Holocaust Insurance Act does pass Congress, then the survivors of that horrific time and circumstance would be able to individually file civil action suits against certain insurers. This bill is nothing new, in that it has been reintroduced several times over the years, only to be held off repeatedly.
Also called the Tom Lantos Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act, this most recent version of the bill has been created specifically to allow holocaust survivors to be able to pursue unpaid insurance claims by filing lawsuits against insurers who have refused to pay. Furthermore, it would also force the companies that have been sued to have to release a complete list of policies from that time that have remained unpaid.
Longtime supporter of the bill, Rep Ileana Ros-Lehitinen (R-FL), will be reintroducing the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act within the next few weeks. At the moment, American survivors aren’t permitted to file individual suits due to court rulings that have stated that they must have their claims settled through federal government talks.
The reports in De Telegraaf have said that the Dutch insurers that are working to stop the Holocaust Insurance Act are basing their efforts on documents and figures that were published on the Center for Responsive Politics website. That site is a nongovernmental organization that “tracks money in U.S. politics.” A spokesperson for the lobbyists stated that it isn’t that the companies aren’t willing to pay, but that “the bill does more harm than good. There are good mechanisms in place for evaluating claims and the bill would just mean more money for lawyers.”