NU Online News Service, July 12, 12:35 p.m. – The New York State Insurance Department says life insurers have a legal obligation when they receive death claims to consider the possibility that they may have issued two or more policies to the same individual.

Searching for additional policies can be difficult, Jeffrey Angelo, a department deputy chief, acknowleges in a recent circular letter.

“Some insurers may not have captured older policy information in their computer databases,” Angelo writes. “Many policies were issued before Social Security numbers became widely used.”

But, when insurers find out that additional policies do exist, they must notify the policy owner, if the owner is different from the insured, and also notify the beneficiaries, Angelo writes.