NU Online News Service, Oct. 12, 8:45 a.m. – Insurance companies and associations have started announcing plans to raise funds to help with disaster relief efforts related to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, Minn., says it has already presented a $259,142 donation to the American Red Cross, to aid the victims of the attacks and their families.

That donation was made through a Disaster Relief Fund initiated by the company’s employee council, the insurer says. It comprises voluntary employee donations, matches from Allianz Life, a $10,000 Allianz Life donation and funds previously earmarked for the employees’ annual holiday party.

The insurer’s parent company, Allianz AG of Munich, Germany, says it will provide matching funds, bringing the total donated to $518,000.

Separately, Allianz AG and its affiliate, Dresdner Bank, have made corporate contributions totaling $1.9 million and have set up an account for donations by 170,000 employees of other subsidiaries and affiliates in 70 countries.

Producer organizations are jumping into the relief fund effort as well. For example, the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation, Park Ridge, Ill., and the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, Va., both recently announced they have established funds to help attack victims and families.

The MDRT Disaster Relief Fund is inviting contributions by its own members and staff, life insurance companies, financial service professionals and friends of the industry. The MDRT Foundation says it will match, dollar for dollar, the cumulative contributions, up to a total of $100,000.

NAILBA’s Disaster Relief Fund is starting with a NAILBA commitment of $10,000, plus the association will provide up to $50,000 in dollar-for-dollar matches with contributions from its 300 member agencies. NAILBA says it is also is “challenging” its carrier and vendor supporters to contribute–by making seed contributions and, wherever possible, matching any member agency donation to the NAILBA Fund.

Member donations are tax deductible, NAILBA says.

The MDRT Fund contributions will be applied directly to a variety of organizations that support relief efforts in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, says a MDRT statement. For more details, visit www.mdrt.org or call 847-692-6378.

NAILBA says donations to its fund should be made payable to one of several identified relief organizations, not NAILBA directly. (The specified groups are: The New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund; Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund; Robin Hood Relief Fund; American Red Cross; Survivors Fund of the National Capital Area; and New York City Police and Fire Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund.) For more information, call 703-610-9020 or email Joe Normandy at jnormandy@nailba.org.