Various Disputes

Stall Payment Of

Holocaust Claims

By

A commitment to advance payment of unpaid insurance claims of Holocaust survivors continues to be stymied by questions over development of lists of eligible policyholders, says Nat Shapo, Illinois insurance director.

Shapo, who is heading up insurance regulatory efforts of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to make sure that insurance claims are honored, says a recent meeting with International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims and the German Foundation in mid-December produced a clearer understanding of outstanding issues, but little progress.

For Shapo, the issue of paying claims is “fundamental. It goes to the heart of insurance regulation and the insurance business.”

He cites outstanding issues: making lists public, auditing claims procedures, and reimbursing insurance companies for expenses that would otherwise be used to pay survivors’ claims. A proposal is currently being advocated to divert $76 million to cover company expenses.

The independence and transparency of audits are also at issue, he says.

“The very credibility of this process involved the publication of lists and the audits of companies,” according to Shapo.

Negotiations are proceeding on the lists, but there are still major divergences on the issues of audits and reimbursing companies on costs, he says.

Shapo asserts that negotiations have been under way for a while and that they can’t continue indefinitely. He added that he hopes progress can be made by mid-February.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, December 24, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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