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Some Soldiers To Get Premium Refunds

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Georgia insurance regulators say a Waco, Texas, insurer has agreed to refund $1.3 million in life premiums paid by some soldiers trained at Fort Benning, Ga.[@@]

The insurer, American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas, is making the refunds in response to a request by Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

Oxendine’s office began investigating American-Amicable in 2004, after allegations surfaced that some American-Amicable agents identified themselves as independent financial advisors while selling insurance to soldiers in training, officials say.

American-Amicable will issue refunds to 901 soldiers at Fort Benning who bought Horizon Life term life insurance policies while they were in a training brigade in 2002, officials say. American-Amicable is supposed to notify the soldiers about their eligibility for refunds by mail, but a soldier can ask for a refund without having a formal notice form, officials say.

Refunds will include lapsed or terminated Horizon Life policies as well as those currently in force, officials say.

“American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas is pleased that the Georgia Department of Insurance and Commissioner Oxendine have finalized the process by which refunds will be offered to certain policyholders that purchased policies while in training at Fort Benning in 2002,” American-Amicable says in a statement about the refund agreement. “Our desire is to responsibly respond to policyholders desiring a refund to ensure that the process is timely and effective.”

Oxendine says the agreement does not resolve his investigation.

“Our investigation will continue and will address other concerns with sales practices by this company at Fort Benning and at other Georgia military bases,” Oxendine says in a statement about the refunds.