A recent multistate market conduct exam of USAA found that the insurer properly used the Death Master File database for more than a decade.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department sent a call letter in December 2012 informing USAA that a multistate targeted market conduct examination had been called to evaluate its claims handling practices, use of the DMF, application of the DMF to its life insurance business, and its annuities business. The purpose of the exam was to determine if USAA’s practices conformed with the standards in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Unfair Trade Practices Act and the NAIC Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Model Act.
The exam was conducted on a description and verification basis. Examiners submitted questions to USAA then sought to validate the insurer’s representations.
The exam found USAA began using the DMF for purposes other than marketing in 1999. It used a subscription of monthly DMF updates to match against its member database. Lists of potentially deceased members were then investigated by various USAA departments. If the company found benefits might be owed, it sent a condolence package to verify the reported death and begin the claims process. The company switched to a weekly matching process in 2007.
“I commend USAA for being an industry leader in its use of the Death Master File,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “The findings of this exam validate our position that insurers can comply with the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act and that some in fact do.”
USAA is the second insurer found in compliance with the law, following multistate market conduct examinations. The other insurer is Massachusetts Mutual.
In other industry news:
Lincoln Financial Network (LFN), the retail wealth management affiliate of Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC), launched AdviceNext, an integrated offering that optimizes the delivery of the firm’s practice resources, tools and technology to advisors. LFN advisors will have access to integrated platform tools, expanded practice management capabilities and support, an enhanced managed account offering and enhanced marketing support.
Through AdviceNext, LFN advisors will have access to integrated platform resources, such as its Unified Account Opening tool, which provides straight-through processing and helps eliminate redundancy in data entry for brokerage, advisory and direct business. LFN is also making significant investments to expand its managed account offerings and provide more dedicated sales support to help enhance benefits for an advisor’s practice and clients.
The International Insurance Society (IIS) announced that Denis Kessler, Chairman & CEO of SCOR, has been elected to join the Insurance Hall of Fame in 2014.
The Insurance Hall of Fame distinguishes leaders who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the insurance industry and therefore also to society as a whole. Last year the laureate was Robert Benmosche, president and CEO of AIG. Denis Kessler and Claude Bébéar, founder of the AXA Group, are the only French nationals who have received this award since 1980.