WASHINGTON — Four more insurers have settled with state regulators over allegations the companies have not properly adhered to state unclaimed property laws, although it appears that the yields from these settlements are dwindling.
The latest settlements were with Hartford Fire & Casualty Group, Securian, Great American Life, and Standard. They were related to use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF) database.
According to the California Department of Insurance, Hartford will pay $2.1 million; Securian $625,000; Great American Life $400,000; and Standard $277,000 to the states participating in the national investigation.
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“All four insurers agreed to reform their business practices to benefit policyholders and use the database to search for policyholder beneficiaries that might be owed benefits from a life insurance policy,” said California commissioner Dave Jones.
Jones said the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has returned more than $6 billion to beneficiaries from the probe.
The states got $2.8 billion, and continue efforts to locate and pay beneficiaries.
However, the amount the states are getting from the latest deals pale in comparison to earlier settlements.
For example, MetLife paid $40 million in fines to settle the claims, which stem from a multi-state task force probe of U.S. life insurers. Prudential paid $17 million, New York Life $15 million, John Hancock $13 million, Lincoln National, $12.6 million, TransAmerica, $11.2 million, American International Group $11 million, XL Specialty $11 million, ING $10.7 million and Travelers $10.5 million.
These statistics were compiled by the Florida and California Insurance Departments.