(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin
McCarty and received via electronic mail. The release was
confirmed by the sender.)
October 22, 2012
Florida Announces a $11 Million Multi-Agency Agreement with the
AIG Companies to Protect Life and Annuity Beneficiaries
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty
announced today that an $11 million settlement has been reached
with 10 companies collectively referred to as AIG. The
agreement is the fifth agreement that Florida has settled that
requires large national insurers to appropriately use the U.S.
Social Security Death Master File (DMF) to locate life and
annuity beneficiaries, and promptly remit payment to the
unclaimed property division of each state for beneficiaries that
cannot be located.
The agreement is between AIG and the Florida Department of
Financial Services (DFS), overseen by Chief Financial Officer
Jeff Atwater, the Florida Office of the Attorney General (AG),
overseen by Attorney General Pam Bondi, and the Florida Office
of Insurance Regulation (Office) along with other lead states of
California, Illinois, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania,
and Texas that also assisted in the investigation.
“We are pleased that AIG has signed this agreement, and pledged
to fix its practices to appropriately identify deserving
beneficiaries,” stated Commissioner McCarty, “Momentum is
building within the industry to change their practices, pay
beneficiaries, and reach agreements with the appropriate
regulatory jurisdictions to resolve issues surrounding past
“This settlement is another big victory for Florida’s
consumers,” CFO Atwater said. “In challenging economic times,
each extra dollar in the pockets of Floridians can mean all the
difference. We are holding companies accountable on their
contracts with policyholders.”
“This national settlement ensures that AIG pays benefits
rightfully owed to beneficiaries in a timely manner, and it
demonstrates our commitment to improving the handling of duly
owed funds by the life insurance industry,” stated Attorney
General Pam Bondi. “This is Florida’s fifth settlement of its
kind, and we will continue to hold companies accountable.”
As part of the agreement, AIG agreed to:
Perform comparisons of all in-force and lapsed insureds,
accountholders, and annuity owners with a death benefit against
the DMF within 60 days, and continue this practice on a monthly
Establish procedures that a DMF listing is prima facie evidence
of a death, and procedures to conduct a “Thorough Search”
following the notification of such death.
For a period of 36 months, AIG shall provide to the lead states
quarterly reports about the implementation and execution of the
requirements of the agreement.
Thirty-nine (39) months following the conclusion of this
agreement, the lead states will conduct a follow-up examination
to determine compliance with the agreement.
In early 2011, the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners (NAIC) formed the Investigation of Life/Annuities
Claim Settlement Practices Task Force chaired by Commissioner
McCarty to guide and coordinate the multistate examination
process, and conducted public hearings in Florida and California
in May 2011 on this issue. Along with AIG, MetLife, Nationwide,
and Prudential have now reached agreements through this process.
John Hancock reached an agreement with Florida prior to the
creation of the NAIC Task Force.
The states of Florida, California, Illinois, North Dakota, New
Hampshire and Pennsylvania are serving as lead states for
examinations of the largest insurance companies, although Texas
joined the AIG investigation because it is the domiciliary state
for some of the AIG companies. During this stage of the Task
Force’s work, the focus has been on the largest 40 insurance
groups, which comprise more than 92.4% of the market for life
and annuity products nationwide.
Consumers can access more information about the MetLife,
Nationwide, Prudential or John Hancock settlement agreements by
accessing the DFS Division of Consumer Services’ webpage at:
www.myfloridacfo.com/consumers/ or the Office’s webpage
regarding the Life Claims Settlement issue. To search for or
claim unclaimed property, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call
1-88-VALUABLE or (850) 413-3089.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has primary
responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of
statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring
of industry markets. For more information about the Office,
please visit www.floir.com or follow us on Twitter @FLOIR_comm.
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.