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Insurers May Owe More Than $1 Billion in Unpaid Policy Benefits

Life insurers may be keeping at least $1 billion in unclaimed benefits owed to policyholders, beneficiaries or states, according to a Florida regulator.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, who made the estimate, said it was a “conservative number,” in a conference with reporters during a break in a hearing today in Tallahassee. Officials from MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., the policyholder-owned insurer, were subpoenaed to appear at a hearing by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to explain how they determine when policyholders have died.