Florida Announces a Multi-State, Multi-Agency Life Claim Settlement Agreement with ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company
Aug 19, 2013
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced today, August 19, 2013, that a life claim settlement agreement has been reached with ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company (“ING”) and its affiliates. The states joining Florida in the settlement include California, Illinois and Connecticut, among others.
According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the settlement with ING is the seventh such life claim settlement agreement reached by Florida. These seven insurers represent approximately 40 percent of the market for life and annuity products. The settlements focus on the insurers’ appropriate use of the U.S. Social Security Death Master File (“DMF”) to locate beneficiaries and then promptly remit payment to the unclaimed property division of each state for beneficiaries that cannot be located. Nationally, the focus continues to be the examination of the 33 remaining top national life and annuity insurers.
ING represented that, since 2002, it has cross-checked its system with the DMF on a monthly basis to review certain annuities that were paying proceeds to owners or annuitants in order to prevent overpayments and fraud, as well as to pay any remaining amounts due to beneficiaries. ING also claimed that it subsequently expanded its use of the DMF.
As a result of the multistate examination by the OIR and other insurance regulators involved in the settlement, as well as the audit conducted on behalf of the Florida Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) and other controllers, ING has undergone further review of its utilization of the DMF.
The settlement agreement ensures that ING will use the DMF systematically and consistently regarding its annuities and life business. The agreement also requires payment of $10.7 million to the participating states. Florida’s share of the allocation is expected to be more than $500,000.
As part of the agreement, ING agreed to:
- Compare all company records against the DMF Update File every month and against the Complete DMF file at least annually from the agreement effective date.
- Provide the lead states quarterly reports about the implementation and execution of the requirements of the agreement for 36 months following its conclusion.
- Allow the lead states to conduct a follow-up examination to determine compliance 39 months following the conclusion of this agreement.
The multistate examination process is guided and coordinated by the Life/Annuities Claim Settlement Practices Task Force, established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2011 and chaired by Commissioner McCarty. Florida, California, Illinois, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania serve as lead states for examinations.
To search for or claim unclaimed property, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or (850) 413-3089.
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