NY life insurance investigation leads to $1 billion in newly paid claims


The state’s Department of Financial Services says more than $1 billion in life insurance claims will not be paid out after an agency investigation.

From The Associated Press:

New York officials say they have helped recover more than $1.1 billion in unclaimed life insurance benefits nationwide.

The state’s Department of Financial Services says Wednesday that many insurance companies were not using lists of recent deaths from the Social Security Administration to determine if a policy holder had died.

That meant if family members did not know there was a life insurance policy or forgot to file a claim, the policy went unpaid.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state investigators working with insurance companies were able to make payments to 100,000 consumers nationwide, including more than 25,000 New York residents.

As a result of New York’s investigation, insurers used Social Security master file to investigate unclaimed policies.

The Department of Financial Services is headed by Benjamin Lawsky, Cuomo’s former chief of staff.


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  1. Consumers need to take action with their policies. Keep records of purchased policies and the policy itself, keep billing records, and keep beneficiary and wills up to date. Consumers also need to tie important information to their policies, such as social security numbers so they can be more easily found and the proceeds paid.