Monday, August 20, 2012
Lost & Found: WSJ on Life Insurers (Again), Unclaimed Property in Paradise (and Minnesota)
Wall St. Journal Feature on Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies -- For more than a year now, state regulators have been investigating the life insurance industry's unclaimed property practices, including whether those companies were doing enough to determine that life insurance policies had become payable. That investigation led to a number of audits, settlements, and legislative inquiries. As an update, Monday's Wall St. Journal had an updating article on state efforts to get more life insurance proceeds paid out. The article notes that in the absence of a claim, some life insurers are permitted to hold onto death benefit funds until the insured reaches (or would have reached) the age of 95, and cites a state regulator's estimate that insurers are holding more than $1 billion in payable death benefits. It also gives a great overview of how we got here.
Minnesota Governor Blogs on Unclaimed Property -- According to a blog post from the website of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, the Minnesota Unclaimed Property program returned over $19 million in funds to residents in the past year, and over $163 million since 2005. More information relating to Minnesota's unclaimed property program can be found here.
St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) Publishes Unclaimed Property List -- As we've noted many times, all 50 states have unclaimed property laws. In addition, many U.S. territories and commonwealths (e.g., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico) have also inherited such laws. The U.S. Virgin Islands are no exception. According to an article in the St. Thomas Source, the USVI has released its annual listing of unclaimed property, which can be found here.