This settlement with Transamerica stems from multistate market conduct
examinations of the 40 largest life insurers regarding the timely payment of
proceeds to beneficiaries of life insurance policies and annuities. Illinois led
the examination, along with California, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, North
Dakota, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
Under the agreement, Transamerica will
implement business reforms to promote a timely and efficient search for the
beneficiaries of both its in-force life insurance policies and annuities, using
the Death Master File. The company will regularly match all of its insureds and
annuitants against the Death Master File to help promptly identify when an
insured has died, to locate and make payment to beneficiaries.
"With this settlement, life insurers writing almost half of all such
insurance in the country have stepped forward to use the DMF in the same fair
way for all their business in order to locate beneficiaries and to pay claims
rightly owed, not just to terminate the payment of benefits," Boron said.
"Illinois will continue to aggressively investigate insurance companies' failure
to timely make payments to beneficiaries."
More than 30 market conduct examinations remain ongoing to investigate
companies' use of the DMF.
For many years, some life insurers have used the DMF to search for and stop
payments to annuity holders, but did not make use of the knowledge they gained
from the DMF about deaths to identify their own deceased life insurance
policyholders whose beneficiaries were owed life insurance proceeds. It is
estimated that through this practice, those insurers avoided paying billions of
dollars in life insurance proceeds to beneficiaries.
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Market conduct examinations of seven of the 10 largest insurers in
the United States have been resolved. These life insurers, and the
other smaller insurers that have settled, represent more than 45
percent of the market, and the resolutions demonstrate that there is
a sea change in the industry to properly and fairly use the Death
A copy of the Transamerica
settlement agreement (PDF) is available on the Department of
Insurance website at
Consumers who have any questions regarding this settlement, or
who have any questions or concerns about their insurance, should
contact the department's Consumer Division at
http://insurance.illinois.gov/ or call 866-445-5364.
Illinois Department of
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]