60-Minutes

New Florida Insurance Law Gets National Spotlight

A new Florida law that strengthens consumer protections related to life insurance was highlighted on “60 Minutes” this past weekend.

The law, signed last week by Gov. Rick Scott, makes Florida the first state in the nation to implement comprehensive legislation requiring life insurance companies to search the United States Social Security Death Master File and compare records to find beneficiaries of a life insurance benefit.

It was discovered several years ago that many life insurance companies built in business practices that intentionally shielded them from knowledge of a policyholder’s death, said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who pushed for the new law. Those practices drastically reduces the number of policies that are properly, and timely, paid out, Atwater said in a news release.

Florida secured agreements with 20 of the largest insurance companies that ensure those companies seek out beneficiaries and pay them overdue benefits, Atwater said.

“While these agreements corrected the course for the way these 20 companies conduct business, it was time to ensure that all companies operating in the state of Florida were held to the same standards of upholding the promises they made to policyholders,”Atwater said.

The “60 Minutes” report looked at how the insurance industry practices impact families nationwide, and Atwater said he participated in telling the story.

The episode also will feature Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller, according to a report by edmundsonsun.com.

 

Source:  SFBJ

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