Springfield, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, that helps guarantee family members receive their loved ones’ life insurance benefits recently passed the House.
“It’s unconscionable to think that some insurance companies are not paying out the life-insurance policies of individuals that have diligently paid into them for years,” D’Amico said. “Families deserve to receive the benefits that their loved ones wanted them to have.”
D’Amico’s House Bill 302 requires life insurance companies to compare the Social Security numbers of their policyholders dating back to 1996 to Social Security death records. The measure builds off a new law signed last year requiring insurance companies to inspect Social Security death records for newly signed policies going forward.
D’Amico’s legislation requires companies to also look back through their records. Life insurance companies would be required to ensure the beneficiaries of these policies receive any funds owed to them. The Illinois Treasurer’s Office has identified $550 million in unpaid death benefits in Illinois since 2011. This legislation would also require insurance companies to request updated contact information for policyholders to keep policies from going unpaid.
“These unclaimed, unpaid benefits shouldn’t be padding the profits of corporate insurance companies when they rightfully belong to Illinois families,” D’Amico said. “I will continue to advocate for this proposal’s passage and encourage my colleagues in the Senate and the governor to stand up for Illinois families.”
House Bill 302 passed the House and is awaiting further consideration in the Senate.