SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Joliet, is calling on Governor Rauner to sign legislation sitting on his desk that would help ensure life insurance benefits are paid to the family members receive that they were intended for.
“Huge corporate insurance companies are maximizing their profits at the expense of the families of their clients who have paid diligently into life insurance policies,” Walsh said. “These unpaid benefits should not be padding the pockets of insurance CEOs, they should go to the families they were meant for.”
Walsh’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.
Walsh’s legislation requires companies to also look back through their records and 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. Walsh’s measure would also require insurance companies to request updated contact information from policyholders to keep policies from going unpaid.
“This proposal simply asks companies to go through their records to honor the policies that they owe to grieving families—it’s the right thing to do,” Walsh said. “Governor Rauner please put your corporate agenda aside, sign this bill and put working families in Illinois ahead of corporate profits.”
House Bill 302 passed the House and the Senate and is awaiting further action from the governor.