SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, is urging Gov. Rauner to sign legislation requiring life insurance companies to inspect their records and pay beneficiaries the life insurance policy benefits to which they are entitled.
“In some cases, people don’t even realize that they’re owed life insurance money, and locating it can be stressful, especially after the death of a family member,” Mussman said. “This legislation appropriately puts the responsibility on insurance companies to ensure that policies are paid out and that families receive what their loved ones wanted them to have.”
Mussman helped pass House Bill 302, which requires life insurance companies to compare the social security numbers of their policy holders dating back to 1996 to social security death records. House Bill 302 builds off a new law signed last year requiring insurance companies to inspect social security death records, and would also require insurance companies to request updated contact information for policy holders to prevent unpaid policies. The Illinois Treasurer’s office has identified $550 million in unpaid death benefits in Illinois since 2011.
“It’s only fair that companies honor the policies that they owe to grieving families,” Mussman said. “Requiring insurance companies to go through their records and reasonably try to contact beneficiaries is a way of increasing transparency, holding insurers accountable and reducing the large amount of life insurance money that goes unclaimed.”