SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent veto of consumer protections for life insurance beneficiaries, state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, voted last week to raise the minimum requirements life insurance companies must undergo when searching for a beneficiary that might be unaware their loved one had a life insurance policy.
“After a loved one dies, the costs begin mounting at one of the worst moments in their family’s lives,” D’Amico said. “The incredibly expensive costs of health care and funeral arrangements combined with the loss of income all lead to a massive tidal wave of costs, which is why our family members try to protect us once they are gone by taking out life insurance policies. Unfortunately, under the current law, life insurance companies do too little to connect beneficiaries with the money owed to them.”
Since 2011, the Illinois Treasurer’s office has discovered over $500 million in benefits that were never paid to families of the deceased. House Bill 302 requires life insurance companies check death records and ensure that beneficiaries receive the money rightfully owed to them. Additionally, the bill mandates insurance companies update contact information from existing accounts to ensure policies do not go unpaid.
“The big life insurance companies are padding their profits at the expense of grieving families,” D’Amico continued. “This legislation helps ensure that big corporations focus more on helping the middle-class families that they serve rather than their bottom lines.”