SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Elwood, recently voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a measure that will help more families collect loved ones’ life insurance policies and crack down on big insurance companies that try to deny benefits to surviving relatives.
“By vetoing this legislation, Governor Rauner was choosing to side with large insurance corporations over the wellbeing of countless grief-stricken Illinois families,” Walsh said. “Overriding the governor’s veto sends the message that our laws should always be on the side of people who work hard and play by the rules, not by big businesses that try to rig the system and cheat customers.”
Walsh’s House Bill 302 requires insurance companies to review their records dating back to 2000 and compare them with the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to determine if there are any outstanding balances owed to beneficiaries. According to audits from the treasurer’s office between 2011 and 2015, more than $550 million in death benefits were not paid out to families in Illinois. With the House and Senate overriding the governor’s veto of House Bill 302, companies will now be required to complete more thorough checks and issue payments in a timelier manner.
“My hope is that families will quickly receive what is owed to them and that this legislation will help families who have suffered a loss cover expenses,” Walsh said. “When families are unable to collect life insurance benefits because insurers aren’t holding up their end of the bargain, our entire community is hurt as final expenses are left unpaid and families struggle. I won’t let families and small businesses in our community suffer in order to pad the profits of big insurance companies.”