SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Joining a bipartisan effort from lawmakers, state Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, recently voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation that ensures family members receive their loved ones’ life insurance benefits.
“Unfortunately life insurance companies do too little to connect beneficiaries with the money owed to them,” Greenwood said. “Insurance companies should be held accountable to pay out policies that are rightfully owed to beneficiaries and this law helps to ensure family members and loved ones are receiving what they are owed.”
The Greenwood-backed 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.
“After a loved one dies, family members and friends are often burdened with the financial responsibility of that loved one and insurance policies are put in place to help with these cost,” Greenwood said. “I commend my colleagues who supported this legislation in an effort to protect families and loved ones from big companies who sit on millions of dollars in unclaimed policies.”