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Regulation

Insurance Law

2017

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Dead Or Alive? The Law, Policy, And Market Effects Of Legislation On Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits, James M. Carson, Robert E. Hoyt, Tim R. Samples Jan 2017

Dead Or Alive? The Law, Policy, And Market Effects Of Legislation On Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits, James M. Carson, Robert E. Hoyt, Tim R. Samples

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy

A wave of multi-state audits on the insurance industry’s use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF) stirred national controversy over the status of unclaimed life insurance proceeds. Multi-state investigations uncovered “asymmetric” use of the DMF among many large insurance companies. Accusations of unethical behavior led to numerous settlement agreements between state regulators and insurers. Payouts and fines stemming from these settlements already number in the billions of dollars. Legislative responses are also underway. Some states have adopted—and others are considering—legislation requiring life insurers to search the DMF to identify and pay (or eascheat ...