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Florida Part Of Settlement With Major Life Insurers

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Florida is part of a multi-state settlement totaling $3.4 million with four major insurance companies over the issue of improving the way life insurance beneficiaries are notified after policyholders die, state officials announced Thursday.

The national settlement includes $2.1 million from Hartford Fire & Casualty Group, $625,000 from Securian, $400,000 from Great American and $277,000 from Standard.

Florida's share will be $243,000, which will cover the cost of investigations and future compliance efforts, according to a joint announcement from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the state Department of Financial Services and Attorney General Pam Bondi's office.

The settlements are focused on the use of the Social Security Administration's "death master file."

Regulators say insurers used the file to end annuity payments to people who died but did not use the same list to identify deceased life-insurance policyholders and their beneficiaries.

To date, regulators have reached settlements or concluded investigations involving 27 of the top 40 insurance companies, representing 78 percent of the market, with investigations still pending with the other 13 insurers.

Florida passed a law this year that requires life insurance companies to use the Social Security list to identify current policyholders and those dating back to 1992. However, the law is being challenged in court.

Copyright 2016 Health News Florida

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