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Wednesday April 23rd 2014

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Jones Announces $1.7 Million in Settlement Payments Aid to California by Insurers

California Insurance Commissioner, Dave JonesInsurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that the California Department of Insurance (CDI) has received payments totaling $1.7 million from two additional insurance companies that have entered settlements with the Department as a result of its investigation into their use of the “Death Master” database.

“These settlements are another important step in our effort to reform industry practices regarding the use of the Social Security Death Master File database,” said Commissioner Jones. “As other insurers have done, AIG and Nationwide Insurance Companies were found to have selectively used the Death Master File database to cut off payments to annuity holders, but did not use that database to identify deceased life insurance policyholders and pay their beneficiaries. These settlements end that practice. I strongly encourage other insurers to come forward and enter similar agreements. Insurers should pay policy proceeds to beneficiaries of deceased policyholders immediately after the insurers learn from the Death Master File that the policyholders have died.”

Commissioner Jones deposited the $1.1 million from AIG Insurance Company, and $697,000 from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company into California’s General Fund as part of a multi-state settlement agreement. CDI also deposited $150,000 from each settlement payment into the insurance fund for reimbursement of costs associated with investigation and enforcement of the settlements.