Departments of Insurance of several states announced a $1.2 million settlement agreement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company in connection with the insurer’s use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File[1].

The settlement was a result of a multi state investigation led by Illinois, Florida, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and California.

The investigation revealed that Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company have used the information in the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to stop making annuity payments but did not use this information to search for deceased policyholders and pay proceeds to beneficiaries of life insurance policies.

As part of the agreement that was reached between the states’ Departments of Insurance and the insurance company, Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company have paid more than $1 billion to life insurance beneficiaries across the nation. The insurer will also pay $1.2 million to the participating states.

As part of the agreement, Symetra also agreed to perform several business changes in connection with identifying and paying proceeds to beneficiaries of life insurance policies and annuities.

The reforms will be subject to regularity oversight. The agreement will take effect when 20 states sign it. Illinois, Florida, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and California have already signed the agreement.