Millions Recovered for Pennsylvania Life Insurance Beneficiaries by the State Insurance Department

Pennsylvania Insurance Department has concluded several multi-state investigations aimed at the business practices of the life insurance industry. As a result of the investigations, several major life insurance companies entered into settlement agreements with the state Insurance Department to pay more than $174 million in life insurance claim payments to 11,000 beneficiaries and policyowners residing in Pennsylvania.

According to the state Insurance Commissioner, the goal of the investigation was to make sure life insurance companies reform the way they do business for the benefit of beneficiaries and policyowners.

The main focus of the investigation was the life insurance industry’s selective use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF).

The DMF is a government database that includes death records from 1962 to the present on deceased individuals who had Social Security numbers. Life insurers should use the DMF to determine deceased policyholders and inform potential beneficiaries that they may be owed life insurance proceeds.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department investigation revealed that some insurers used the DMF to terminate the payment of annuity benefits, but at the same time did not pay life insurance policy benefits.

In the future, life insurance companies that have entered into settlement agreements will use the DMF to identify potentially unpaid insurance benefits and search for beneficiaries to whom benefits are payable.

To see copies of the settlement agreements, visit and go to the “consumer protection” tab.


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About the author

Attorney Tatiana Kadetskaya has over 10 years of experience in life insurance law representing beneficiaries and policy owners. She is best known for successfully collecting denied and delayed claims and settling complex beneficiary disputes and interpleader lawsuits.

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