In a humanitarian gesture aimed at improving the lives of California residents who survived the World War II Holocaust, three Dutch insurers—ING Group, Fortis Inc. and Aegon USA Inc.—have established a fund on their behalf with an initial $4.2-million payment. The contribution had been arranged under the tenure of ex-Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush before his resignation, but was never actually collected. Some 1,000 of the estimated 22,000 survivors of the Holocaust who live in California are reported to be in financial difficulty, and payments will be distributed to them through a 12-person board set up to administer the fund. The action of the insurers is purely voluntary, and doesn’t preclude or interfere with the ongoing investigation of insurers’ responsibility for unpaid World War II claims, nor does it affect any lawsuits currently in progress.
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