Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman has signed regulatory settlement agreements with Transamerica and MetLife that require both insurance companies to pay Minnesota beneficiaries their rightful proceeds from life insurance policies, annuity contracts and retained asset accounts; and $4 million total in settlement payments to the state, the department of commerce and insurance accnounced.
The state is to receive a $1.5 million settlement payment from MetLife and a $2.5 million settlement payment from Transamerica.
In addition to identifying Minnesotans who have not received payment from insurance products held by the companies, companies are required to strengthen their procedures to make sure policyholders and beneficiaries receive the proceeds from these policies and contracts in a timely manner going forward.
The settlement agreements with MetLife and Transamerica are the result of a series of targeted examinations conducted by the department, the announcement said.
Last year, Prudential Insurance Co.entered into a settlement agreement, which has already returned over $20 million to the rightful beneficiaries and the department anticipates similar results for Minnesota consumers with the MetLife and Transamerica settlements.
The department had determined that there were many policies where policyholders had died but no claims had been made, revealing Met Life’s and Transamerica’s inability to identify and contact policyholders or their beneficiaries upon the determination of a death.
Under the terms of the settlements insurers must make every effort to maintain good information to stay in touch and pay policy beneficiaries and contract owners.
The settlement requires MetLife and Transamerica to review their records and information for Minnesota-related policies for the entire look-back period to 1986, and implement procedures going forward to ensure that the data includes accurate information
The agreement also requires advanced procedures to find beneficiaries when policyholders have died, and compliance with Minnesota’s claim handling and unclaimed property laws if MetLife and Transamerica are unable to identify or locate policyholders or beneficiaries in a timely manner.
Source: Minnesota Department of Commerce