States require insurance companies to locate beneficiaries

CHICAGO (AP) — Beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance policies already have received billions of dollars — and others could be in store for some unexpected cash. It’s the result of state actions forcing companies to locate and pay heirs the money they are owed.

Nearly two dozen states have passed laws requiring companies to search for beneficiaries. Illinois is the latest to consider a version of the legislation.

The laws follow years-long audits and multi-state investigations of the top 40 insurance companies that revealed many of them held on to benefits, even when they knew the person insured had died.

More than 20 insurance companies have settled with states, but others are pushing back.

Life insurance companies owned by Chicago-based Kemper Corp. are trying to block Florida’s law and oppose Illinois’ proposal.

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