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Study Probes Unclaimed Property Laws

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller
Joe Wertz
/
StateImpact Oklahoma

The Senate Insurance Committee listened Wednesday as Treasurer Ken Miller, representatives of the Oklahoma Insurance Department and a spokeswoman for a national life insurers group argued about the application of the state’s unclaimed property laws to unclaimed life insurance benefits.

Miller would like to see legislation passed that requires the companies to compare their records to the Social Security Administrations death master file. Miller’s proposal would apply to all policies since approximately 1992, when most insurance records became electronic.

The insurance industry, said American Council of Life Insurers Vice President for State Relations Brenda Nation, agreed with that proposal, except the organization and its members would like the law to include language that provides the state’s unclaimed property law does not supersede its insurance code. In particular, Nation said it is important that requirement for verifying a life insurance claim – a valid certificate of death – be maintained.

The comments, which were sometimes contentious, came during the committee’s consideration of Interim Study S14-058, concerning reporting procedures for life insurance policies as related to unclaimed property. 

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