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Dec 25, 2015 1:24 PM

Legal agreement requires life insurance co.s to make effort to find beneficiaries

CONCORD - A new agreement with two national life insurance companies means the companies will have to make more of an effort to find beneficiaries after a policy holder dies.

According to the N.H. Insurance Department, Jackson National and AXA reached an agreement with insurance regulators in N.H. and other states.

The deal requires that they compare their records against a Social Security Administration database to identify policy holders who have been reported as deceased and to conduct a thorough search for any beneficiaries and notify them of their right to submit a claim.

Insurance regulators argue some companies used the Social Security database to terminate benefits payable on annuities but then failed to use this same information to identify life insurance policyholders who'd died and pay out death benefits to beneficiaries.

As part of the settlements, Jackson National will pay $2.5 million to insurance regulators across the country, and AXA will pay $3.28 million.

“Jackson National and AXA have, by entering into these settlements, done right by consumers in New Hampshire and elsewhere, who will receive the benefits owed to them,” N.H. Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said in a statement.

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