LegalJourney Blog

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Florida Becomes First State to Require That Insurance Companies Make Sure Policy Beneficiaries Get Paid

What happens to death benefits if a policyholder's survivors fail to contact an insurer?

When a loved one dies, family members are often left with the unhappy task of tracking down bank accounts, insurance policies and other assets. Unless the deceased was extremely well-organized, this can be a chore. Beneficiaries often fail to locate all the wealth to which they are entitled and receive little help from insurance companies. Some insurers have a history of failing to notify beneficiaries of the existence of policies, even when they are aware that the policyholder has died.

Florida First in the Nation to Require Insurers to Notify Beneficiaries

A new Florida law will change that. Florida is now the first and only state in the nation that requires insurers to make sure that beneficiaries of policies receive payments. Hundreds of millions of dollars could be paid out to Florida beneficiaries as a result of the legislation.

A recent nationwide investigation, led by Florida, resulted in billions being paid to consumers across the country who had no idea they were the beneficiaries of insurance policies. The investigation revealed that some insurance companies monitored death records to determine when they could stop paying annuities to retirees but did not use that same information to pay death benefits.

Checking for Other Unclaimed Assets

While the new law may aid survivors in receiving insurance payouts, there may be other wealth lying dormant in old accounts with banks, utility companies, insurance companies and even safe deposit boxes. The state of Florida has over $1 billion in unclaimed wealth, and there is no statute of limitations on recovering it. Even those who manage their finances carefully may find they are entitled to funds.

Tracking down assets can be complex and time-consuming. For those without the resources to undertake the task, a trusts and estates attorney can help you receive all the insurance payments and unclaimed funds to which you are entitled.


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Attorney Karnardo Garnett represents clients with their Estate Planning, Elder Law and Asset Protection needs throughout the Tampa Bay Area, serving all of the bay area, including but not limited to Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gibsonton, Riverview, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, FL



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