Florida law requires insurers to expand search for beneficiaries of life insurance policies.
Life insurance is a key component of many estate plans and needs to be addressed quickly by the insurer as the Tampa Bay Times reports in “New Florida law requires life insurers to do more to find beneficiaries.”
Life insurance payments are supposed to be made immediately and they can provide necessary funds to descendants and surviving spouses while the rest of the estate takes a slow course through probate. It also is often used to provide longer term income for beneficiaries when the other estate assets are not enough to cover ongoing expenses.
What the law is trying to address is that sometimes insurance companies do not learn that their policyholders have passed away and do not make enough effort to learn if they have. This can happen when the policyholder has not provided enough information about the policy to other family members.
The law would require the insurance companies to check all policyholders with the Social Security Administration’s Master Death File going back to 1992. Yearly checks would be required on an ongoing basis.
Reference: Tampa Bay Times (April 12, 2016) “New Florida law requires life insurers to do more to find beneficiaries.”