DeLuca: Life insurance beneficiary bill awaits governor's signature

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, announced that the House of Representatives has concurred in Senate amendments to a bill which would make it easier for a life insurance beneficiary to be notified following the death of a policyholder.


House Bill 1403 would require life insurance companies to compare their policyholders against the master death list provided by the Social Security Administration on a semi-annual basis.


"As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I advocated for this bill because it offers protection to policyholders and their beneficiaries to ensure that policies pay out when the policyholder dies," DeLuca said. "Too often, a person may die leaving a beneficiary who is not aware of either the death or their status as a beneficiary. Currently, if a beneficiary does not file a claim, the insurance company can hold the account for up to 99 years."


Under this bill, the insurance company would have to make an effort to contact beneficiaries once they are aware of the death via the master death list. If the beneficiary is unable to be found, the benefit would have to be turned over to the Pennsylvania Treasury Unclaimed Property Division after three years.


"This bill is a common-sense change to current law, as the insurance companies currently review the master death list on a regular basis for annuity subscribers," DeLuca added. "This would just offer the same protection for life insurance policies. When a match is found, the insurance companies would then be required to provide beneficiaries with claim instructions."


The bill would take effect about one year after the governor signs it into law.