Longietti: Bill that would create database for unclaimed life insurance benefits passes House

HARRISBURG, June 19 – On Monday, a House bill that would require the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to create a database to be used by beneficiaries in search of unclaimed life insurance benefits unanimously passed the House, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced.

“The passing of this legislation is a significant benefit for family members of a decedent,” said Longietti, a co-sponsor of H.B. 152. “The creation of a database that allows family members to see if their loved one had a life insurance policy or annuity contract in place will provide families with death benefits during their time of need.”

Under the legislation, insurers would be required to maintain a valid email address with the state’s Insurance Department. The department then would be tasked with maintaining an electronic database of this information so that family members know how to reach a company to determine whether a life insurance policy or annuity contract is valid.

Additionally, insurance companies are required to participate in the Life Insurance Policy Locator Service adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which provides a method for searching for life insurance policies and annuity contracts in effect.

“I have had a number of families come to my office in hopes of tracking down a life insurance company to see if the policy they found at the home of decedent was valid. Other times, they’re simply trying to determine whether or not the family member had a life insurance policy in place,” Longietti said.

“Many times, the funds gained from a decedent’s life insurance policy go toward immediate expenses, such as a burial. By creating a database, we’re giving families the resources needed to expedite a process that sometimes takes years to resolve,” said Longietti, D-Mercer.

House Bill 152, which was amended in the state Senate, now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.