Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Where's the Beneficiary? (A Stupid Government Trick Update)

Last week, we reported on efforts in California and Florida to force life insurance companies to keep (better) track of their insureds. That effort has now expanded to at least 35 of the 57 states plus the District of Columbia, "to look at how life insurers determine whether insureds have died and how they go about locating policy beneficiaries."

Oh, puhleeze!

It is not, and never has been, the responsibility of a life insurer to track its insureds. If you move, then you darned well better let folks - including your life insurer - where you're headed. An insured has but three simple obligations in order to maintain coverage: pay the premiums, avoid fraud, and advise the carrier of one's whereabouts. As I said in the previous post, one can just imagine the hew and cry if carriers even tried to track insureds (and/or beneficiaries). This is nanny-statism run amok.

FoIB Matt H sent us an interesting link that answers at least one question: Cui bono?

"The audit indicates that Metlife did not take steps to determine whether policy owners of dormant accounts are still alive, and if not, pay the beneficiaries — or the state if they cannot be located, the regulators said." [emphasis added]

So the ugly truth is that the state does not, in fact, care about whether or not the rightful beneficiary benefits, just that the state itself gets (at least) a cut.

How banal.
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