Illinois Compiled Statutes
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215 ILCS 185/15
(215 ILCS 185/15)
(a) An insurer shall initially perform a comparison of its insureds', annuitants', and retained asset account holders' in-force policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset accounts by using the full Death Master File. The initial comparison shall be completed on or before December 31, 2017, unless extended by the Department pursuant to administrative rule. Thereafter, an insurer shall perform a comparison on at least a semi-annual basis using the Death Master File update files for comparisons to identify potential matches of its insureds, annuitants, and retained asset account holders. In the event that one of the insurer's lines of business conducts a search for matches of its insureds, annuitants, and retained asset account holders against the Death Master File at intervals more frequently than semi-annually, then all lines of the insurer's business shall conduct searches for matches against the Death Master File with the same frequency.
An insured, an annuitant, or a retained asset account holder is presumed dead if the date of his or her death is indicated by the comparison required in this subsection (a), unless the insurer has competent and substantial evidence that the person is living, including, but not limited to, a contact made by the insurer with the person or his or her legal representative.
For those potential matches identified as a result of a Death Master File match, the insurer shall within 120 days after the date of death notice, if the insurer has not been contacted by a beneficiary, determine whether benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or contract and, if benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or contract:
(1) use good faith efforts, which shall be documented
by the insurer, to locate the beneficiary or beneficiaries; the Department shall establish by administrative rule minimum standards for what constitutes good faith efforts to locate a beneficiary, which shall include: (A) searching insurer records; (B) the appropriate use of First Class United States mail, e-mail addresses, and telephone calls; and (C) reasonable efforts by insurers to obtain updated contact information for the beneficiary or beneficiaries; good faith efforts shall not include additional attempts to contact the beneficiary at an address already confirmed not to be current; and
(2) provide the appropriate claims forms or
instructions to the beneficiary or beneficiaries to make a claim, including the need to provide an official death certificate if applicable under the policy or annuity contract.
(b) Insurers shall implement procedures to account for the following when conducting searches of the Death Master File:
(1) common nicknames, initials used in lieu of a
first or middle name, use of a middle name, compound first and middle names, and interchanged first and middle names;
(2) compound last names, maiden or married names, and
hyphens, blank spaces, or apostrophes in last names;
(3) transposition of the "month" and "date" portions
of the date of birth; and
(4) incomplete social security numbers.
(c) To the extent permitted by law, an insurer may disclose the minimum necessary personal information about the insured, annuity owner, retained asset account holder, or beneficiary to a person whom the insurer reasonably believes may be able to assist the insurer with locating the beneficiary or a person otherwise entitled to payment of the claims proceeds.
(d) An insurer or its service provider shall not charge any beneficiary or other authorized representative for any fees or costs associated with a Death Master File search or verification of a Death Master File match conducted pursuant to this Act.
(e) The benefits from a policy, annuity contract, or a retained asset account, plus any applicable accrued interest, shall first be payable to the designated beneficiaries or owners and, in the event the beneficiaries or owners cannot be found, shall be reported and delivered to the State Treasurer pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. Nothing in this subsection (e) is intended to alter the amounts reportable under the existing provisions of the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act or to allow the imposition of additional statutory interest under Article XIV of the Illinois Insurance Code.
(f) Failure to meet any requirement of this Section with such frequency as to constitute a general business practice is a violation of Section 424 of the Illinois Insurance Code. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to create or imply a private cause of action for a violation of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 99-893, eff. 1-1-17