Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 966
       By Senator Benacquisto
       30-00996B-16                                           2016966__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to unclaimed property; amending s.
    3         717.107, F.S.; revising a presumption of when funds
    4         held or owing under a matured or terminated life or
    5         endowment insurance policy or annuity contract are
    6         unclaimed; revising a condition of when certain
    7         insurance policies or annuity contracts are deemed
    8         matured and the proceeds are due and payable;
    9         requiring an insurer to perform a comparison of
   10         certain insurance policies, annuity contracts, and
   11         retained asset accounts of its insureds against the
   12         United States Social Security Administration Death
   13         Master File to determine if a death is indicated;
   14         providing when such comparisons must be made;
   15         providing for a rebuttable presumption of death of
   16         certain individuals; requiring an insurer to account
   17         for certain variations in data and partial
   18         information; providing applicability; providing an
   19         exception; defining a term; prohibiting an insurer and
   20         specified entities from charging fees and costs
   21         associated with certain activities; conforming
   22         provisions to changes made by the act; providing
   23         retroactive applicability; providing an effective
   24         date.
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28         Section 1. Section 717.107, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   29  read:
   30         717.107 Funds owing under life insurance policies, annuity
   31  contracts, and retained asset accounts; fines, penalties, and
   32  interest; United States Social Security Administration Death
   33  Master File.—
   34         (1) Funds held or owing under any life or endowment
   35  insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or
   36  terminated are presumed unclaimed if unclaimed for more than 5
   37  years after the date of death of the insured, annuitant, or
   38  retained asset account holder funds became due and payable as
   39  established from the records of the insurance company holding or
   40  owing the funds, but property described in paragraph (3)(d)
   41  (3)(b) is presumed unclaimed if such property is not claimed for
   42  more than 2 years. The amount presumed unclaimed shall include
   43  any amount due and payable under s. 627.4615.
   44         (2) If a person other than the insured, or annuitant, or
   45  retained asset account holder is entitled to the funds and no
   46  address of the person is known to the company or it is not
   47  definite and certain from the records of the company who is
   48  entitled to the funds, it is presumed that the last known
   49  address of the person entitled to the funds is the same as the
   50  last known address of the insured, the or annuitant, or the
   51  retained asset account holder according to the records of the
   52  company.
   53         (3) For purposes of this chapter, a life or endowment
   54  insurance policy or annuity contract not matured by actual proof
   55  of the death of the insured, the or annuitant, or the retained
   56  asset account holder according to the records of the company is
   57  deemed matured and the proceeds due and payable if any of the
   58  following applies:
   59         (a) The company knows that the insured, the or annuitant,
   60  or the retained asset account holder has died.; or
   61         (b) A presumption of death made in accordance with
   62  paragraph (8)(b) has not been rebutted.
   63         (c) The policy or contract has reached its maturity date.
   64         (d)(b)1. The insured has attained, or would have attained
   65  if he or she were living, the limiting age under the mortality
   66  table on which the reserve is based;
   67         2. The policy was in force at the time the insured
   68  attained, or would have attained, the limiting age specified in
   69  subparagraph 1.; and
   70         3. Neither the insured nor any other person appearing to
   71  have an interest in the policy within the preceding 2 years,
   72  according to the records of the company, has assigned,
   73  readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy; subjected the policy
   74  to a loan; corresponded in writing with the company concerning
   75  the policy; or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a
   76  memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of
   77  the company.
   78         (4) For purposes of this chapter, the application of an
   79  automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture
   80  provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent the
   81  policy from being matured or terminated under subsection (1) if
   82  the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiaries of the
   83  policy otherwise have become entitled to the proceeds thereof
   84  before the depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by
   85  the application of those provisions.
   86         (5) If the laws of this state or the terms of the life
   87  insurance policy require the company to give notice to the
   88  insured or owner that an automatic premium loan provision or
   89  other nonforfeiture provision has been exercised and the notice,
   90  given to an insured or owner whose last known address according
   91  to the records of the company is in this state, is
   92  undeliverable, the company shall make a reasonable search to
   93  ascertain the policyholder’s correct address to which the notice
   94  must be mailed.
   95         (6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the
   96  company learns of the death of the insured, the or annuitant, or
   97  the retained asset account holder and the beneficiary has not
   98  communicated with the insurer within 4 months after the death,
   99  the company shall take reasonable steps to pay the proceeds to
  100  the beneficiary.
  101         (7) Commencing 2 years after July 1, 1987, every change of
  102  beneficiary form issued by an insurance company under any life
  103  or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract to an insured
  104  or owner who is a resident of this state must request the
  105  following information:
  106         (a) The name of each beneficiary, or if a class of
  107  beneficiaries is named, the name of each current beneficiary in
  108  the class.
  109         (b) The address of each beneficiary.
  110         (c) The relationship of each beneficiary to the insured.
  111         (8)(a)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an
  112  insurer shall perform a comparison of its insureds’ life or
  113  endowment insurance policies, annuity contracts that provide a
  114  death benefit, and retained asset accounts that were in force at
  115  any time on or after January 1, 1992, against the United States
  116  Social Security Administration Death Master File to determine if
  117  the death of an insured, an annuitant, or a retained asset
  118  account holder is indicated. The comparison must be made on at
  119  least an annual basis before August 31 of each year. If an
  120  insurer performs such a comparison regarding its annuities or
  121  other books of business more frequently than once a year, the
  122  insurer must also make a comparison regarding its life insurance
  123  policies, annuity contracts that provide a death benefit, and
  124  retained asset accounts at the same frequency as is made
  125  regarding its annuities or other books or lines of business.
  126         (b)There is a rebuttable presumption that an insured, an
  127  annuitant, or a retained asset account holder is deceased if the
  128  date of the insured’s, annuitant’s, or retained asset account
  129  holder’s death is indicated on the United States Social Security
  130  Administration Death Master File. The insurer shall account for
  131  common variations in data and for any partial names, social
  132  security numbers, dates of birth, and addresses of the insured,
  133  the annuity owner, or the retained asset account holder which
  134  would otherwise preclude an exact match.
  135         (c) For purposes of this section, a policy, a contract, or
  136  a retained asset account is deemed to be in force if it has not
  137  lapsed, has not been cancelled, or has not been terminated at
  138  the time of death of the insured, the annuity owner, or the
  139  retained asset account holder.
  140         (d)This subsection does not apply to an annuity contract
  141  that is issued in connection with an employment-based plan
  142  subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
  143  or that is issued to fund an employment-based retirement plan,
  144  including any deferred compensation plans.
  145         (9) An insurer is not required to confirm the possible
  146  death of an insured with respect to benefits payable under
  147  accidental death or when the insurer does not perform
  148  recordkeeping functions. For purposes of this subsection, the
  149  term “recordkeeping” means maintaining, or being legally or
  150  contractually responsible for maintaining, either directly or
  151  through a third party, the information necessary to process a
  152  claim or having access to information necessary to process a
  153  claim.
  154         (10) An insurer, or any agent or third party that it
  155  engages or that works on its behalf, may not charge insureds,
  156  annuity owners, retained asset account holders, beneficiaries,
  157  or the estates of insureds, annuity owners, retained asset
  158  account holders, or the beneficiaries of an estate any fees or
  159  costs associated with any search, verification, claim, or
  160  delivery of funds conducted pursuant to this section.
  161         Section 2. The amendments made by this act are remedial in
  162  nature and apply retroactively. Fines, penalties, or additional
  163  interest may not be imposed due to the failure to report and
  164  remit an unclaimed life or an endowment insurance policy, a
  165  retained asset account, or an annuity contract with a death
  166  benefit if any unclaimed life or endowment insurance policy,
  167  retained asset account, or annuity contract proceeds are
  168  reported and remitted to the Department of Financial Services on
  169  or before May 1, 2021.
  170         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.