Florida Senate - 2016                              CS for SB 966
       By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senators
       Benacquisto and Gaetz
       597-02310-16                                           2016966c1
    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 compare records of certain
   10         insurance policies, annuity contracts, and retained
   11         asset accounts of its insureds against the United
   12         States Social Security Administration Death Master
   13         File or a certain database or service to determine if
   14         a death is indicated; providing requirements for the
   15         comparison; providing for a presumption of death for
   16         certain individuals; providing an exception; requiring
   17         an insurer to account for certain variations in data
   18         and partial information; providing the circumstances
   19         under which a policy, a contract, or an account is
   20         deemed to be in force; providing applicability;
   21         defining a term; requiring an insurer to follow
   22         certain procedures after learning of a death through a
   23         specified comparison; authorizing an insurer to
   24         disclose certain personal information to specified
   25         persons for certain purposes; prohibiting an insurer
   26         and specified entities from charging fees and costs
   27         associated with certain activities; conforming
   28         provisions to changes made by the act; providing
   29         retroactive applicability; providing an effective
   30         date.
   32  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   34         Section 1. Section 717.107, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   35  read:
   36         717.107 Funds owing under life insurance policies, annuity
   37  contracts, and retained asset accounts; fines, penalties, and
   38  interest; United States Social Security Administration Death
   39  Master File.—
   40         (1) Funds held or owing under any life or endowment
   41  insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or
   42  terminated are presumed unclaimed if unclaimed for more than 5
   43  years after the date of death of the insured, annuitant, or
   44  retained asset account holder funds became due and payable as
   45  established from the records of the insurance company holding or
   46  owing the funds, but property described in paragraph (3)(d)
   47  (3)(b) is presumed unclaimed if such property is not claimed for
   48  more than 2 years. The amount presumed unclaimed shall include
   49  any amount due and payable under s. 627.4615.
   50         (2) If a person other than the insured, or annuitant, or
   51  retained asset account holder is entitled to the funds and no
   52  address of the person is known to the company or it is not
   53  definite and certain from the records of the company who is
   54  entitled to the funds, it is presumed that the last known
   55  address of the person entitled to the funds is the same as the
   56  last known address of the insured, the or annuitant, or the
   57  retained asset account holder according to the records of the
   58  company.
   59         (3) For purposes of this chapter, a life or endowment
   60  insurance policy or annuity contract not matured by actual proof
   61  of the death of the insured, the or annuitant, or the retained
   62  asset account holder according to the records of the company is
   63  deemed matured and the proceeds due and payable if any of the
   64  following applies:
   65         (a) The company knows that the insured, the or annuitant,
   66  or the retained asset account holder has died.; or
   67         (b) A presumption of death made in accordance with
   68  paragraph (8)(b) has not been rebutted.
   69         (c) The policy or contract has reached its maturity date.
   70         (d)(b)1. The insured has attained, or would have attained
   71  if he or she were living, the limiting age under the mortality
   72  table on which the reserve is based;
   73         2. The policy was in force at the time the insured
   74  attained, or would have attained, the limiting age specified in
   75  subparagraph 1.; and
   76         3. Neither the insured nor any other person appearing to
   77  have an interest in the policy within the preceding 2 years,
   78  according to the records of the company, has assigned,
   79  readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy; subjected the policy
   80  to a loan; corresponded in writing with the company concerning
   81  the policy; or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a
   82  memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of
   83  the company.
   84         (4) For purposes of this chapter, the application of an
   85  automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture
   86  provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent the
   87  policy from being matured or terminated under subsection (1) if
   88  the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiaries of the
   89  policy otherwise have become entitled to the proceeds thereof
   90  before the depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by
   91  the application of those provisions.
   92         (5) If the laws of this state or the terms of the life
   93  insurance policy require the company to give notice to the
   94  insured or owner that an automatic premium loan provision or
   95  other nonforfeiture provision has been exercised and the notice,
   96  given to an insured or owner whose last known address according
   97  to the records of the company is in this state, is
   98  undeliverable, the company shall make a reasonable search to
   99  ascertain the policyholder’s correct address to which the notice
  100  must be mailed.
  101         (6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the
  102  company learns of the death of the insured, the or annuitant, or
  103  the retained asset account holder and the beneficiary has not
  104  communicated with the insurer within 4 months after the death,
  105  the company shall take reasonable steps to pay the proceeds to
  106  the beneficiary.
  107         (7) Commencing 2 years after July 1, 1987, every change of
  108  beneficiary form issued by an insurance company under any life
  109  or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract to an insured
  110  or owner who is a resident of this state must request the
  111  following information:
  112         (a) The name of each beneficiary, or if a class of
  113  beneficiaries is named, the name of each current beneficiary in
  114  the class.
  115         (b) The address of each beneficiary.
  116         (c) The relationship of each beneficiary to the insured.
  117         (8)(a)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an
  118  insurer shall compare the records of its insureds’ life or
  119  endowment insurance policies, annuity contracts that provide a
  120  death benefit, and retained asset accounts that were in force at
  121  any time on or after January 1, 1992, against the United States
  122  Social Security Administration Death Master File to determine if
  123  the death of an insured, an annuitant, or a retained asset
  124  account holder is indicated. The comparison must use the name
  125  and social security number or date of birth of the insured,
  126  annuitant, or retained asset account holder. The comparison must
  127  be made on at least an annual basis before August 31 of each
  128  year. If an insurer performs such a comparison regarding its
  129  annuities or other books of business more frequently than once a
  130  year, the insurer must also make a comparison regarding its life
  131  insurance policies, annuity contracts that provide a death
  132  benefit, and retained asset accounts at the same frequency as is
  133  made regarding its annuities or other books or lines of
  134  business. An insurer may perform the comparison required by this
  135  paragraph using any database or service that the department
  136  determines is at least as comprehensive as the United States
  137  Social Security Administration Death Master File for the purpose
  138  of indicating that a person has died.
  139         (b) An insured, an annuitant, or a retained asset account
  140  holder is presumed deceased if the date of his or her death is
  141  indicated by the comparison required under paragraph (a), unless
  142  the insurer has in its records competent and substantial
  143  evidence that the person is living, including, but not limited
  144  to, a contact made by the insurer with such person or his or her
  145  legal representative. The insurer shall account for common
  146  variations in data and for any partial names, social security
  147  numbers, dates of birth, and addresses of the insured, the
  148  annuitant, or the retained asset account holder which would
  149  otherwise preclude an exact match.
  150         (c) For purposes of this section, a policy, an annuity
  151  contract, or a retained asset account is deemed to be in force
  152  if it has not lapsed, has not been cancelled, or has not been
  153  terminated at the time of death of the insured, the annuitant,
  154  or the retained asset account holder.
  155         (d) This subsection does not apply to an insurer with
  156  respect to benefits payable under:
  157         1. An annuity that is issued in connection with an
  158  employment-based plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income
  159  Security Act of 1974 or that is issued to fund an employment
  160  based retirement plan, including any deferred compensation plan.
  161         2. A policy of credit life or accidental death insurance.
  162         3. A joint and survivor annuity contract, if an annuitant
  163  is still living.
  164         4. A policy issued to a group master policy owner for which
  165  the insurer does not perform recordkeeping functions. As used in
  166  this subparagraph, the term “recordkeeping” means those
  167  circumstances under which the insurer has agreed through a group
  168  policyholder to be responsible for obtaining, maintaining, and
  169  administering, in its own or its agents’ systems, information
  170  about each individual insured under a group insurance policy or
  171  a line of coverage thereunder, including at least the following:
  172         a. The social security number, or name and date of birth;
  173         b. Beneficiary designation information;
  174         c. Coverage eligibility;
  175         d. The benefit amount; and
  176         e. Premium payment status.
  177         (9) No later than 120 days after learning of the death of
  178  an insured, an annuitant, or a retained asset account holder
  179  through a comparison under subsection (8), an insurer shall:
  180         (a) Complete and document an effort to confirm the death of
  181  the insured, annuitant, or retained asset account holder against
  182  other available records and information.
  183         (b) Review its records to determine whether the insured,
  184  annuitant, or retained asset account holder purchased other
  185  products from the insurer.
  186         (c) Determine whether benefits may be due under a policy,
  187  an annuity, or a retained asset account.
  188         (d) Complete and document an effort to locate and contact
  189  the beneficiary or authorized representative under a policy, an
  190  annuity, or a retained asset account, if such person has not
  191  communicated with the insurer before the expiration of the 120
  192  day period. The effort must include:
  193         1. Sending to the beneficiary or authorized representative
  194  information concerning the claim process of the insurer.
  195         2. Notice of any requirement to provide a certified
  196  original or copy of the death certificate, if applicable under
  197  the policy, annuity, or retained asset account.
  198         (10) An insurer may, to the extent permitted by law,
  199  disclose the minimum necessary personal information about an
  200  insured, an annuitant, a retained asset account owner, or a
  201  beneficiary to an individual or entity reasonably believed by
  202  the insurer to possess the ability to assist the insurer in
  203  locating the beneficiary or another individual or entity that is
  204  entitled to payment of the claim proceeds.
  205         (11) An insurer, or any agent or third party that it
  206  engages or that works on its behalf, may not charge insureds,
  207  annuitants, retained asset account holders, beneficiaries, or
  208  the estates of insureds, annuitants, retained asset account
  209  holders, or the beneficiaries of an estate any fees or costs
  210  associated with any search, verification, claim, or delivery of
  211  funds conducted pursuant to this section.
  212         Section 2. The amendments made by this act are remedial in
  213  nature and apply retroactively. Fines, penalties, or additional
  214  interest may not be imposed due to the failure to report and
  215  remit an unclaimed life or an endowment insurance policy, a
  216  retained asset account, or an annuity contract with a death
  217  benefit if any unclaimed life or endowment insurance policy,
  218  retained asset account, or annuity contract proceeds are
  219  reported and remitted to the Department of Financial Services on
  220  or before May 1, 2021.
  221         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.