Florida Senate - 2016 CS for SB 966
By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senators
Benacquisto and Gaetz
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
32 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
34 Section 1. Section 717.107, Florida Statutes, is amended to
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
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.