DOI News

For Immediate Release: Contact:
April 23, 2009 Kristin Milam
Johanna Royo
Members of Military Still Due Benefits from Multi-state Insurance Settlement
608 Policyholders Already Identified in N.C., Commissioner Goodwin Believes More Remain
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today reminds members of the military across North Carolina that they may be entitled to recover compensation stemming from a 2006 multi-state settlement agreement over improper life insurance sales practices targeting servicemen and women.
Officials involved in the initial investigation claim that companies targeted young recruits and misled them into believing they were buying an investment product, when in fact they were buying an expensive term life policy coupled with a side fund. The multistate agreement was signed in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.
"Unfortunately, there are people out there who have taken advantage of the service men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country," said Commissioner Goodwin. "The least that the Department of Insurance can do is to help find the compensation they are owed under the 2006 settlement. I urge any servicemember who purchased a Horizon Life insurance policy from 2000 to 2006 to go online to see if they are due money under the settlement."
Initially in 2006, some 4,700 N.C. troops and 800 civilians were thought to have purchased life insurance products from American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas or its two affiliates - Pioneer American Insurance Company and Pioneer Security Life Insurance Company. Many of the policies were sold on Fort Bragg. So far, 608 affected policies with refunds totaling $99,119.22 have been identified in North Carolina.
The settlement also extends to named beneficiaries on Horizon Life policies issued between Jan. 1, 2000, and July 28, 2006; policyholders who have been paid a death benefit or who have received a full refund are not eligible to receive compensation.
A link to the national Web tool that helps members of the military identify if they are entitled to compensation is available at the NC-DOI Web site under the Consumer Services Division. Consumers who have questions regarding the settlement can also call the North Carolina Department of Insurance at 1-800-546-5664.
-- NCDOI --