For Immediate Release: May 29, 2012
North Carolina joins MetLife Settlement Agreement
Multi-state investigation prompts changes in how company handles unclaimed benefits
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced that North Carolina has joined a $40 million multi-state settlement with a group of Metropolitan Life insurance companies over allegations of life insurance improprieties.
"MetLife has agreed to improve its business practices in ways that enhance consumer protection and may benefit North Carolinians," said Goodwin. "As a result of this settlement, many life insurance beneficiaries may receive the benefits they're owed."
A multi-state examination identified concerns with the adequacy of MetLife's procedures to ensure that life insurance benefits are paid out to beneficiaries in a timely manner.
By the terms of the settlement, MetLife will regularly check the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File, or a similar source of death records, to determine if its life insurance policyholders, annuity owners or retained asset account holders have died. MetLife will then make efforts to locate beneficiaries and pay claims. If a beneficiary cannot be located within one year from the date of the match, MetLife will report the funds as unclaimed property to the appropriate state entity. The agreement could yield more than $400 million in unpaid benefits.
North Carolina stands to receive approximately $958,982 of the $40 million settlement being paid to participating states. The amount received will go into the state's General Fund for distribution into the state's Public School Fund.
If you believe you or someone you know may be the beneficiary of an unclaimed MetLife insurance policy, go to MetLife’s life insurance policy finder at: https://www.metlife.com/policyfinder/index.html.