TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- There are 61,271 new unclaimed property accounts worth more than $25 million in Florida, according to Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
The accounts are part of a settlement related to unclaimed life insurance benefits with AIG. According to Atwater, they are expecting the insurance giant to pay even more remittances to those across the state.
"These new accounts represent dollars loved ones set aside to secure financial stability for their families. Holding companies accountable means these dollars will now be returned to their rightful owners across the state,” CFO Atwater said.
The practice addressed in the settlement agreement, signed on Oct. 22, 2012, involves life insurance companies determining an insured has died by comparing policyholder records to the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF). Many companies have used this method to stop annuity payments, but have not used the same method to issue life insurance payments.
When an insured or beneficiary cannot be located, the insurance company is responsible for reporting and sending the monetary value of the policy to the insured’s state department of unclaimed property. State unclaimed property programs provide a central means by which the owners, or their heirs, can find out about and claim the funds.
The agreement with AIG is the fifth agreement that Florida has settled that requires large national insurers to to locate the beneficiaries of life insurance policies and annuities. They also have to give the unclaimed payments to the unclaimed property division of each state.
To date, the five settlements have resulted in 73,859 new accounts worth more than $51.25 million being given back to the state Bureau of Unclaimed Property for Floridians to claim.
To search for or claim unclaimed property, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or 850-413-5555. There is no deadline on when the property can be claimed, and the process is free.