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Four life insurers will pay $3.4M to settle probe over death benefits

State insurance regulators have reached settlements with four life insurance companies regarding payment of unclaimed death benefits, terms of which include paying an aggregate $3.4 million.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Securian Financial Group Inc., Great American Insurance Group and Standard Insurance Co. (known as The Standard) reached the settlement with five state insurance departments.

Regulators were investigating the companies’ use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File database, which helps insurers identify deceased insurance policyholders and pay benefits to beneficiaries who may not know they are owed money. he Hartford’s portion of the settlement was $2.1 million; $625,000 for Securian; $400,000 for Great American; and $277,000 for The Standard.

The other insurers who’ve settled allegations in years past were Prudential Financial Inc. shelled out $17 million, and John Hancock Financial $13.3 million… ouch?