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New Deadline Set for Holocaust Claim Filings


TALLAHASSEE - Florida's Holocaust survivors and their heirs now have until March to file insurance claims with the international panel that adjusts unpaid policies, state Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher said today.

The new deadline for filing a claim with the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) is March 30, 2003.

The extension was granted to allow additional time for potential survivors and heirs to consult a new list published by Germany's Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation. The list, made up of the names of Jews who took out policies before and during the Holocaust, was published as part of an agreement with the Foundation and ICHEIC. The agreement also provides $275 million to compensate survivors and their heirs for unpaid life insurance claims.

"I strongly encourage all Floridians who think they may be entitled to benefits from a Holocaust-era insurance policy to take advantage of the additional time and submit their claims," Gallagher said.

ICHEIC was established in 1998 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in cooperation with European insurers and regulators, Jewish organizations and the State of Israel. Its mission is to develop and implement a just claims process for unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust.

The commission launched a worldwide search for potential claimants and established a two-year window in which to submit claims. In order to deal with the complexity of life, education and dowry policies issued between 1920 and 1945, ICHEIC relaxed standards of proof so as to provide claims payments without full documentation.

Originally set for February 15, 2002, then moved to September 30, 2002, the March 30, 2003, deadline was established to allow additional time for a new group of survivors and heirs, whose names were released this month, to file claims. However, the new extension applies to all potential claimants.

To date, it has received thousands of claims from the U. S., including more than 1,500 from Florida. Florida is the state with the third largest number of Holocaust survivors, after New York and California.

Claims packets are available by calling the Florida Department of Insurance toll-free at 1-800-388-4069. The packets are also available through the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims online at or by calling 1-800-957-3203.