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CFO Atwater Applauds Governor Scott for Signing Life Insurance Legislation

4/15/2016

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413 – 2842
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today released the following statement regarding Governor Scott’s signing of SB 966, a bill sponsored by Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Representative Bill Hager that strengthens consumer protections related to life insurance.
 
“The purchase of a life insurance policy is one of the most important purchases a family can make, and yet it was discovered several years ago that many life insurance companies built in business practices that intentionally shielded them from knowledge of a policyholder’s death, a practice which drastically reduces the number of policies that are properly—and timely—paid out.
 
“Through more than five years of regulatory investigations, Florida has been a leader in securing national settlement agreements with twenty of the largest insurance companies in the nation—agreements that ensure these companies will seek out beneficiaries and pay them long overdue benefits. While these agreements corrected the course for the way these twenty companies conduct business, it was time to ensure that all companies operating in the state of Florida were held to the same standards of upholding the promises they made to policyholders.

“I thank Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, Representative Bill Hager and countless others for being vocal and ardent advocates of this bill throughout the legislative process, and for fighting for what they know the people of Florida deserve.
 
“I thank Governor Scott for his continued support of consumer protections and I thank him for signing this legislation that ensures that hundreds of thousands of Florida families will gain access to the life insurance benefits that were set aside by their loved one many years ago.
 
“As this bill is implemented and our Office receives unpaid life insurance benefits owed beneficiaries that life insurance companies were unable to contact, our Bureau of Unclaimed Property will continue its trend of returning record-breaking numbers of unclaimed property back to Floridians. In fact, our longtime Bureau Chief Walter Graham was just recognized by the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization as the National Unclaimed Property Administrator of the Year, demonstrating his commitment to returning every dime of unclaimed property back to its rightful owner.”

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).