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**PROGRAMMING ALERT**Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Former Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to be Featured on CBS News’ 60 Minutes this Sunday

8/11/2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Former Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty will be featured during an episode of CBS News’ television program 60 Minutes this Sunday, August 14 at 7pm EST. The segment, which first aired in April 2016, focuses on disturbing and long-standing practices discovered within the life insurance industry, which drastically reduce the number of life insurance policies that are properly—and timely—paid out. The segment profiles several states, including Florida, that have played a significant role in correcting this national conundrum. Due to the overwhelming response the segment received, CBS has chosen to air the segment for a second time.

During the 2016 Legislative Session, CFO Atwater championed legislation to fix this troubling practice in Florida. Senate Bill 966, sponsored by Representative Bill Hager and Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, passed unanimously in the Florida Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The new law requires life insurance companies to take steps to determine when policyholders pass away and to make an attempt to contact the listed beneficiary. If a beneficiary cannot be found or contacted, insurance companies must turn the policy benefits over to the state unclaimed property program.

The enactment of this law followed years of regulatory investigations led by CFO Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Former Commissioner McCarty that uncovered this alarming practice in Florida. More than half of the largest insurance companies conducting business in the state ultimately signed regulatory agreements and agreed to do the right thing by their consumers, but CFO Atwater and Former Commissioner McCarty recognized that every company operating in Florida must be held to the same standard.

Nationally, nearly $9 billion in unclaimed policy benefits has been paid out by life insurance companies, $6 billion directly to beneficiaries and $2.8 billion delivered to state unclaimed property programs, where efforts to locate and pay beneficiaries continue.

Since the story first aired, David Altmaier has taken over as Florida’s Insurance Commissioner and four more companies have signed regulatory settlement agreements with the State of Florida. The law is being challenged by a select group of insurance companies; a challenge CFO and the State of Florida are prepared to defend. 

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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).