Can I choose a third person as my life insurance beneficiary

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/30/2008 - 04:32

Hi..is it possible for me to show someone as my life insurance beneficiary if the person is not my relative? What do I need to do in order to change my life insurance beneficiary?
Purpleheaded08

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 06:28 Post Subject:

Yes, it is quite natural for an individual to consider his children, spouse, parent or anyone within the blood-relation as his possible life insurance beneficiaries. At the same time he might also suggest other entities e.g. his estate, partner, trust, lender for the same. I don't see any harm in doing so and that's very much legal. If its your investment then its gottabe your decision in the end.
ArindamSenIndies

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 06:37 Post Subject:

Hi,
Why don't you check out the state laws?
There are some states which mention that under specific circumstances a non-relative beneficiary may develop an 'insurable interest'. An insurable interest develops when one person grows a financial interest over the insured's life. Thus, the beneficiary must have a cause to go through a financial loss in the event the insured passes away.
Evan

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 06:47 Post Subject:

My friend, the tax clauses are sometimes too complex to follow. So, please make sure that you've got the implications in the right sense. The proceeds of your life policy are mostly not subject to taxation but they could be held for other conditions. In case you show your estate as the beneficiary of your life insurance, then it would add more to the size of your estate,undergo probation and develop the estate tax liability. You may call on your accountant or attorney for further clarifications. Thanks, ArindamSenIndies

Posted: 01 Oct 2008 02:50 Post Subject:

Hi..is it possible for me to show someone as my life insurance beneficiary if the person is not my relative? What do I need to do in order to change my life insurance beneficiary?



Hi Purpleheaded08,

Yes it is possible to show someone as your life insurance beneficiary if that person is not your relative. When you purchase your life insurance policy you may name anyone you want as beneficiary. In case you want to change your life insurance beneficiary, you simply need to get in touch with your insurance company and see what process they follow. You may be needed to put forth your request in writing, usually on a form provided by your insurer. However, sometimes the process may not be this simple. If you have designated an irreversible beneficiary, you may have to take the permission of your present beneficiary. If your present beneficiary does not allow, you cannot change the name. In case you are getting a divorce and want to change your beneficiary, you must meet the terms mentioned in your divorce order. You never know but your divorce decree might require you to maintain your life insurance policy keeping your ex-wife as beneficiary.

Hope I've been able to help :)

Posted: 01 Oct 2008 11:19 Post Subject:

Hey there..whatever be the case, don't ever try to alter the name of the beneficiary through your will. The 'change of beneficiary' option mentioned in your will would not let you change the beneficiary actually. It would never replace the beneficiary designation mentioned in your life insurance policy. Make sure that you follow the procedures set by your insurance carrier for that purpose.
Fatman

Posted: 01 Oct 2008 11:23 Post Subject:

What happens if a beneficiary is not mentioned. We recently got a 401K staement in the mail and my husband had me listed as the beneficiary and on this last statement it had said "no beneficiary listed". I am going to get him to call and see what is going on but justnthought I would ask.

Posted: 01 Oct 2008 01:30 Post Subject:

I would also suggest that if you purposely exclude someone as beneficiary on an insurance policy - someone who "normally" would be listed - that you also note that in your will/trust/estate documents. Something as simple as "I purposely excluded ________ as a beneficiary to my estate."

This way, when that time comes, _____________ can't jump up and say that you just forgot to include them.

Posted: 02 Oct 2008 04:41 Post Subject:

Hey Fireyone,

Call your insurance company and find out what the matter is. Do you have any supporting documents - like a copy of the form you submitted where you have mentioned the name of the beneficiary? If you have it, you might as well keep it handy :)

Posted: 03 Oct 2008 08:23 Post Subject:

In the event, the state laws do not allow a non-relative to be named as beneficiary, the policy owner may assign the policy to the non-relative.

Alternatively, the policyowner may name his estate as beneficiary and write a will to specify that he wants the non-relative to receive the policy proceeds.

Posted: 04 Oct 2008 10:25 Post Subject:

Hi Sil, My hubby and I got on the website and requested the beneficiary documents be sent to us in the mail so we can add my name. I just think it would save aggravation if anything would happed (pray not.). Thanks for your suggestion, maybe an added phone call wouldn't be a bad idea.

Posted: 18 Mar 2010 11:23 Post Subject: Beneficiary

My Dad just passed away and had his live in named beneficiary on his Life Insurance Policy's and left nothing for his kid's. Then she refused to help with his service's.
He told us he had enough for his service's. How can she not have to cover the cost of his Funeral with his policy

Posted: 19 Mar 2010 12:13 Post Subject: life insurance

Is it possible for me to contest my daughters life insurance beneficiary if he is non related and may be the one who caused her death?

Posted: 19 Mar 2010 07:30 Post Subject:

My Dad just passed away and had his live in named beneficiary on his Life Insurance Policy's and left nothing for his kid's. Then she refused to help with his service's.
He told us he had enough for his service's. How can she not have to cover the cost of his Funeral with his policy


The fact that she received life insurance is irrelevant. That's her money. You don't have to pay for a funeral for him either if you don't want to do so. Unfortunately, your dad wanted his live in to get the money and unfortunately, she doesn't care about his funeral.

Posted: 19 Mar 2010 07:32 Post Subject:

Is it possible for me to contest my daughters life insurance beneficiary if he is non related and may be the one who caused her death?



The fact that he is non related doesn't matter. If he did cause her death, it would make a difference. However, absent legal proof that he killed her, you don't stand much of a chance.

Posted: 25 Mar 2010 04:45 Post Subject:

In case you show your estate as the beneficiary of your life insurance, then it would add more to the size of your estate,undergo probation and develop the estate tax liability.



Some misinformation here. The "value" of life insurance is ALWAYS part of the owner's estate for estate tax purposes, regardless of who the beneficiary is. This is the reason many people make a life insurance trust the owner instead of personally owning the policy. The trust has a 99 year lifespan. If there is no money in the trust at the end of 99 years (as will probably be true), there is nothing to tax.

We recently got a 401K statement in the mail and my husband had me listed as the beneficiary and on this last statement it had said "no beneficiary listed".



Although related under the heading of "beneficiary," this is a very different matter. The disposition of "qualified retirement plan" assets falls under federal law. The rules here are somewhat different than those for life insurance policies/proceeds, which are subject to state law.

Federal law requires that "qualified plan" assets must be paid to a person's current spouse upon death of the account holder. If not married, the beneficiary may be anyone of the account owner's choosing. The only way to get around this is for the spouse to sign off on his/her rights to first position. This is "informed consent."

EXAMPLE: An unmarried/divorced person names their child (minor/adult, immaterial) as the beneficiary of their 401(k), 403(b), IRA, etc. Several years later, the account owner gets married. The new spouse is AUTOMATICALLY the beneficiary of the account, prior beneficiary designations notwithstanding. For the child to once again be the primary beneficiary, the new spouse must consent, in writing, to be replaced. Absent the consent of the new spouse, the child is no longer the primary beneficiary, but would endure as the contingent beneficiary.

Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to contact the Plan Custodian or Plan Administrator and get this resolved, in writing.

[[ Note also that to borrow money from a 401(k) or 403(b) account, if married, the account owner's spouse must give written consent, acknowledging that they are giving up their entitlement to 100% of the account assets to the extent of the unpaid loan balance + interest. Same rules. ]]

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 03:32 Post Subject: how do I find out if my ex has a policy

My ex husband is suppose to have a lifed ins policy for our 2 kids with me being beneficiary. thats in our divorce papers..Unfortunately he lies all the time. So I have no idea if he does or not..should he have to give me a copy? Is there a way to find out if he has one or not?

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 06:40 Post Subject:

If you have a court order, the court will enforce it for you. Simply file an action in family court forcing him to show proof that the policy exists. If he lies to the court, he can go to jail for perjury.

It would be a BETTER idea if you were the owner of the policy. That way, if he failed to pay a premium, you would get a notice of pending lapse and could make the payments and then sue him for the value of the payments. As the owner, you would be able to make yourself or your children the beneficiaries of the policy without fear of being removed.

Some divorce attorneys understand this, and some do not. If you file an action to prove that the insurance exists, add to it a motion to compel ABSOLUTE ASSIGNMENT of the ownership to you. Once that document is executed and filed with the insurance company, it is a done deal. You are the policyowner and in full control. The court can still order him to pay the premiums, or it can order him to pay the money to you and you will pay the premiums. If he fails to pay, you haul his butt back into court and let him explain it to the judge. That kind of a contempt order may be pursued as an ex parte action in some states.

Posted: 04 Apr 2011 11:44 Post Subject: Beneficary Fraudtly Changed

My father passed away in Oct. and I found out six weeks later that the beneficary was changed to my brothers ex girlfriend. My dad had deminta. The will & papers leaves me all. The company my dad retired with is not telling me a thing or my attorney. All my family is deceased and the beneficary died a few weeks ago. Where does this leave me?

Posted: 05 Apr 2011 10:00 Post Subject:

The life insurance money was payable to the named beneficiary at the time of your father's death. If you believe there was foul play involved in the change of beneficiary, you would have to take that claim to Civil Court. Now that the beneficiary is also deceased, you can only file against her estate. If there is nothing there, it's a lost cause.

As far as your father's estate, his will governs the disposition of his other assets. You get what you get according to that document and what remains of the estate after the claims of creditors are satisfied.

Posted: 30 Apr 2011 05:43 Post Subject: beneficiary question

My wife's mother died without listing any beneificiaries. Can she claim her insurance? What happens to what she put into the account?

Posted: 30 Apr 2011 11:36 Post Subject:

If your wife's mother had a life insurance policy in force at the time of her death, but there was no named beneficiary, the money is payable only to the policyowner or the policyowner's estate. Assuming that your wife's mother was the owner (true in the overwhelming majority of individual policies), the policy proceeds are payable to her estate. No one may "claim" the proceeds if there is no named beneficiary.

The estate will be distributed according to her will or state probate laws. Your wife may or may not receive any of the proceeds if there are creditors of the estate who present superior claims. If your wife has siblings, the estate will be divided among all the siblings. Estate proceeds are not subject to federal taxation -- they are an inheritance. The decedent's estate could be subject to estate taxes if its total value exceeds $5,000,000 this year.

Posted: 20 May 2011 03:52 Post Subject: Life insurance without beneficiary

My Dad died and had a life insurance policy from his work with no designated beneficiary. He was married to my step Mom at the time of his death, but she died one week later. Both died in the State of California. My step Mom's parents are claiming they should get the life insurance. Who is entitled to the insurance?

Posted: 20 May 2011 04:59 Post Subject:

My Dad died and had a life insurance policy from his work with no designated beneficiary.



First of all, please allow me to offer my condolences for the loss of your father.

A life insurance policy provides a benefit [money] to someone when the insured's heart stops beating. Therefore, please understand the most basic element of any life insurance policy is the beneficiary designation. I'm not even sure a policy - any policy - would even be issued without a named beneficiary.

If someone out there knows of a company who will issue a policy without a named beneficiary, please let me know.

Secondly, I would ask that you again allow me to offer my condolences on the loss of your stepmother.

Her parents are claiming they should get a life insurance benefit? Your stepmother obviously wasn't that old.

Who is entitled to the insurance?



This is easy. In the state of California, the named beneficiary is entitled to the insurance proceeds. I would suggest you contact your father's place of employment (usually the Human Resources Department) and get some answers about his life insurance policy. In fact, they might even have a copy of it. If not they can certainly direct you to the company that issued the policy. I guarantee you the document exists somewhere.

Posted: 21 May 2011 01:06 Post Subject:

1) the original beneficiary could have died first leaving no beneficiary.

2) it is possible for a policy to be issued without a named beneficiary.
A) even without a named beneficiary, there is still a beneficiary.
B) what reason would the insurance company have in terms of caring about this in general?

Posted: 22 May 2011 10:48 Post Subject:

1) the original beneficiary could have died first leaving no beneficiary.



Yes, good call - that could be correct. And because only the insured knew the policy even existed, he must have felt he didn't need to mention anything - to anyone -when the primary beneficiary he named on the policy died before him. Maybe he just figured he'd keep paying premiums and let the step mom figure it all out when he died - and then she died a week later and his whole plan fell through.

2) it is possible for a policy to be issued without a named beneficiary.



Ok, I'll give you this one too. He must have left the beneficiary designation box blank because he had every intention of leaving the proceeds of his policy to his estate? That must have been what you meant - right?

If he named a trust or any estate planning tool as beneficiary, that still counts as a beneficiary designation.

A) even without a named beneficiary, there is still a beneficiary.



The insured's estate?

B) what reason would the insurance company have in terms of caring about this in general?



Just a little thing called Contract Law. At some point in the past, the insurance company promised to pay someone when the insured died - and they are legally obligated to do so.

Posted: 23 May 2011 12:58 Post Subject:

It is common for people to forget to update beneficiary designations.

Without a living named beneficiary, the default beneciary would be the owner (or the owner's estate) and not the insured's estate.

You missed the point. The insurance company does need to make a payment, but they don't care to whom the payment is getting paid as long as it is the correct person. If nobody is named, the contract will specify where it gets paid.

Posted: 23 May 2011 04:48 Post Subject:

Without a living named beneficiary, the default beneciary would be the owner (or the owner's estate) and not the insured's estate.



Let's assume the policy owner and insured are the same person.

You missed the point. The insurance company does need to make a payment, but they don't care to whom the payment is getting paid as long as it is the correct person. If nobody is named, the contract will specify where it gets paid.



Because I've obviously missed the point, thanks so much for bringing me up to speed on this stuff. Let me see if I've got this straight:

The insurance company is bound by contract to make a payment to someone - as long as that is the right person. And the "right person" would be the named beneficiary? And if this named beneficiary predeceases the insured (in this case, we'll assume the owner and insured is the same person) and this person fails to update his beneficiary information which, according to you happens with some regularity, it is the actual contract / life insurance policy that dictates where the benefit is to be paid?

Posted: 23 May 2011 08:44 Post Subject:

Why should we make an assumpion about the owner?

Are you asking questions or are you trying to make a point?

Posted: 23 May 2011 09:00 Post Subject:

In the original post, it was stated:

My Dad died and had a life insurance policy from his work with no designated beneficiary.



From an investigative standpoint, the words "from his work" would indicate this was some sort of work-related life insurance policy. If the policy in question was part of an employee benefit package - and that's more-than-likely the case, the insured would have also been the policy owner. I am familiar with the key-employee concept and admit that while the company might have owned the policy, I just doubt this was one of those cases. If it had been, I seriously a beneficiary designation would have been overlooked.

Wouldn't you agree?

Posted: 23 May 2011 11:04 Post Subject:

My guess would be that you are correct. I would argue that these are the policies that are most likely to have no living listed beneficiary. This is especially true if it is employer provided. This is because of the lack of agent involvement primarily. It is very similar to all of the old retirement plans with ex wives as beneficiary.

Ex. Ten years ago Joe took a job with XYZ. They gave him 225K of coverage. He named his mom as beneficiary. She has died. It never crossed his mind to make a change.

Posted: 23 May 2011 11:15 Post Subject:

Sounds good to me.

Posted: 24 May 2011 12:12 Post Subject:

The insurance company does need to make a payment, but they don't care to whom the payment is getting paid as long as it is the correct person.



Well, that's generally true. But the insurance company is not required to do much in the way of "investigating" the person to whom they are making the payment either, which could result in a payment being made to the wrong person inadvertently. And they don't necessarily spend any time searching for the beneficiary like they should.

Which creates a different problem that some insurance companies are finding themselves mired in. Seems they know that they are supposed to pay a death claim (using the Social Security Death Index), but they choose not to pay the claim, and instead begin using the cash value to pay premiums until the policy lapses for non-payment.

Not that they wouldn't pay the death claim if the beneficiary comes forward, but the rub is that the money is supposed to escheat to the state if not paid to the beneficiary within a certain period of time. By not paying the money to the state, like California, the state cannot invest the money and earn some tote to use to balance its budget.

Several insurance companies have been sued by the State of California for this practice, are losing the cases (or settling quietly), and the state is going to go after all them one by one.

Posted: 24 May 2011 02:21 Post Subject:

Why and how should/would the insurance company should the insurance company search for a beneficiary prior to receiving a death claim?

The ss death index comes with a disclaimer that information may not be accurate. If someone is on the list, they are probably dead, but is not proof of death.

These cases are from before 1960 and are nothing more than the state of CA being in a financial mess. CA will get some money without any law suits being won. No beneficiaries will benefit from this.

Posted: 24 May 2011 02:24 Post Subject:

By the way, that was a great change of subject to show us how smart you are.

Posted: 24 May 2011 07:25 Post Subject:

I'll let you read this for yourself. (some emphasis added). It's not really a change of subject, except in your own narrow mind.

CALIFORNIA DEPT OF INSURANCE PRESS RELEASE
APRIL 25, 2011

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and State Controller John Chiang today announced the issuance of a subpoena and joint investigative hearing into the practices of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), also known as MetLife. The hearing will focus on MetLife's practices regarding payment of benefits under life insurance policies after MetLife learns of an insured's death - either to the beneficiaries or, if they cannot be located for three years or more, to the State's Unclaimed Property program. MetLife learned of the deaths of insureds through a database prepared by the Social Security Administration called "Death Master," which lists all Americans who die.

The Commissioner and the Controller are responding to preliminary findings from an audit the Controller launched in 2008, indicating that for two decades, MetLife failed to pay life insurance policy benefits to named beneficiaries or the State even after learning that an insured had died. The company has a huge number of so-called Industrial Policies, valued at an estimated $1.2 billion, which were primarily sold in the 1940s and 1950s to working-class people. The payments, which were collected weekly, typically were higher than the final death benefit. The Controller's unclaimed property audit indicates that MetLife did not take steps to determine whether policy owners of dormant accounts are still alive, and if not, pay the beneficiaries, or the State if they cannot be located.

Simultaneously, the preliminary findings show, when MetLife knew that an owner of an annuity contract - which generates income for the policy owner at the time the annuity matures - had died, or the annuity had matured, the company did not contact the policy holder or beneficiary, even though it subscribed to the "Death Master" database. Furthermore, MetLife continued making premium payments from the policy holder's account until the cash reserves were used up, and then cancelled the contract.

Today's announcement comes after Controller Chiang last week announced a landmark settlement with insurer John Hancock and following a multi-year investigation aimed at determining whether the insurance industry was in compliance with state unclaimed property laws requiring them to transfer dormant property to the State for safekeeping when the rightful owners, or their heirs, cannot be located. The Commissioner and Controller believe that these practices are not isolated, but are systemic in the insurance industry.

"The thrust of this hearing is to determine whether MetLife, one of the largest life insurers and issuers of annuities in the United States, engaged in unfair practices regarding the payment of life insurance claims to beneficiaries," Commissioner Jones said.

"California families buy insurance to provide for their retirement security and the financial security of their families when they die," Controller Chiang said. "The benefits should be paid to the policy beneficiaries or to the State to return to the rightful owners."

The hearing will be held in Sacramento on Monday, May 23, 2011, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

================================================

Does it matter if the policies were from the 1940s or 1950s or that the practice continues to this day? Of course it does! There were contracts with agreed upon performances that were dishonored. Will it be a $1.2 billion event? That remains to be seen.

The point is, at the moment of death, the relationship of the life insurance contract changes from owner-insurance company to insurance company-beneficiary. As has been seen in this thread, some people are not sure who the beneficiary is, but the insurance company definitely knows (1) if a policy was in force at the time of a person's death, and (2) who the beneficiary is.

The insuring clause states something like: The Company agrees to pay the Proceeds of this policy to the Beneficiary after receipt of due proof of the death of the Insured while this Policy is in force and to provide other rights and benefits in accordance with the terms of this Policy. Please read this policy carefully. It is a legal contract between the Owner and the Company.

The Social Security Death Index is a form of "due proof of death" (it is, at least notice of a death), and the contract requires payment of the proceeds. Under state laws, the insurance company must pay the claim (often within 120 days of death, or be forced to pay a higher rate of interest). If a named beneficiary fails to step forward of their own accord, that does not relieve the insurance company of its obligation to pay the claim in a timely manner.

================================================

I am not going to dispute the fact that fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the Democratically-controlled legislature, with some assistance from weak-kneed Republicans beholden to lobbying interests, is a probably motivator. The same is true for the state's potential $10 billion fine against United HealthCare for its failure to pay claims on health insurance policies and other market conduct violatlons.

Posted: 24 May 2011 07:31 Post Subject:

Why should we make an assumpion about the owner?



I suppose we should make that assumption since 90% or more of all individually-issued life insurance contracts are owned by the primary insured -- at least at the time of application, if not necessarily, at the time of death.

Posted: 24 May 2011 10:00 Post Subject:

Max, I'm glad you posted this release. I've been in Walnut Creek since 7:50 this morning in meetings regarding this exact case.

Great case...........Get Met, It Pays.

Posted: 25 May 2011 12:01 Post Subject:

What bothers me about this case is that the primary motivating force behind this does not have anything to do with helping beneficiaries. This is solely about CA seizing an opportunity to grab some cash.

Max, it does matter that these policies are so old and so small. The SSdi didn't start until 40 years after these policies were issued. Even if the company thinks that a death has occurred, is it their legal responsibility to proactively search for the beneficiary?

Let's assume that someone bought a $500 policy in 1945 and died in 1990 and there was no death claim. What specific steps should Met have taken?

Posted: 25 May 2011 06:50 Post Subject:

fdsa, all BS aside - good feedback - seriously.

This is solely about CA seizing an opportunity to grab some cash.



You are certainly not alone in your seemingly nonchalant attitude/belief that the DOI is just using this as an excuse to seize an opportunity to grab some cash. In fact, you are among the roughly 60% majority.

What I'm afraid you don't see is the other side of the proverbial coin - the beneficiaries of those who paid premiums for sometimes 50 years and got nothing in return. I've personally interviewed over a dozen people who will ultimately become class representatives in this case.

SSdi aside, insurance companies have the ability to determine, with a phenomenal degree of accuracy, if any of their policyholders have died.

is it their legal responsibility to proactively search for the beneficiary?



There's not as much work involved here as you might think. When each and every one of these policyholders applied for insurance, they signed a document giving the insurance company access to their personal information - in every single case. SSI, DMV, and MIB records can all be accessed with the push of a button. The question is: why won't the insurance companies pay someone to push these buttons? Instead, they would apparently prefer to take a chance in a court of law.

Yes, by God, they are obligated to work for their surviving policyholders and/or their beneficiaries. This is not based solely on my expert opinion - it's the law. What right does a company (worth billions of dollars) have to keep that $500 policy purchased in 1945? Put yourself in the beneficiary's shoes - wouldn't you hope someone would help you get what is rightfully yours?

Back in 1994, I wrote the President of Metropolitan Life a letter advising him that I had discovered roughly 400 cases policyholder abuse. In this letter, I asked if I could come to work for his company (as a consultant) and help make these people whole.

My plan, which was laid out in writing, would take 10 years and my fee was somewhere in the area of around $5 million. If this made you laugh, you're not alone because it had the same effect on him. Soon thereafter, I was told they didn't need my help and was threatened with legal action. To date, that little chuckle Harry Kamen got at my expense has cost his company around $300 million.

I'm really glad you have a better than average knowledge of insurance and are not in the group of millions who have been screwed and don't even know it. Use your knowledge to help these people because, you might be all someone's got.

Posted: 26 May 2011 05:17 Post Subject:

I see both sides of the coin. My problem is that the state of CA seems much more concerned with getting the money into their coffers than having MetLife pay beneficiaries.

I'm not on Met Life's side with this issue. I don't have enough facts to take a side. I mostly just have questions and unresolved thoughts.

For instance, if an insurance company knows that somebody dies, but has not received a death claim, are they under an obligation to search for the beneficiary? My thoughts on this is that they have a moral obligation, but not a legal obligation.

If they have no knowlege of death, do they have the responsiblity to search to see if a death has occurred? I think that they neither have a legal or moral obligation in this case.

From a contractual point of view, doesn't the payment of a death claim start with the beneficiary filing a claim? Is the insurance company SUPPOSED to search for people to pay?

I would not be so cynical on this particular issue if CA instead of trying to get MetLife to pay them money instead ordered MetLife to make an effort to find and pay the beneficiaries.

Prediction: There will be no finding of wrong doing and MetLife will not admit to wrong doing, but they will pay a large some of money to CA. CA will be happy. MetLife will be happy. Beneficiaries won't benefit.

Posted: 26 May 2011 10:34 Post Subject:

Again, good feedback.

My problem is that the state of CA seems much more concerned with getting the money into their coffers than having MetLife pay beneficiaries.



I completely understand your concern but, is it really, your problem? You simply cannot deny, especially if you live and do business in CA, that a refurbishment of the CA DOI is long overdue - seriously, this should have happened a long time ago. C'mon, we actually had a Commissioner (Chuck Quackenbush) fired for "misplacing" funds from the Northridge earthquake fund. Then he retired to Hawaii. I could tell you stories about some of our regulatory agencies you would probably never believe.

If you are truly on the side of the consumer, be delighted with what's going on, and let's hope other states follow our lead.

if an insurance company knows that somebody dies, but has not received a death claim, are they under an obligation to search for the beneficiary?



Really? No offense, but did you give that question any thought at all? I'd love to break that question down for a jury of mostly senior citizens.

Let me re-ask the same question little differently.

Ladies and gantlemen of the jury: Does an insurance company have the right to continue to draw premiums from policyholder they know is dead, hoping the money will run out and the policy will lapse prior to anyone making a claim?

If they have no knowlege of death, do they have the responsiblity to search to see if a death has occurred? I think that they neither have a legal or moral obligation in this case.



No, of course not. But Metlife isn't being investigated for what they didn't know, they're being investigated on what they did know and chose to overlook.

Hypothetically speaking; let's say an insurance company (any company) has 500 policies on the books and have reason to believe the policyholders may have passed away. Who gets to decide which policies are investigated and which ones are ignored? In this day and age, when even a little extra money could help someone pay for medication, food, medical expenses, or just the cost of living, who decides which beneficiaries receive money that is rightfully theirs and who doesn't? To me, that's mind-boggling.

From a contractual point of view, doesn't the payment of a death claim start with the beneficiary filing a claim? Is the insurance company SUPPOSED to search for people to pay?



On this particular issue, I agree with you 100% but again, you're missing the point.

Metlife is being investigated for cases in which THEY KNEW the policyholders had passed away and instead counted on premiums running out before a claim was submitted.

Is the insurance company SUPPOSED to search for people to pay?



No, of course not. Again, they are not being investigated for not properly searching for people to pay.

Prediction: There will be no finding of wrong doing and MetLife will not admit to wrong doing, but they will pay a large some of money to CA. CA will be happy. MetLife will be happy. Beneficiaries won't benefit.



I'm afraid I'm inclined to agree with your prediction. Let's hope this changes in the future.

Posted: 27 May 2011 01:04 Post Subject:

Mark, our disagreements on this subject are probably close to nil and probably only exist because I do not have full facts. I was under the (mistaken?) impression that letting policies lapse on dead people was only a small part of this. If Met is guilt y of that, they deserve to be treated harshly.

Posted: 27 May 2011 04:48 Post Subject:

I completely understand your position on this matter. Unfortunately, the public is not entitled to any more information than what is contained in the press release.

I've already spent quite a bit of time "breaking this down" for both policyholders and legal counsel. Here it is in a nutshell:

Several insurance companies, including but not limited to Metlife, have been accused of failing to distribute the life insurance and annuity benefits of deceased policyholders in accordance with policy and State law.

In these cases (around 23 or so that I may or may not have knowledge of) the company knew - beyond a shadow of a doubt - a policy holder had passed away. In fact, in several of these cases, they had been informed by the children (or other family members) of the insured, but took no action because they were not the owners of the policy(ies).

I understand that it can be argued that it was not the company's responsibility to initiate action based on this information. However, with this, or any other type of notice given to an insurance company, the statute of limitations clock is activated.

At this point, a company is required by law to exercise a reasonable effort to determine if the information is accurate - and they have all the information they need to do so. If the information is accurate (whether a claim has been submitted or not) they are required to freeze the account and values within the policy.

If, after a period of time, a claim has still not been filed, they are required by law to report and/or distribute to the State's Unclaimed Property Dept.

Companies have instead, been accused of failing to follow up on reports of deceased policy holders, continuing to draw premiums from accounts - which were supposed to have been frozen, and allowing the policies to lapse prior to notifying the State.

At this point, I have no idea how many of these cases are in CA or, for that matter, the rest of the nation but expect the number to be fairly large.

Posted: 28 May 2011 02:36 Post Subject:

My son, Airman 1st Class in the USAF, died in a car accident on May 3, 2011 while at home in Missouri for his grandfathers death. He was married on Feb 10, 2011. He had spoke to me and his brother just a few days before the car accident about his SGLI benefits and said when he enlisted he named me his mother beneficiery, I didn't really discuss this to much cause I told him nothing was going to happen to him, anyway his so called wife lived with him for a total of 11 days at his duty station in Florida, it is at this time I believe she changed his SGLI benefits on his computer into her name. I've looked at the website and it is pretty simple process to do. Her mother and her were on the phone filing for benefits from the SGLI and car insurance company by 7am on the 3rd of May and he died at 1am on the morning of the 3rd of May. I don't know how they had all the info and was able to file and settle so fast, besides that was the furthest thing from his father and I minds, we were preparing to bury our oldest son. I contacted the insurance companies in recent days which will not even speak to me about any of it, I am his mother. What do I do? This was my son, and my rights as a parent doesn't seem to matter, pleaselet me know what i can do to gain access to the info so i can see when it was changed because I believe she changed everything without his knowledge of it. Sincerely, Christian's mother and hope for justice.

Posted: 28 May 2011 05:44 Post Subject:

Hello Christian's Mother: Let me begin by offering my most sincere condolences on the loss of your son. What an incredibly tragic experience.

I'm going to break down your post and answer it in sections. I trust you'll get posts from others as well. I too spent some time in the USAF and still have my USGLI coverage.

My son, Airman 1st Class in the USAF, died in a car accident on May 3, 2011 while at home in Missouri for his grandfather’s death. He was married on Feb 10, 2011.



This may be more significant than you think. He obviously loved this woman and was legally married to her three months prior to his untimely death. I do not believe the military (or any life insurance company I can think of) has any type of "wait-n-see what happens in the marriage" period. Therefore, upon his death she was legally entitled to any military benefits or privileges due her - as his wife.

He had spoke to me and his brother just a few days before the car accident about his SGLI benefits and said when he enlisted he named me his mother beneficiary,



He probably did. Unless he had some college under his belt when he enlisted, he had around 2 years time-in-service. If, during any of that time, he was actively developing a relationship with the woman who would become his wife, I think there's a very good chance he may have changed her as his beneficiary. Speaking from experience, the very same thing happened to me. I changed my beneficiary from my mother to my wife within just a few days of the transition to active duty - that's generally what a husband does.

anyway his so called wife lived with him for a total of 11 days at his duty station in Florida,



In the eyes of the US Government and the insurance company, if she had a marriage certificate, her official title was not "so-called wife." She was the real deal. The length of time they spent together in Florida is irrelevant.

it is at this time I believe she changed his SGLI benefits on his computer into her name. I've looked at the website and it is pretty simple process to do



Remember when I said she was legally entitled to any military benefits or privileges due her - as his wife? Making herself his sole benficiary was one of them. As long as he authorized it - that was her right.

Because I've had this conversation with people many, many times, I anticipate the response "he wouldn't have authorized it, or she must have forged his signature." That's when I ask the wife if she ever signed her husband's name to a check or gave out any of his personal information because, as his wife, she felt she could so, and didn't require his permission. In most cases, they have.

Her mother and her were on the phone filing for benefits from the SGLI and car insurance company by 7am on the 3rd of May and he died at 1am on the morning of the 3rd of May.



I realize how insensitive her actions may have seemed, but, again, as his wife, she wasn't breaking any laws.

I contacted the insurance companies in recent days which will not even speak to me about any of it



As per a legal and binding contract, the insurance company obviously received a death claim, verified it, and paid the named beneficiary. What else would you suggest the insurance company do?

Again, I'm very sorry for your loss. You may have some legal rights I am not familiar with. You may want to discuss your concerns with counsel. Best wishes and good luck.

Posted: 05 Apr 2013 07:37 Post Subject: wrong payout after death

How can MetLife refuse to correct a mistake after they receive the correct beneficiary information?

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 01:52 Post Subject:

What's the mistake?

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 10:41 Post Subject: latamdate review

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