STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2598
RE: S.B. No. 208
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 208, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO UNCLAIMED LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Adopt the National Conference of Insurance Legislators' Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act, which requires life insurers to conduct database searches using the federal Social Security Administration's Death Master File or similar database to determine whether an insured has died;
(2) Require life insurers to use good faith efforts to locate any beneficiaries to a policy, contract, or retained asset account; and
(3) Authorize the Insurance Commissioner to use discretion to limit, exempt, or phase-in compliance with the requirements under certain circumstances.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, American Council of Life Insurers, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that in 2013, Consumer Reports found an estimated $1,000,000,000 in life insurance benefits remained unclaimed. According to testimony from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Department's Insurance Division alone receives approximately forty requests each year for assistance in finding a possible life insurance policy.
Your Committee further finds that this measure adopts the National Conference of Insurance Legislators' Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act, which provides a foundation for insurers to use the Social Security Administration Death Master File to obtain notice of death of an insured in the absence of a claim and search for beneficiaries within ninety days. This measure, in conjunction with the current national life insurance policy locator service developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and used by the Insurance Division, will simplify and streamline the process for Hawaii consumers and insurers to match beneficiaries and life insurance policies and annuities.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an effective date of January 1, 2019; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 208, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 208, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair