2019 Montana Code Annotated
Title 33. Insurance and Insurance Companies
Chapter 20. Life Insurance
Part 16. Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act
33-20-1605. Insurer conduct

Universal Citation: MT Code § 33-20-1605 (2019)

33-20-1605. Insurer conduct. (1) An insurer shall perform a comparison of life insurance policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset accounts that are in force for its insureds against a death master file on at least a semiannual basis to identify potential matches of its insureds. For any potential matches, the insurer shall within 90 days:

(a) make a reasonable effort, documented by the insurer, to confirm the death of the insured, annuity contract holder, or retained asset account holder; and

(b) determine whether benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or contract.

(2) If benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or contract, the insurer shall:

(a) use reasonable efforts, documented by the insurer, to locate the beneficiary; and

(b) provide the appropriate claims forms or instructions to the beneficiary to make a claim, including the requirement to provide an official death certificate, if applicable under the policy or contract.

(3) With respect to group life insurance, an insurer is required to confirm the possible death of an insured when the insurer maintains at least the following information with regard to those covered under a policy or contract:

(a) social security number or name and date of birth;

(b) beneficiary designation information;

(c) coverage eligibility;

(d) benefit amount; and

(e) premium payment status.

(4) To the extent permitted by law, an insurer may disclose minimum necessary personal information about an insured or beneficiary to a person the insurer reasonably believes may be able to assist the insurer in locating the beneficiary or a person otherwise entitled to payment of claim proceeds.

(5) An insurer or its service provider may not charge insureds, account holders, or beneficiaries for any fees or costs associated with a search or verification conducted pursuant to this section.

(6) The benefits from a life insurance policy, an annuity contract, or a retained asset account, plus any applicable accrued interest, must be first payable to the designated beneficiary. In the event the beneficiary cannot be found, the benefits escheat to the state as unclaimed property pursuant to Title 70, chapter 9, part 8.

(7) If claim proceeds are presumed abandoned pursuant to 70-9-803, the insurer shall notify the department of revenue that:

(a) the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, annuity contract, or retained asset account has not submitted a claim with the insurer; and

(b) the insurer has been unable, after reasonable efforts documented by the insurer, to contact the beneficiary.

(8) In addition to giving notice to the department of revenue, the insurer shall immediately submit the unclaimed life insurance or annuity contract benefits or the unclaimed retained asset accounts, plus any applicable accrued interest, to the department of revenue.

History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 119, L. 2013.

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