Truly Agreed, 2016

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HCS HB 2150, 2016    (New Section - Proposed Language)

376.2052. 1. An insurer shall perform a comparison of its in-force life insurance policies, contracts, and retained asset accounts against a Death Master File on at least a semiannual basis by using the full Death Master File one time and thereafter using the Death Master File update files for future comparisons to identify potential matches. Nothing in this section shall limit an insurer from requesting a valid death certificate as part of any claims validation process. For those potential matches identified as a result of a Death Master File match, the insurer shall, within ninety days of a Death Master File match:
     (1) Complete a good-faith effort, which shall be documented by the insurer, to confirm the death of the insured, annuitant, or retained asset account holder against other available records and information; and
     (2) Use good-faith efforts to determine whether benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or contract and, if benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or contract:
     (a) Use good-faith efforts, which shall be documented by the insurer, to locate the beneficiary or beneficiaries; and
     (b) Provide the appropriate claims forms or instructions to each beneficiary or beneficiaries to make a claim, including the need to provide an official death certificate if applicable under the policy or contract.
     2. To the extent that an insurer's records of its in-force policies, contracts, and account owners are available electronically, an insurer shall perform the comparison required by subsection 1 of this section using such electronic records. To the extent that an insurer's records of its in-force policies, contracts, and account owners are not available electronically, an insurer shall perform the comparison required by subsection 1 of this section using the records most easily accessible by the insurer.
3. In the event an insurer is unable to confirm the death of a person following a Death Master File match and completion of the good-faith efforts described in subsection 1 of this section, an insurer may consider such policy, contract, or retired asset account to be in force according to its terms.
     4. With respect to group life insurance, the insurer is required to confirm the possible death of an insured or certificate holder only if the insurer has agreed to provide record- keeping services.
     5. To the extent permitted by law, the insurer may disclose the minimum necessary personal information about the insured or beneficiary to a person whom the insurer reasonably believes may be able to assist the insurer to locate the beneficiary or a person otherwise entitled to payment of the claims proceeds.
     6. An insurer or its service provider shall not charge any beneficiary or other authorized representative for any fees or costs associated with a Death Master File search or verification of a Death Master File match conducted in accordance with this section.
     7. The benefits from a policy, contract, or retained asset account, plus any applicable accrued contractual interest, shall first be payable to the designated beneficiaries or owners, or in the event such beneficiaries or owners cannot be found shall escheat to the state as unclaimed property under section 447.510.
     8. The director may promulgate rules and regulations as may be reasonably necessary to implement the provisions of sections 376.2050 to 376.2053. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable, and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2016, shall be invalid and void.
     9. The failure to meet any requirements of sections 376.2050 to 376.2053 with such frequency as to constitute a general business practice shall constitute an unfair trade practice under the provisions of sections 375.930 to 375.948. Nothing in sections 376.2050 to 376.2053 shall be construed to create or imply a private cause of action for a violation of sections 376.2050 to 376.2053.
     10. Nothing in sections 376.2050 to 376.2053 limits an insurer from requiring compliance with the terms and conditions of the policy or contract relative to filing and payment of claims.
     11. The director may exempt an insurer from the comparison required by subsection 1 of this section if the insurer demonstrates to the director's satisfaction that compliance would result in undue hardship to the insurer.


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