July 20, 2012

Falls Church, Va.-based CSC has expanded its business process services to help life insurers identify deceased insureds, locate beneficiaries and distribute funds, or escheat unclaimed benefits to states.

The new unclaimed property investigative service identifies potential claims by searching the Social Security Death Master File or a similar database, validates the insured’s identity and policy coverage, adjudicates the claim, including searches for beneficiaries and claim payment recommendations, and provides reports on all search details.

“Resolving insurance unclaimed property is a labor-intensive process, and CSC’s industry specialists have the process discipline and experience to meticulously search, validate and document these requirements, as well as adjudicate the resulting claims,” says Michael W. Risley, president of CSC’s Life Insurance and Annuity Division, in a statement. “CSC provides a scalable solution for both the initial massive cleanup assessments and the future periodic sweeps needed to maintain State compliance and avoid costly fines.”

Life insurers have been criticized over the past year for using the Death Master File to screen for policyholders who have died and no longer are eligible for benefits, but not for using the same tactic to identify potential beneficiaries. Several companies have reached settlements with governments over the practice.

“The laws and responsibilities around unclaimed property are evolving, and carriers should expect to see more inquiries during audit and market conduct exams,” says Greg Wittenbrook, principal analyst at Novarica, in the CSC release. “Because of the magnitude of unclaimed assets involved — more than $30 billion nationwide — regulatory requirements for insurers will likely increase. Identifying beneficiaries and tracing monies owed will be difficult because of data discrepancies, particularly for insurers that have separate systems — in some cases, multiple systems — for life and annuities.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, ...