CHARLESTON – State Treasurer John Perdue’s office reports it has returned nearly $1 million in unclaimed life insurance proceeds to beneficiaries since the beginning of fiscal 2019, continuing its long campaign on the consumer issue.
The Treasurer’s Office Unclaimed Property Division returned $953,074 in life insurance benefits from July 1, 2018, to Jan. 16, 2019. These are life insurance policies in which the insured died and unbeknownst beneficiaries weren’t paid by the companies. Proceeds were reported as unclaimed property, and the Treasurer’s Office informed beneficiaries and paid them.
“Often, parents and grandparents don’t effectively communicate that a life insurance policy exists,” Perdue said in a news release.
In 2012, Perdue took his argument to circuit court back, gradually igniting an increase of money reported and returned to such beneficiaries. That year, 20 claims resulted in an approximate $24,000 returned; in each succeeding fiscal year, that total swelled from $78,000 in 2013 to $1.1 million in FY 2018.
Approximately $5.1 million in life insurance benefit claims have been returned in state history. Of that amount, $4.1 million – or 80.3 percent – has been returned since Perdue began legal action.
Of the $4.1 million returned under Perdue’s administration, $2 million of that has been processed in less than the last two fiscal years.
“We continue to work on the transfers to unclaimed property stemming from our original court action,” Perdue said. “We’re obviously excited about the future when it comes to this venue.
“Simply put, we want people to have what is theirs.”