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Make Corporations Accountable: Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies Task Force

Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies Task Force
Over the past week, I have chaired task force hearings across Illinois to hear from church leaders, grieving mothers, and families impacted by the $550 million of unpaid life insurance policies in Illinois identified by the Treasurer's office since 2011.
It was stunning to me to hear a familiar theme - that Illinois families played by the rules and wanted the best for their families, yet corporate interests interfered with that dream by creating a daunting process for claims to be collected.
Imagine your own family - do you know if your parents, spouses, or children have life insurance policies? Would you know how to access their policy agreements or even what companies to call?
As Mark Brown noted in his column, one of the most compelling testimonies in Chicago came from Lynn Lucchese-Soto about Dr. Terra Thomas and her sons. Dr. Terra Thomas and her daughter were killed in a car accident in 2007. Lucchese-Soto and her spouse became the legal guardians to the Thomas' boys, but had no idea their mother had a life insurance policy of $105,000 to assist with college costs in case of a tragedy. 
Brown reported, "Lucchese-Soto downplayed the impact on her family of not having the use of the insurance proceeds for nine years. But she said she thinks about other families under similar circumstances who might need the funds but never receive them because of how life insurance companies handle their claims."
Life insurance security should not be based on luck. There are easily accessible records that can let the insurance companies know when their customers have passed away. I will continue to fight corporate interests to ensure that Illinois families are receiving the benefits for which they paid.
It is my duty to safeguard and return unclaimed property to families and I will not stop fighting until all Illinoisans have what is rightfully owed to them. 
Watch video coverage from NBC Chicago's Christian Farr:
Illinois Officials Push for Insurance Companies to Alert Individuals of Death Benefits here
Read Mark Brown's column in the Chicago Sun Times:
Treasurer tackles insurance companies' dirty little secret here.
Read Becky Yerak's article in the Chicago Tribune:
Why life insurance benefits have sometimes gone unpaid in Illinois here.


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