- Published: 19 July 2016
CHICAGO - State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) and Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs hosted a press conference Wednesday at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago in an effort to urge Governor Bruce Rauner to sign an important bill to help people receive unclaimed life insurance benefits.
"These companies have been able to get away with not paying the proceeds from a policy because more often than not, the families of the deceased don't realize these policies exist," Mulroe said. "This act would place the onus on the insurance companies to fulfill the obligations of the policies they entered into."
The measure, House Bill 4633, which was co-sponsored by Mulroe, passed the Senate in May. It would free up $4.4 billion that has not been paid to beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance policies.
"These awards and annuities don't bring back individuals' loved ones," Mulroe said, "but they can most certainly aid in covering unexpected end-of-life costs. These families at least deserve that."
Life insurance companies have come under fire with accusations that they have not been diligent enough in awarding benefits to the families and relatives of deceased policyholders. The new legislation would create the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to correct this.
"This is commonsense legislation and it is urgent that the governor sign this proposal into law," Mulroe concluded.
The measure passed the Senate with a vote of 54-0 and has been sent to the governor's desk for approval.