Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlements with Guardian Life and Pacific Life Insurance Companies

Illinois will share part of $4.45 million settlement payment

CHICAGO, IL –  Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Acting Director James A. Stephens today announced a $2 million multi-state market conduct settlement agreement with Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian Life) and a $2.45 million agreement with Pacific Life Insurance Company (Pacific Life). These settlements are agreements with both insurers to reform their business practices to benefit policyholders.

The Regulatory Settlement Agreements stem from multi-state market conduct examinations of the forty largest life insurers regarding the timely payment of proceeds to beneficiaries of life insurance policies and annuities. These examinations were led by Illinois, Florida, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, California (that served as the managing lead state of the examination of Pacific Life) and New Hampshire (that served as the managing lead state of Guardian Life). As a result of these exams, insurers have paid more than $1 billion to beneficiaries nationwide.

“The Department is committed to reforming business practices to protect policy beneficiaries and consumers in the payments of benefits rightfully owed,” said DOI Acting Director James A. Stephens.

Under these agreements, Guardian Life and Pacific Life will implement business reforms to promote a timely and efficient search for the beneficiaries of their in force life insurance policies and annuities through regular matches of their insureds and annuitants against the Social Security Administration Death Master File (DMF).

The agreements become effective after 20 states sign on. Illinois, along with California, Florida, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Pennsylvania have signed the agreement with Pacific Life. All of these states, along with Massachusetts, have also signed the agreement with Guardian Life.

Copies of the settlement agreements are available on the DOI website at http://insurance.illinois.gov/Home/ImpLinks.asp.  Consumers with questions regarding these settlements, or questions or concerns about their insurance, should contact the Department’s Consumer Division at http://insurance.illinois.gov or call 866-445-5364