October 26, 2020
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Consumer Protection program helped a Washington family recover a record $34.7 million in life insurance benefits following a death in Japan.
The recovery is the result of a complaint filed with Kreidler’s office in August. It is the largest in the agency’s history.
An attorney representing the beneficiaries filed the complaint after Security Life of Denver Insurance Co. denied paying benefits because it claimed it had no certified proof the man who bought two policies had died.
Records show he bought two separate policies in Washington in 1999 and 2003. He died October 2018 in Japan where he ran his business. The man’s two daughters and a Seattle business, cited as beneficiaries, filed claims in January 2019.
Although Security Life of Denver said it had public information and news articles about the man dying, it had no certified death certificate. The company denied the claims.
Kreidler’s Consumer Protection program began asking the company questions after receiving the family’s complaint. The company in late September relented, saying it would grant a one-time exception and accept the previously provided documents as proof of death.
The company on Oct. 21 verified it had paid $30 million in benefits plus $4.7 million in interest.
“I appreciate your looking into this,” said the attorney representing the beneficiaries. “Given that I have been getting the runaround for over six months now, I think your investigation moved the process along.”
That comment is no surprise to Kreidler’s office.
“The successful resolution in this case again shows the power of filing a consumer complaint with my office,” Kreidler said. “A few well-informed questions often turns things around.”
Consumers can file complaints for a variety of insurance matters.