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Collins’ legislation ensures more families will receive life insurance benefits

collins 110817SPRINGFIELD – Rejecting a move that would have severely weakened the standing of grieving families in the face of misbehavior by insurance companies, the Illinois Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation by Senator Jacqueline Collins Wednesday.

The measure, House Bill 302, would further strengthen the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act by requiring insurance companies to search their records back to the year 2000 if they have electronically searchable files to determine if life insurance policyholders have died, and to take steps to get money to beneficiaries. Rauner’s veto would have shortened the required search period to just five years prior, and would also have disallowed the use of third-party auditors to help in such searches. Under that change, Illinois would have been the only state in the country with such a prohibition.

“I worked closely with Treasurer Frerichs and Representative Martwick to improve this law because grieving families across Illinois did not know about $550 million in unclaimed life insurance benefits, all returned to them through the efforts of auditors that the governor’s veto would have disallowed,” Collins said. “It is easy to lose track of life insurance policies – for our elderly loved ones to lose paperwork in a move or to forget they exist because of the passage of time of the ravages of dementia. I’m glad my colleagues saw, as I did, that the right thing to do is to stand on the side of families who don’t have a small army of financial advisors to handle these issues in the darkest of times. This is not about politics, partisanship, or profit. It’s about doing the right thing.”

The Illinois House voted to override last month. The Senate voted 38-16 to override the governor’s veto. The bill becomes law in 2018.

 

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins


16th District

Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions (Chairperson); Insurance; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Higher Education; Commerce and Economic Development; Public Health.

Biography: Full-time state legislator. Born December 10th in McComb, Mississippi. Studied journalism at Northwestern University; MA from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; MA in Human Services Administration from Spertus College; MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, June 2003. Former Emmy Award-nominated news editor at CBS-TV in Chicago, and 2001 Legislative Fellow with United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.