Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
TOPEKA, Kan., Nov. 27 -- The Kansas Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
A total of $107,546 in insurance settlement money paid to the Kansas Insurance Department will be deposited into the state's general fund, Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance, announced today.
The settlement money comes from John Hancock Life Insurance Co. as a result of an examination by insurance regulators in 20 states. The examination found concerns about John Hancock's practices in notifying beneficiaries of death benefits in life insurance policies.
By Kansas statutory law, insurance settlement money is regularly returned to the state general fund.
"This multi-state settlement is the latest example of consumer protections in life insurance," said Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance. "John Hancock is one of many companies who are changing their business policies for the benefit of consumers as the result of good regulatory oversight."
The regulatory settlement totals $13.3 million for the states that are part of the settlement. The allocation was based on the company's percentage of life premiums for each state.
The settlement included an agreement with insurance regulators that John Hancock would change its business practices to include using the Social Security Administration's Death Master File for locating beneficiaries in order to make more timely payments to them.
The Kansas Insurance Department, a fee-funded agency, contributed nearly $143 million to the state general fund last year from premium fees and taxes paid by insurance companies. The department's annual operating budget also comes from insurance company fees and taxes.
TNS-LE 121201-4123908 StaffFurigay