Insurance Commissioner Kreidler Announces New Steps in Holocaust Insurance Campaign

Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from Office of the Insurance Commissioner

    OLYMPIA, Wash., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- State Insurance Commissioner
 Mike Kreidler today expressed his disappointment with the failure of many
 companies to release the names of Holocaust-era policyholders.  With
 13 Holocaust survivors in attendance, Kreidler urged Washington licensed
 insurance companies to use their influence to get their European parent
 companies to release policyholder names.
     "I am concerned with the level of cooperation we have received from the
 European companies.  I believe their affiliates licensed to do business in
 Washington state need to use their influence to get the European companies to
 release those policyholder names," stated Commissioner Kreidler.
     "As of today, our web site will contain the names of the American
 affiliates of those European companies conducting business during the
 Holocaust era.  This provides consumers with convenient access to information
 concerning the companies with which they do business at a time when they,
 their families or their neighbors may have unpaid policy issues with the
 European affiliates," stated Commissioner Kreidler.
     Kreidler also expressed his support of California's efforts to defend
 their law, which is similar to Washington's that requires the release of names
 so that Holocaust victims may pursue outstanding insurance claims.
 Commissioner Kreidler intends to file an amicus brief in support of the State
 of California's law at the appropriate time.  Commissioner Kreidler will also
 contact all insurance commissioners and request they take similar steps.
     Washington State's "Holocaust Victims Insurance Relief Act of 1999" states
 that insurance companies licensed to do business in Washington are required to
 provide the Office of the Insurance Commissioner with the names from policies
 in effect between 1933 and 1945 in Europe.  This is due to the fact that
 millions of insurance policies during that time were confiscated.
     Providing the names of Holocaust-era policyholders is crucial. Family
 members may know of the existence of a policy, however, approximately 80% of
 people filing claims do not know the name of the European company.
     The International Commission on Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC),
 created to facilitate the release of policyholder names from European
 companies, has a deadline of February 2002 for people to file a claim through
 ICHEIC.
     Washington state has 138 Holocaust-era insurance claimants.  To date, only
 two of those claimants have been paid.
     Any policyholder who feels he or she has not been treated fairly by an
 insurance carrier may file a complaint with the Office of the Insurance
 Commissioner by calling 800-562-6900 or visiting the Commissioner's web page
 www.insurance.wa.gov.
 
 

SOURCE Office of the Insurance Commissioner
    OLYMPIA, Wash., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- State Insurance Commissioner
 Mike Kreidler today expressed his disappointment with the failure of many
 companies to release the names of Holocaust-era policyholders.  With
 13 Holocaust survivors in attendance, Kreidler urged Washington licensed
 insurance companies to use their influence to get their European parent
 companies to release policyholder names.
     "I am concerned with the level of cooperation we have received from the
 European companies.  I believe their affiliates licensed to do business in
 Washington state need to use their influence to get the European companies to
 release those policyholder names," stated Commissioner Kreidler.
     "As of today, our web site will contain the names of the American
 affiliates of those European companies conducting business during the
 Holocaust era.  This provides consumers with convenient access to information
 concerning the companies with which they do business at a time when they,
 their families or their neighbors may have unpaid policy issues with the
 European affiliates," stated Commissioner Kreidler.
     Kreidler also expressed his support of California's efforts to defend
 their law, which is similar to Washington's that requires the release of names
 so that Holocaust victims may pursue outstanding insurance claims.
 Commissioner Kreidler intends to file an amicus brief in support of the State
 of California's law at the appropriate time.  Commissioner Kreidler will also
 contact all insurance commissioners and request they take similar steps.
     Washington State's "Holocaust Victims Insurance Relief Act of 1999" states
 that insurance companies licensed to do business in Washington are required to
 provide the Office of the Insurance Commissioner with the names from policies
 in effect between 1933 and 1945 in Europe.  This is due to the fact that
 millions of insurance policies during that time were confiscated.
     Providing the names of Holocaust-era policyholders is crucial. Family
 members may know of the existence of a policy, however, approximately 80% of
 people filing claims do not know the name of the European company.
     The International Commission on Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC),
 created to facilitate the release of policyholder names from European
 companies, has a deadline of February 2002 for people to file a claim through
 ICHEIC.
     Washington state has 138 Holocaust-era insurance claimants.  To date, only
 two of those claimants have been paid.
     Any policyholder who feels he or she has not been treated fairly by an
 insurance carrier may file a complaint with the Office of the Insurance
 Commissioner by calling 800-562-6900 or visiting the Commissioner's web page
 www.insurance.wa.gov.
 
 SOURCE  Office of the Insurance Commissioner