Ads 468x60px

Thursday, October 13, 2011

State Regulators Summon MetLife on Unpaid Benefits

Relying solely on Social Security Administration (SSA) death master file can be troublesome for other private insurers. It can lead to lapses in records and unverified information from members.

Worse, it may cause delay in benefit claims and affect related contracts with state agencies.

Consider the case of United States' leading life insurance company, MetLife Inc., which was summoned to appear before state regulators in Florida and California to answer allegations on not paying death benefits, according to reports on Friday.

Reports said MetLife is facing $115 to 135 million due claims to families of deceased life insurance holders. The insurer also has to explain lapses in using Social Security Administration's (SSA) death master file.

MetLife is set to appear before state regulators in Florida and California on June, reports said.

According to MetLife's representative, the insurance company is correcting its records to process the claims of surviving family members. MetLife clarified that the state charges represent about 1 percent of the $11 billion benefits that the company pays yearly.

The private insurer also stated that MetLife has faced $42 to $62 million higher catastrophe damages this year than its estimate of $38 million. The insurer assures affected families of its cooperation with state agencies to speed up the claim process.

What could have been an immediate financial relief among the affected families turned out as a headache. The surviving family members supposed to receive the money in payment for their loved one’s hospital or funeral expenses. Instead, the survivors ended up spending their time in filing complaints against the private insurer.

This case may serve as a warning to other private insurers to use SSA’s death master file cautiously. The members’ information needs verification and independent file keeping is important to keep one’s company records accurate. The result of delay in the members’ claims causes additional tragedy for the survivors as well as burden for the SSA.

For more information on Social Security claims, you may consult with a lawyer in Los Angeles. Your attorney will guide you throughout the process of litigation. Dial 1-866-772-2889 or email us at for a free case analysis.