Life Insurance Companies Have Paid More Than $262 Million After Probe

04/23/2012 01:44 pm ET

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says life insurance companies have paid more than $262 million to more than 32,000 consumers nationwide after an investigation of unpaid benefits.

The state Department of Financial Services probe found many insurance companies regularly received a list of recent deaths from the Social Security Administration but didn't use them to check whether family members had filed benefits claims. As a result of the investigation, New York demanded that companies check for unclaimed funds and contact beneficiaries.

Following that order in July, insurers reported they cross-checked about 90 million records and made payouts. Cuomo said Monday that a new regulation will require cross-checks in the future.

The state also launched a website where families can search for unpaid benefits on life insurance policies. It's at NYPolicyFinder.com.

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