When Data Does Good

It is always nice to have reminders that the Social Security Death Index actually does much good for upright citizens, despite recent breathless publicity to the contrary. So from time to time the blog will throw some examples out, even if they aren’t strictly genealogical.

For example, here is an example from the insurance industry in which it seems that the SSDI could have been used more:

   Over the past nine months, state regulators, treasurers, comptrollers and some attorneys general have been probing to see if insurers violated laws by using a Social Security death database to cut off retirement-income checks of annuity owners but not using the database to determine if policyholders have died and death benefits should be paid. [Emphasis added.]
   Insurers say they have behaved lawfully. Insurance contracts typically state that beneficiaries must file a claim to trigger a payment.
   After regulatory prodding, many more insurers are now using that database in their life-insurance units, and, as a result, some of the $1 billion is now accounted for, according to regulators and public filings of insurance companies. But a lot remains to be distributed.
 Here is the full story from The Wall Street Journal. (Thanks to Actuarial Opinions for the link.)
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