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Florida Getting Share Of Death Master File Settlement

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Florida is getting just under $250,000 from four insurance companies accused of selectively using the federal “death master file.”

The settlement  doesn’t sound like much of a spanking, but it draws attention to a practice that had consumer advocates shaking their heads. Companies were combing the massive Social Security Administration database in hopes they could stop annuity payments to investors who died.

However, the companies weren’t looking for policy holders who might be owed death benefits.

A new Florida law requires insurance companies to use the death master file to look for potential beneficiaries dating back to 1992. But it’s being challenged in court.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.