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Deadline for Holocaust-era life insurance claims extended

The window for filing claims based on Holocaust-era life insurance policies has once again been extended. Claims for benefits from Holocaust-era insurance policies may now be filed until March 30, 2003.

Consumers should file a claim if they believe that there might have been a policy in their families.

Prior to and during the Holocaust, members of Jewish communities purchased life insurance policies, as well as education and dowry policies, that were never paid. Survivors or heirs may now have few or no documents to prove the existence of an insurance policy and may not even know whether their relatives were insured.

In response to this problem, the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) was established in October 1998 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in cooperation with several European insurance companies, European regulators, representatives of several Jewish organizations, and the State of Israel to address the issue of unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust.

"ICHEICs decision to extend the deadline reflects the spirit of the Commission to ensure that victims of the Holocaust have their valid insurance claims honored," says New York Insurance Superintendent Gregory Serio. "The additional time frame enables insurance companies to fulfill these commitments," he says.

Because of the circumstances surrounding Holocaust-era life insurance policies, the ICHEIC has relaxed the standards of proof to provide benefits to those who don't have full documentation of their claims. The ICHEIC and NAIC urge consumers to file a claim if they believe that there might have been a policy in their families.

Claim forms for Holocaust-era insurance policies can be obtained from the ICHEIC by calling (800) 957-3203 or from the ICHEIC Web site.

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