A recent multistate market conduct exam of USAA found that the insurer properly used the Death Master File database for more than a decade.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department sent a call letter in December 2012 informing USAA that a multistate targeted market conduct examination had been called to evaluate its claims handling practices, use of the DMF, application of the DMF to its life insurance business, and its annuities business. The purpose of the exam was to determine if USAA’s practices conformed with the standards in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Unfair Trade Practices Act and the NAIC Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Model Act.
The exam was conducted on a description and verification basis. Examiners submitted questions to USAA then sought to validate the insurer’s representations.
The exam found USAA began using the DMF for purposes other than marketing in 1999. It used a subscription of monthly DMF updates to match against its member database. Lists of potentially deceased members were then investigated by various USAA departments. If the company found benefits might be owed, it sent a condolence package to verify the reported death and begin the claims process. The company switched to a weekly matching process in 2007.
“I commend USAA for being an industry leader in its use of the Death Master File,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “The findings of this exam validate our position that insurers can comply with the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act and that some in fact do.”
USAA is the second insurer found in compliance with the law, following multistate market conduct examinations. The other insurer is Massachusetts Mutual.
In other industry news:
Lincoln Financial Network (LFN), the retail wealth management affiliate of Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC), launched AdviceNext, an integrated offering that optimizes the delivery of the firm’s practice resources, tools and technology to advisors. LFN advisors will have access to integrated platform tools, expanded practice management capabilities and support, an enhanced managed account offering and enhanced marketing support.
Through AdviceNext, LFN advisors will have access to integrated platform resources, such as its Unified Account Opening tool, which provides straight-through processing and helps eliminate redundancy in data entry for brokerage, advisory and direct business. LFN is also making significant investments to expand its managed account offerings and provide more dedicated sales support to help enhance benefits for an advisor’s practice and clients.
The International Insurance Society (IIS) announced that Denis Kessler, Chairman & CEO of SCOR, has been elected to join the Insurance Hall of Fame in 2014.
The Insurance Hall of Fame distinguishes leaders who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the insurance industry and therefore also to society as a whole. Last year the laureate was Robert Benmosche, president and CEO of AIG. Denis Kessler and Claude Bébéar, founder of the AXA Group, are the only French nationals who have received this award since 1980.
Founded in 1965, the International Insurance Society is a leading global insurance industry organisation, with members representing global insurance and reinsurance leaders, brokerage leaders, international regulatory authorities and worldwide insurance scholars from over 90 countries.
Willis North America (WNA), a unit of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), a global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, acquired the employee benefits consulting division of Birmingham, Ala.-based Capital Strategies Group, Inc.
Capital Strategies’ employee benefits consulting team will merge its operations with Willis of Alabama, Inc. and continue to serve clients out of Willis’s Birmingham office. Capital Strategies’ George Gould will serve as Senior Vice President and report to Rob Allen, President of Willis of Alabama, Inc.
Ash Brokerage named Larry Dahl as its new president.
Dahl, financial industry veteran with more than 27 years’ experience, will help to create a clearly defined vision and strategy, and will be looking at new ways to enhance the Ash business model and offerings.
As former president of Lincoln Benefit Life (LBL), Dahl provided leadership for the company until its sale last year by parent company Allstate Insurance. Additionally, he previously led the LBL sales management team and the sales, marketing and technology support teams He also led the Allstate life tax department and advanced marketing team. Dahl is a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and his Juris Doctorate. He is Series 6 & 26 licensed, in addition to affiliations with AALU and ABA.
San Francisco-based insurance technology firm DAVID Corporation Inc., appointed Mark E. Dorn as president and CEO, effective Jan. 22, 2014.
In his new role, Dorn will lead all facets of the business including product development, sales, services and business development activities.
Dorn most recently served as a senior manager at Castle Bay Consulting, Inc. an insurance technology consulting firm. Dorn also served as senior vice president at Policy Management Systems, now owned by CSC, and held leadership roles at early stage technology firms including as CEO for MotionCare360 Inc., a health care rehab technology firm.
DragonFly HIX Inc., a marketing and administrative firm located in Jacksonville, Fla., selected QHIX for its private healthcare exchange. QHIX is built by Q4 Health, a division of Q4 Systems Corporation (OTCQB:QFOR).