MetLife To Pay $500M In Death Benefits Probe With States: Reports

 @moranzhang on April 23 2012 12:58 PM
MetLife
Shares of Metlife Inc. (NYSE: MET) rose 0.63 percent, to $35.18 a share in Monday mid-day trading. REUTERS

MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET), the largest life insurer in the U.S., will pay $500 million to settle a multi-state investigation after regulators reviewed whether companies were holding funds that should go to beneficiaries, according to media reports.

The investigation related to the use of the Social Security Death Master file that lists those who have recently died. Some states have accused insurers of using the list to stop making annuity payments to dead customers, Reuters reported.

The agreement will make sure families who have been harmed by MetLife's practices are made whole, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement issued by the California state Controller John Chiang. These settlements make it clear that if the industry isn't willing to make the payments legally required, we will take action.

MetLife said Friday it estimated a loss of 9 cents per share for the first quarter after applying new guidance on deferred acquisition costs. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected MetLife to earn $1.25 a share.

Shares of MetLife rose 31 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $35.27 in Monday midday trading.

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