Lewis & Ellis Inc.

Federally-mandated Death Master File overhaul moving forward

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Jill Humes
Life insurance sales continue to improve in Q3
Life insurance sales continue to improve in Q3

The Social Security Death Master File has been at the heart of a number of disputes within the life insurance industry over the last few years, and now that a law has been passed to overhaul the way in which this list is handled, it seems that there will finally be something done about these potential issues. To that end, a coalition has been created to oversee the changes going forward.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is now required to allow legitimate, certified users access to the DMF immediately when they want to use it, and the new Coalition for Implementation and Reform of the Death Master File will work with the federal agency to make sure that these potential users will have all their needs met in a timely fashion, according to a report from Life Health Pro. Those on the coalition will include not only companies which issue life insurance, annuities, and pensions, but also credit rating firms, charitable organizations, and other organizations that might have reason to use the DMF at various points.

What the coalition will work for
When it comes to exact details about the ways in which this newly formed group will operate, many are spelled out in its new Statement of Principles, the report said. This document states that it will try to make sure the DMF is available to all such legitimate users even when Congress and the Department of Commerce are working to develop and adopt new regulations related to it, and to make sure that regulatory changes do not end up shutting out any potentially legitimate users, including third-party vendors which might need to access such information. Further, it will try to make sure that the DMF is less vulnerable to having its data stolen and used for either identity theft or other types of fraud, make sure users can access reasonable amounts of information, and that all the data listed on the document is as accurate as it possibly can be.

These changes should be a major benefit to life insurance companies across the country, and while the process is under way, it might be wise for them to make sure they are able to keep close tabs on whatever developments might arise. This could help them to prepare for any situations which arise from these changes they may face in the future.



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