California settles over end-of-life policies

8:23 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - California's top financial officer says the state has reached a $25 million settlement with a company that sells end-of-life policies through funeral planners.

State Controller John Chiang on Monday announced the agreement with Forethought Group, Inc., a Texas-based company that, according to its website, offers planning for retirement and end-of-life needs.

Chiang says the settlement comes after a 2008 audit by his office found what he termed an "industry-wide practice" of companies failing to pay death benefits even though the companies had access to federal records indicating policyholders had died.

As part of the settlement, Chiang says Forethought Group will pay nearly $25 million to California beneficiaries. The company has also agreed to adopt reforms to make sure that payment of benefits are made promptly in the future.

A request for comment from Forethought Group on Monday evening was not immediately returned.

The Associated Press

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