Alabama Insurance Commissioner David Parsons today cautioned Alabama Holocaust survivors and their heirs that time is running out to file insurance claims with the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC). Parsons stated: “The deadline for filing claims is February 15, 2002. I strongly encourage all Alabama citizens who believe they are entitled to benefits from a Holocaust-Era insurance policy to submit their claims to ICHEIC before that date.”
Claim forms may be obtained by calling the International Commission toll free at (800) 957-3203 in the United States or visiting the ICHEIC Web site at www.icheic.org. As of December 2, 2001, ICHEIC has received over 20,000 United States claims.
The ICHEIC requires participating companies to produce available lists of Holocaust-Era policyholders. Such lists are still being produced by ICHEIC companies. Additional lists are expected should an agreement be reached with the non-ICHEIC companies through the German Foundation. ICHEIC has posted thousands of names on its website and it continues to update its lists, as more names become available. Parsons stated: “It is essential that potential claimants contact ICHEIC immediately to preserve their rights. The only exceptions to the deadline that are likely to be honored are claims generated by newly published lists.”
“Lists are essential to an effective claims process. Companies must continue to produce available names of Holocaust-Era policyholders, and ICHEIC must honor any claims that result from such lists,” Parsons stated. The ICHEIC established a two-year window for the filing of claims, as well as relaxed standards of proof to provide claims payments without full documentation. Provisions are also in place to provide benefits for those with claims against companies no longer in existence or companies that were nationalized under communism.
The ICHEIC was established in 1998 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners of which Alabama is a member, in cooperation with several European insurance companies, European regulators, representatives of several Jewish organizations and the State of Israel. The Commission was charged with establishing a just process that will expeditiously address the issue of unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust.