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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

60A.053 HOLOCAUST VICTIMS INSURANCE RELIEF.
    Subdivision 1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the
meanings given them in this subdivision unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Holocaust survivor" or "Holocaust victim" means any person who was persecuted,
imprisoned or liable to imprisonment, or had property taken or confiscated during the period of
1933 to 1945, inclusive, by Nazi Germany, its allies, or sympathizers based on that person's
race, religion, ethnicity, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or similar class or
group-based animus;
(b) "related company" means an affiliate, as defined in section 60D.15, subdivision 2; a
successor in interest; or a managing general agent, of another company or insurer;
(c) "insurer" means an entity holding a certificate of authority or license to conduct the
business of insurance in this state, or whose contacts with this state satisfy the constitutional
requirements for jurisdiction, that sold Holocaust-related insurance policies, whether directly or
through or as result of sales by a related company, or is itself a related company to any person,
entity, or insurance company that sold such policies, whether the sale of the insurance occurred
before or after becoming related;
(d) "proceeds" means the face or other payout value of policies and annuities plus reasonable
interest to date of payments, without diminution for wartime or immediate postwar currency
devaluation, legally due under any insurance policy issued by an insurer or any related company;
(e) "international commission" means the International Commission on Holocaust Era
Insurance Claims, referenced in and established under a memorandum of understanding originally
dated April 8, 1998, between and among various state insurance regulators, various alien
insurance companies, and worldwide Jewish groups, which commission held its first meeting in
the state of New York on October 21, 1998, and any successor; and
(f) "Holocaust-related insurance policies" means life, property, liability, health, annuities,
dowry, educational, casualty, or any other type of insurance policies sold to persons in Europe,
that were in effect at any time between 1933 and 1945, regardless of when the policy was initially
purchased or written.
    Subd. 2. Assistance to Holocaust victims. (a) The commissioner shall assist residents of this
state who are Holocaust victims or heirs or beneficiaries of Holocaust victims to settle and resolve
claims and to recover proceeds from insurance policies that were improperly denied or processed.
(b) The commissioner may cooperate and exchange information with other states working on
the Holocaust survivor insurance claims issue and with the international commission, and may
enter into agreements whereby a single processing office may be established on behalf of, and to
provide services to the residents of, several states.
    Subd. 3. Holocaust Insurance Company Registry. (a) To facilitate the work of the
commissioner under this section, the commissioner may establish and maintain a central registry
to be known as the Holocaust Insurance Company Registry, containing records and information
relating to Holocaust-related insurance policies, provided by insurers as required in subdivision
4. The commissioner shall establish standards and procedures to make the information in the
registry available to the public to the extent necessary and appropriate to determine the existence
of insurance policies and to identify beneficiaries, successors in interest, or other persons entitled
to the proceeds of the policies, and to enable persons to claim proceeds to which they may be
entitled, while protecting the privacy of policyholders, their survivors, and their family members.
All information received by the Holocaust insurance company registry from any insurer, related
company, or foreign government or regulator is considered to be working papers or documents
obtained in the course of an examination that may be treated as confidential under section
60A.031, subdivision 4, paragraph (f). To the extent necessary and appropriate to secure access to
documents and information located in or subject to the jurisdiction of other states and countries,
the commissioner may enter into agreements or provide assurances that any or all documents
and information received from an entity regulated by or subject to the laws of such other state
or country, or received from any agency of the government of any state or country, will be
treated as confidential by the commissioner and will not be disclosed to any person except
with the approval of the appropriate authority of the state or country or except as permitted or
authorized by the laws of the state or country. Any such agreement is binding and enforceable.
To the extent necessary and appropriate to secure access to documents and information from or
in the possession of the international commission as to which the international commission has
given assurances of confidentiality or privacy, the commissioner may enter into agreements or to
provide assurances that the documents and information will be treated as confidential or protected
as nonpublic by the commissioner and will not be disclosed to any person except with the
approval of the international commission or as permitted by any agreement or assurances given
by the international commission, and any such agreement or assurance is binding and enforceable.
(b) The commissioner may cooperate and exchange information with other states establishing
similar registries and with the international commission, and may enter into agreements whereby
a single registry may be established on behalf of, and to provide services to the citizens and
residents of, several states.
    Subd. 4. Operations of Holocaust Insurance Company Registry. (a) Any insurer that sold
Holocaust-related insurance policies shall within 180 days following April 14, 2000, or a later
date the commissioner may establish, file or cause to be filed the following information with the
commissioner for entry into the Holocaust Insurance Company Registry:
(1) a list of the insurance policies and, for each policy, the names of the insureds and
beneficiaries and the face amount of the policy;
(2) for each policy, whichever of the following that applies:
(i) that the proceeds of the policy have been paid to the designated beneficiaries or their heirs
where that person or persons, after diligent search, could be located and identified;
(ii) that the proceeds of the policies where the beneficiaries or heirs could not, after diligent
search, be located or identified, have been distributed to Holocaust survivors or to qualified
charitable nonprofit organizations for the purpose of assisting Holocaust survivors;
(iii) that a court of law has approved in a legal proceeding resolving the rights of unpaid
policyholders, their heirs, and beneficiaries, a plan for the distribution of the proceeds; and
(iv) that the proceeds have not been distributed and the amount of those proceeds.
(b) An insurer currently doing business in this state that did not sell any Holocaust-related
insurance policies except through or as a result of sales by a related company is not subject to this
subdivision if a related company, whether or not authorized and currently doing business in this
state, has made a filing with the commissioner under this subdivision.
(c) The commissioner may fund the costs of operating the Holocaust Insurance Company
Registry by assessments upon those insurers providing information to the registry. The
commissioner shall allocate the assessments based upon the number of policies reported.
(d) The commissioner may conduct investigations and examinations of insurers for the
purpose of determining compliance with this section, verifying the accuracy and completeness of
any and all information furnished to the Holocaust Insurance Company Registry, and developing
and securing additional information as may be necessary or appropriate to determine those
entitled to payment under any policy and the proceeds to which the person may be entitled, if any.
An investigation under this paragraph is considered to be an examination under section 60A.031.
The costs of the examination must be borne by the insurer investigated, or the insurer to whom the
related company is related, pursuant to section 60A.031, subdivision 3. Examinations may be
conducted in this state, or in the state or country of residence of the insurer or related company, or
at the place or country where the records to be examined may be located.
(e) Notwithstanding the restrictions of section 60A.03, subdivision 9, or 60A.031,
subdivision 4
, the commissioner may cooperate with and exchange information with other states
with similar Holocaust insurance company registries, with the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners, with foreign countries, and with the international commission. The commissioner
may enter into agreements to handle the processing of claims and registry functions of other
states, and to have other states handle all or part of the registry and claims processing functions
for this state, as the commissioner may determine to be appropriate. The commissioner may
enter into agreements with other states and the international commission to treat and consider
information submitted to them as submitted to this state for the purpose of complying with this
section. As part of any such agreement, the commissioner may agree to reimburse any other state
for expenses or costs incurred and to accept reimbursement from any other state for services with
regard to residents of the other state.
(f) A finding by the commissioner that a claim subject to the provisions of this section should
be paid must be regarded by any court as highly persuasive evidence that the claim should be paid.
    Subd. 5. Suspension of certificate of authority for failure to comply with this section.
The commissioner may, in accordance with section 60A.052, suspend the certificate of authority
to conduct insurance business in the state of Minnesota of any insurer that has violated this
section, until the time that the insurer complies with this section. The suspension does not affect
or relieve the insurer from its obligations to service its existing insureds, and does not permit the
insurer to terminate its existing insureds, except pursuant to the terms of the insurance contract,
but does prohibit the insurer from writing new business in this state until the suspension is lifted
by the commissioner.
    Subd. 6. Cooperation with international commission. The commissioner may suspend the
application of this section to any insurer if the commissioner has determined, in consultation with
the international commission, that:
(1) the international commission has, by December 31, 2000, established and maintained a
mechanism to accomplish identification, adjudication, and payment of insurance policy claims
of Holocaust survivors or victims and their heirs or beneficiaries, within a reasonable period of
time; and
(2) the international commission's mechanism is functioning effectively; and
(3) the insurer is participating in the international commission in good faith and is working
through the international commission to resolve outstanding claims with offers of fair settlements
in a reasonable time frame.
    Subd. 7. Private rights of action preserved; venue. Any Holocaust survivor, or heir or
beneficiary of a Holocaust survivor or victim, who resides in this state and has a claim against an
insurer arising out of Holocaust-related insurance policies, may bring a legal action against that
insurer to recover on that claim in the district court of the county in which a plaintiff resides.
    Subd. 8. Extension of statute of limitations. An action brought by a Holocaust survivor or
the heir or beneficiary of a Holocaust survivor or victim, seeking proceeds of Holocaust-related
insurance policies, must not be dismissed for failure to comply with the applicable statute of
limitations, provided the action is commenced on or before December 31, 2010.
    Subd. 9. Title of act. This section may be known as the "Holocaust Victims Insurance
Relief Act of 2000."
    Subd. 10. Expiration. This section expires December 31, 2010.
History: 2000 c 367 s 1