Northwestern National /
ReliaStar - Missing Policyholder Search
Northwestern National - ReliaStar Unclaimed Life Insurance Payments and Demutualization Compensation
Northwestern National demutualized in 1989. The company changed its name to ReliaStar in 1996. Eligible policyholders were entitled to receive compensation totaling $120 million in cash and four million shares of stock in the new company.
Demutualization is the process of converting a mutual life insurance company, owned by its policyholders, to a publicly traded stock company owned by shareholders, pursuant to a plan of conversion approved by government regulators.
The amount paid to each policyholder is based on a number of factors, including length of time the policy has been in force, face value of the policy, and total premiums paid. For many policyholders, the windfall arising from demutualization can be substantial, but millions of missing policyholders and heirs aren't aware they are entitled to receive compensation.
In the first year after the initial public offering, common shares appreciated 33%. In May of 2000, ReliaStar was acquired by Dutch financial services giant ING Group for $5.0 billion - $54-per-share.
Between one-quarter and one-half of all life insurance policies go unclaimed, because it is generally up to family members to notify the insurance company when a policyholder dies, and virtually no effort is made to find lost beneficiaries.
In addition, thousands of missing policyholders aren't aware they are entitled to receive this demutualization compensation. Contact efforts were unsuccessful, due to name changes after marriage or divorce, unreported changes of address, expired postal forwarding orders and non-current beneficiary information.
By law, unclaimed policy benefits, including demutualization compensation, are remitted to the custody of a government trust account until claimants come forward. Last year government custodians collected $22.8 billion, of which less than $1 billion was claimed.
It is highly recommended that current and former policyholders and heirs - the majority of whom are unaware they're entitled to unclaimed policy benefits, stock & cash - initiate an Unclaimed Life Insurance Policy Search
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