DCBS Media Release
February 15, 2000
Insurance Division to help Holocaust victims with claims
SALEM – Oregon is participating in a comprehensive international effort to resolve outstanding claims on insurance policies held by victims of the Holocaust.
"We join with other members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in supporting this initiative," said Charles Nicoloff, acting administrator of the Oregon Insurance Division.
The NAIC, in conjunction with several European insurance companies, European regulators, Jewish organizations, and the State of Israel, established the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) in October 1998.
Chairman Lawrence Eagleburger, at a Washington, D.C., news conference to call attention to the issue, said today that the commission plans to do "everything possible to reach all potential claimants and pay Holocaust-related insurance claims in a fair and expeditious manner."
The Insurance Division began its efforts to locate Oregon victims in July 1998 by sending letters to 78 survivors listed with the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and contacted synagogues and Jewish organizations in the state later that year. Ten claims have been received, including two claims containing copies of actual insurance contracts.
"We cannot guarantee that we will be able to get settlements for all survivors and heirs who may have claims due to the passage of time, jurisdictional questions or other issues, but we are committed to doing our best to help resolve claims whenever possible," Nicoloff said.
The ICHEIC has set up a new process to make it easier to make a claim for families of those who are believed to have held active dowry, education or life insurance polices that were affected by the Holocaust. There is no charge to file and it is not necessary to retain a lawyer. All claims must be filed by Feb. 1, 2002, and will be resolved within two years of filing.
Individuals who believe they may have unpaid Holocaust insurance claims can request a claims packet in several ways:
The ICHEIC and participating insurers will review claims and compare them to a list of known outstanding policies. The process will include reviewing pertinent documentation and interviewing families to determine legitimate claims.
The ICHEIC and participating insurers have established a $90 million humanitarian fund to provide additional support for claimants.