Saturday, September 6, 2008
NEW YORK - Bloomberg
New York Life Insurance Co., the biggest U.S. life insurer owned by policyholders, will seek out and compensate the heirs of Greek policyholders living in the Ottoman Empire before 1915, at a cost of up to $15 million.The New York-based insurer has �verified that there are Greek policies that may remain unpaid from 1915,� according to a Business Wire statement Friday. New York Life discovered unpaid policies held by Greeks in the Ottoman Empire, the precursor of modern-day Turkey, in the course of research into policies sold to Armenians who died after 1914, according to the statement.The insurer, founded in 1845, will pay all valid claims on about 1,000 insurance policies issued to Greeks before 1915 that remain unpaid, or about half the total issued, as well as $1 million to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The total cost of the program is estimated at between $12 million and $15million.In January 2004, New York Life Insurance agreed to pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit over unpaid life-insurance benefits for Armenian policyholders.The company has since paid benefits to the heirs of 2,300 Armenian policyholders, according to today's statement. Similar suits have been filed by Holocaust survivors and their heirs against European insurance companies.