|Anthem Insurance Unclaimed Demutualization Compensation|
On July 31, 2002 Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. completed its conversion from a mutual insurance company to a stock company, and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc.
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.
Eligible policyholders and heirs became entitled to approximately 48 million shares of Anthem, Inc. common stock and cash totaling $2.06 billion. Compensation consisted of a fixed component of 21 Anthem common shares, as well as a variable component based on policy value. The shares were offered to the public at $36. In the first year after the initial public offering, the price of an Anthem common share increased 54%.
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, hundreds of 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, therefore, that current and former policyholders and heirs - the majority of whom are unaware they're entitled to unclaimed policy benefits, stock and cash - initiate a missing policyholder search.: Lost Life Insurance Policyholder Search
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