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Unclaimed Life Insurance - cash, stock & policy benefits
|Manufacturers Life - Manulife Unclaimed Demutualization Compensation|
Manufacturers Life Insurance Company - Manulife
On September 24, 1999, Toronto, Canada-based Manufacturers Life Insurance Companyís demutualized and became Manulife Financial. Only 35% of the company's 671,000 eligible policyholders worldwide voted. Eligible policyholders residing in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and the Philippines were entitled to choose between cash and/or Manulife Financial shares.
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.
Compensation took the form of a fixed component of 186 Manulife Financial common shares, as well as a variable component based on policy value. Cash compensation was set at $18 CDN per share entitlement. The total value of stock and cash distributed - $8.3 billion. Policyholders who live outside of the four major regions automatically received cash, based on the offering price for a common share in Manulife Financial Corporationís initial public offering. Eligible policyholders were to make known their elections on or before August 30, 1999, otherwise, they were automatically to receive shares.
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, millions of missing policyholders and heirs 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. Unclaimed Life Insurance Policyholder Search
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