German Foundation Criticized on Holocaust Negotiations
September 5, 2001
Prior to and during the Holocaust, members of the Jewish communities throughout Europe purchased insurance policies, including life, education, and dowry, to provide for their families. As a result of the Second World War, many of these policies were lost or destroyed and still remain unpaid. For over half a century, there has been no systematic process for identifying the status of these policies or assisting beneficiaries in obtaining payments.
In late 1998, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), in conjunction with several European insurance companies, representatives of Jewish organizations, and the State of Israel, established the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC).
A process was established to provide a central source for information on, investigation into, and the payment of outstanding Holocaust era insurance claims. In addition, assistance was made available to Holocaust victims and their heirs to help them understand the process and complete the claim forms.
Understandably, most Holocaust victims and their heirs now have little or no documentation to establish the existence of insurance policies; they may not even know whether their relatives were indeed, insured.
However, as a result of the work of the ICHEIC, many individuals were able to recover the proceeds of their relatives’ insurance policies in effect at that time. The Claims Resolution Process established by the ICHEIC employed relaxed standards of proof and processed claims with little or no supporting documentation.
ICHEIC claims and appeals processes have closed, but claims are still reviewed.
ICHEIC ceased accepting new claim forms/applications on March 31, 2004. As of December 2006, all timely filed claims received a final decision through the ICHEIC process.
Although ICHEIC has closed, insurance companies continue to review claims. At ICHEIC’s concluding meeting, every company that was a member of the Commission as well as members of the German Insurance Association through its partnership agreement with ICHEIC, and the Sjoa Foundation reaffirmed their commitment to continue to review and process claims sent directly to them.
German Insurance Association
Attn: Holocaust-era Insurance Policies
P.O.Box 08 02 64
Policy Information Center
Servizio Legale di Gruppo
Via Tento 8
2509 EB Den Haag
Anyone with reason to believe that an insurance policy belonging to them or to a relative remains unpaid may contact the New York State Holocaust Claims Processing Office for assistance.
Holocaust Claims Processing Office
New York State Banking Department
One State Street
New York, NY 10004-1417
(800) 695-3318 (U.S. toll-free)
(212) 709-5583 (outside U.S.)
(212) 709-5592 (fax)