Code Section Group

Insurance Code - INS


  ( Division 3 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )

CHAPTER 4. Holocaust Era Insurance Registry [13800 - 13807]
  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. )


This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Holocaust Victim Insurance Relief Act of 1999.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)


The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) During World War II, untold millions of lives and property were destroyed.

(b) In addition to the many atrocities that befell the victims of the Nazi regime, insurance claims that rightfully should have been paid out to the victims and their families, in many cases, were not.

(c) In many instances, insurance company records are the only proof of insurance policies held. In some cases, recollection of those policies’ very existence may have perished along with the Holocaust victims.

(d) At least 5,600 documented Holocaust survivors are living in California today. Many of these survivors and their descendents have been fighting for over 50 years to persuade insurance companies to settle unpaid or wrongfully paid claims. Survivors are asking that insurance companies come forth with any information they possess that could show proof of insurance policies held by Holocaust victims and survivors, in order to ensure that closure on this issue is swiftly brought to pass.

(e) Insurance companies doing business in the State of California have a responsibility to ensure that any involvement they or their related companies may have had with insurance policies of Holocaust victims are disclosed to the state and to ensure the rapid resolution of these questions, eliminating the further victimization of these policyholders and their families.

(f) The international Jewish community is in active negotiations with responsible insurance companies through the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims to resolve all outstanding insurance claims issues. This chapter is necessary to protect the claims and interests of California residents, as well as to encourage the development of a resolution to these issues through the international process or through direct action by the State of California, as necessary.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)


For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Holocaust victim” means any person who was persecuted during the period of 1929 to 1945, inclusive, by Nazi Germany, its allies, or sympathizers.

(b) “Related company” means any parent, subsidiary, reinsurer, successor in interest, managing general agent, or affiliate company of the insurer.

(c) “Proceeds” means the face value or other payout value of insurance policies and annuities plus reasonable interest to date of payment without diminution for wartime or immediate postwar currency devaluation.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)


The commissioner shall establish and maintain within the department a central registry containing records and information relating to insurance policies, as described in Section 13804, of Holocaust victims, living and deceased. The registry shall be known as the Holocaust Era Insurance Registry. The Attorney General, in coordination with the department, shall establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure public access to the registry.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)


(a) Any insurer currently doing business in the state that sold life, property, liability, health, annuities, dowry, educational, or casualty insurance policies, directly or through a related company, to persons in Europe, which were in effect between 1920 and 1945, whether the sale occurred before or after the insurer and the related company became related, shall, within 180 days following enactment of this act, file or cause to be filed the following information with the commissioner to be entered into the registry:

(1) The number of those insurance policies.

(2) The holder, beneficiary, and current status of those policies.

(3) The city of origin, domicile, or address for each policyholder listed in the policies.

(b) In addition, each insurer subject to subdivision (a) shall certify to any of the following:

(1) That the proceeds of the policies described in subdivision (a) have been paid to the designated beneficiaries or their heirs where that person or persons, after diligent search, could be located and identified.

(2) That the proceeds of the policies where the beneficiaries or heirs could not, after diligent search, be located or identified, have been distributed to Holocaust survivors or to qualified charitable nonprofit organizations for the purpose of assisting Holocaust survivors.

(3) That a court of law has certified in a legal proceeding resolving the rights of unpaid policyholders, their heirs, and beneficiaries, a plan for the distribution of the proceeds.

(4) That the proceeds have not been distributed and the amount of those proceeds.

An insurer who certifies as true any material matter pursuant to this subdivision, which the insurer knows to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(c) An insurer currently doing business in the state that did not sell any insurance policies in Europe prior to 1945, shall not be subject to this section if a related company, whether or not authorized and currently doing business in the state, has made a filing under this section.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)


Any insurer that knowingly files information about a policy required by this chapter that is false shall, with respect to that policy, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), which penalty is hereby appropriated to the department to be used by it to aid in the resolution of Holocaust insurance claims.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)


The commissioner shall suspend the certificate of authority to conduct insurance business in the state of any insurer that fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter by the 210th day after this section becomes effective, until the time that the insurer complies with this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)


The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this chapter within 90 days of its effective date. The rules shall be adopted as emergency regulations in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of the Government Code, and for the purposes of that chapter, including Section 11349.6 of the Government Code, the adoption of the rules shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law to be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, and general welfare.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 827, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)

INSInsurance Code - INS