February 14, 2000
(617) 521-7333


(BOSTON, MA) The Massachusetts Division of Insurance joins insurance regulators throughout the world in announcing that the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims is beginning a two year claims resolution process on Tuesday, February 15, 2000. The International Commission's goal is to provide awareness and create a centralized claims information service for interested parties who may be unaware that their families held unpaid life, education and dowry insurance policies, the records for which were either lost or destroyed during the mass genocide and destruction of World War II.

Under the two-year claims resolution process, the International Commission will investigate all claims and, if payment is due from a participating company, see that it is made. Member insurance companies to the International Commission include: Allianz, AXA, Generali, Winterthur Leben and Zurich. These companies will make available a list of known policyholders that will be posted at www.icheic.org, the website of the International "Commission. Free multi-lingual assistance will also be provided by the International Commission by calling (800) 957-3203.

Claims must by filed by February 15, 2002. The International Commission will acknowledge receipt of claims within 14 days and forward them to the named member insurers. The member insurer must respond to a claimant within 90 days. Relaxed standards of proof will apply in cases where relevant documents no longer exist or in instances where a policy was issued by a company that is no longer in business

If citizens have previously filed a claim against one of the International Commission's member companies, they need not do so again, but they certainly can contact the Commission if they have further questions," said Commissioner Ruthardt. Claims filed by two Massachusetts residents resulted in payments by a member insurance company of more than $125,000 in 1999.

Claim packets can be obtained from the Holocaust Claims Processing Office in New York at (800) 695-3318 or by linking with the Holocaust Claims Processing Office from the Division of Insurance website at www.mass.gov/doi. At the local level, Jewish Family Services throughout Massachusetts have organized to coordinate outreach programs to provide awareness and assistance to potential claimants. Claim packets can also be obtained at any of the following offices:
Jewish Family Service of Greater Boston
1340 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459
(617) 558-1278

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest
14 Vernon Street, Suite 104
Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 875-3100

Jewish Family Service of North Shore
168 Essex Street
Salem, MA 01907
(978) 741-7878

Jewish Family Service of Springfield
15 Lenox Street
Springfield, MA 01108
(413) 737-2601

Jewish Family Service of Worcester
646 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609
(508) 755-3101