June 19, 2007

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has released a report on the activities of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC).

Authored by ICHEIC Chairman Lawrence S. Eagleburger and Vice Chairman Diane Koken, former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, the report details ICHEIC’s history, from the commission’s inception in 1998 to the conclusion of its work in March 2007.

ICHEIC has distributed $306 million in awards to more than 48,000 Holocaust survivors and their heirs, according to the report.

Established in 1998, ICHEIC was charged with addressing, at no cost to claimants, the issue of unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust. It conducted a worldwide outreach campaign to encourage claimants to file, and more than 70 European insurance companies and partner entities participated in the process.

“Finding claimants and getting them paid was our mission,” Eagleburger said. “This report describes the process through the individual stories of claimants, whom the commission was designed to serve. I believe that ICHEIC has brought some measure of justice to those who have been denied it for so long, though I fully recognize that no amount of compensation can redress the suffering inflicted during the Holocaust.”

Koken noted that ICHEIC created an “unprecedented opportunity” for claimants to have their claims matched against information compiled from insurance companies, insurance associations, and public archives.

“I am particularly gratified by the results of ICHEIC’s archival investigations and matching processes,” Koken said. “This work has led to awards on thousands of Holocaust era insurance policies, which never would have been identified without ICHEIC’s efforts. A significant number of ICHEIC’s offers and awards were made to claimants who would have had no other recourse to compensation.”

ICHEIC was established in 1998 by the National NAIC in conjunction with several European insurance companies, European governments, representatives of several Jewish and Holocaust survivor organizations, and the State of Israel. Through close cooperation with European insurance companies and partner entities, the Commission resolved more than 90,000 claims. In March 2007, Chairman Eagleburger announced the conclusion of ICHEIC’s claims and appeals processes.

To view a copy of the report, entitled “Finding Claimants and Paying Them: The Creation and Workings of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims,” click HERE, or visit www.naic.org or www.icheic.org.