Several off mainstream sources have commented on a bill that just recently passed in Minnesota House concerning life insurance payouts to terrorist’s families. Its next step is to go to the senate for the state. So far no mainstream media appears to have weighed in on the topic. While certainly not a daily or yearly concern of the citizens at large. I think it is one that needs to be considered. NOT for just terrorists but actually for anyone convicted of murder or serious criminal activities.
Should Active Insurance Policies For Deceased Killers Be Allowed
And Paid Out To Beneficiaries and How much
Minnesota introduced HF 1397 which was an amendment to their life insurance pay outs. In the amendment, “Limitation on payment due to furtherance of terrorism”, a policy of group life insurance issued for delivery in this state may limit payment to a beneficiary to the amount of premiums that have been paid to the insurer under the policy if the insured’s death occurs directly or indirectly as a result of the insured’s furtherance of terrorism. The measure passed with only two Nay votes.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska) in response to San Bernardino jihadi Syed Farook, who had insurance policies worth $275,000. Farook was accused of a mass shooting at a Christmas party in 2015 that left 14 people dead and 22 injured.
The goal of the bill “is to make certain that folks don’t benefit [from terrorism] and this limits the beneficiary to the premiums that were paid in,” according to Democratic Representative Debra Hilstrom. “It limits the exposure for the insurance company when someone is committing an act of terrorism.” Two legislators, however, opposed the bill. They were Democrat John Lesch of St. Paul and Ilhan Omar, of Cedar Riverside.
Ilhan Omar drew heated comments for not approving the bill. She was previously feted for becoming Minnesota’s first female Muslim state legislator in 2016. She is a Somali Muslim refugee and immigrant who was the first female Muslim to be sworn in and only the second Muslim to be sworn in as a Minnesota legislator. Keith Ellison, having been the first, presided over her oath of office as she was sworn in on a Quran.
Now hints of impeachment have been noted against Ilhan Omar in this latest voting decision. As any new legislator knows the eyes of the media are on them so any unusual events, opinions, or actions can draw media coverage. Pointed questions were raised recently by her visit back to Somali and her speech on women’s places in leadership. At least one website article asked if it was safe for her to do that, then why are Somalis continuing to pour into the US. Her allegations of cab driver harassment and taunting her with “sexist and Islamophobic” comments that were posted on her Facebook page raised eyebrows. The one real voting issue noted though did bring into question her allegiance and opinions– she opposed a bill to limit mass protests designed to disrupt streets, train service and airport access.
In many or most states there are at least common law if not codified laws governing receipt of insurance funds if the party receiving them committed an act that caused the insured’s death.
However, that is not my question…
If the INSURED goes to prison for a long time but happens to have an insurance policy that has not lapsed (which reasonably is a slim possibility) would that insured’s beneficiary receive the entire value assigned according to the policy terms or would the pay out, if any, be applied to the taxpayer funds which took care of his/her incarceration?
What if the INSURED kills someone but has an active or paid-in-full life insurance policy. Would his beneficiaries benefit from the policy if he is put to death or dies while in prison? Would the funds go to the victim’s family? To a victims of violent crimes fund? Or would the state apply the pay out to the taxpayer funds which took care of his/her incarceration?
Carrying that thought further, admittedly this might be a rare case, but — What happens in instances where a murderer, terrorist, criminal, or mass murderer dies at the scene but has an active policy? Do the beneficiaries receive those funds? Should the funds be equally divided between all the people if reasonably possible? Or should the pay out go to a victims of violent crimes fund?
Insurance companies are notable sticklers for wording and for not paying out claims if at all possible. I wonder what they think if someone hands them this kind of claim.
These are all gruesome thoughts BUT reasonable given the last dozen years or so. I am actually not sure if any state before Minnesota has addressed this issue and taken legal steps to define insurance liability in at least the one instance — maybe one of our readers can answer.