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CONSUMERS: 2000 Press Release

For Release: April 4, 2000
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566

Pledges to Turn Over List to International Commission on Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC)

SACRAMENTO -- California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush today announced that the Dutch Insurance Association has, on behalf of its member companies (including Aegon, ING, and Fortis), submitted for publication the first list of Holocaust-era insurance policies for the California Holocaust Insurance Registry, in accordance with AB 600 (Knox).

"Once again, the Dutch companies have demonstrated a remarkable moral commitment to assist the effort to provide restitution of insurance policies to Holocaust survivors and the heirs and beneficiaries of victims. These actions truly serve a model that other companies would do well to emulate."

"The DAI formulated aggressive and Dutch industry-wide solutions to make available this important information, despite obstacles that other companies are using as excuses for not divulging lists," said Commissioner Quackenbush.

Specifically, a list (on computer disk and in hard copy) of more than 1,000 policyholders was turned over today to Department representatives in Washington, D.C. The list will be put up on the Department's website, as well as added to the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Living Heirs website.

Further, the lists will be turned over to the International Commission on Holocaust-era Insurance Claims and to other state regulators for posting on their websites, as well as distributed among Jewish and survivor organizations throughout California, the United States, and the world.

The Dutch companies, in coordination with the DAI and the Netherlands' Supervisory Authority, were successful in receiving, as Commissioner Quackenbush had requested during February meetings in the Netherlands, a special exemption from privacy laws that would have otherwise precluded such submission and publication.

"I applaud the DAI and the Dutch companies for their abundant good faith in making their first step toward justice possible, and for their aggressive role in pursuing an exemption from Dutch privacy laws to enable the publishing of this list."

"Very simply, it is in these lists where the truth will be found. Without them, we can never hope to have the public -- especially survivors and their families -- view the process of restitution as transparent and complete," said Commissioner Quackenbush.

The DAI also announced that it would submit its company archive and record review process to a full and independent audit, and confirmed that any similar records of policyholders discovered as a result of that audit will be turned over to the Commissioner.