A compromise plan.
More importantly, survivors with Holocaust-era insurance claims do not generally know which insurance company may have issued a policy to a family member and/or do not have other specific information regarding such a policy. Under the relaxed standards applied by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC), individuals were able to file claims without documentation. If lawyers are now telling these survivors or their heirs that they can be successful without any proof of their claims, such advice is, to put it mildly, unduly optimistic.
This is why I proposed a compromise solution earlier this year on behalf of the World Jewish Congress and the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants. After ICHEIC was formally dissolved in March 2007, the German insurance companies agreed to continue processing Holocaust-era claims. I suggested, therefore, that these insurance companies should now be asked to agree to an independent monitor, a person who would determine whether all potentially valid but as yet unresolved Holocaust-era claims are being honestly processed under the relaxed ICHEIC standards.
Under this proposal, the monitor, who should have the confidence of Congress and the survivor community, would examine any alleged problems with claims in process--those that may have fallen between the cracks, remaining claims that cannot meet the ICHEIC standards, as well as any claims that ICHEIC supposedly disposed of in violation of its own rules. The monitor should report to Congress periodically on the status of all open or disputed claims. If the insurance companies were to reject such a compromise, or if the monitor were to find one or more of these companies to be recalcitrant, congressional legislation allowing survivors or their heirs to sue the insurance companies in U.S. courts could then loom as a final remedy.
Menachem Z. Rosensaft
General Counsel, World Jewish Congress Vice President, American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants New York, NY
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|Title Annotation:||The Insurance Debate|
|Author:||Rosensaft, Menachem Z.|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2012|
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