The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) will begin mailing out $16 million in humanitarian payments to Holocaust survivors and their heirs.
The payments are being made to those who believe they had an insurance policy in force during the Holocaust, but are now unable to identify the particular insurance company. The payments are a financial acknowledgment that their families may have held Holocaust-era insurance policies for which they never received payment or compensation.
Claims from approximately 16,000 Holocaust survivors from 60 countries around the world were evaluated and approved for the $1,000 payments. Ninety-one of those due to receive compensation are Texas residents. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) worked closely with the ICHEIC over the past few years to identify Texas survivors and their families. TDI organized outreach events, placed information on the agency Web site and helped Texas survivors get their claim information to the International Commission.
The claims review process was reportedly complicated both by the sheer volume of claimants and the lack of physical evidence. Most claimants had little documentation or only anecdotal information about the insurance policies.
Texas Insurance Commissioner, Jose Montemayor, said the humanitarian payments are a symbolic acknowledgment of the wrongs done to Holocaust victims. “This money does not come close to fully compensating survivors or their families. But what we hope it does is offer some solace. It’s an official recognition that they were denied the fruits of their labor, money they set aside for insurance in an effort to provide for their families’ future. It was a future that was stolen in one of the darkest periods in human history.”
The payments going out are the first in a series of ICHEIC humanitarian payments to be distributed throughout the spring and early summer. The ICHEIC continues to work with survivors who have evidence of claims against specific insurance companies.
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