Demutualization is the process of converting a mutual life insurance company, owned by its policyholders, to a publicly traded stock company owned by shareholders, pursuant to a plan of conversion approved by government regulators.
Many of the nation’s oldest and largest life insurers began as mutual insurance companies. Most – including Prudential, John Hancock, MetLife, Equitable, Principal and Mutual of New York – have since demutualized. Mutual life policyholders (and heirs) continue to be entitled to receive whatever policy benefits may be due, but in addition receive stock, cash and/or policy credits in exchange for their ownership interest in the old mutual insurance company.
The amount paid to each policyholder is based on a number of factors, including length of time the policy has been in force, face value of the policy, and total premiums paid. For many policyholders, the windfall arising from demutualization can be substantial, but millions of missing policyholders and heirs aren’t aware they are entitled to receive demutualization compensation.
When John Hancock demutualized, it did not have current addressed for 400,000 policyholders. Prudential could not find 1.2 million policyholders entitled to receive compensation, and MetLife estimates 60 million shares of stock arising from its demutualization – worth billions of dollars – went unclaimed. Contact efforts were unsuccessful, due to name changes after marriage or divorce, unreported changes of address, expired postal forwarding orders and non-current beneficiary information.
If you or a deceased family member had a policy with one of the companies listed below and have not received payment, complete the form below to initiate a search.