United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
Chief Judge Edward R. Korman Presiding (CV-96-4849)

 
 
Insurance Claims
 

Introduction to the Insurance Claims Resolution Process

The Swiss Banks Settlement Insurance Claims Process provides Nazi Victims and their heirs the opportunity to have claims concerning policies purchased from certain insurance companies (the "Participating Companies") between 1920 and 1945 adjudicated by an independent and impartial body, the Claims Resolution Tribunal (the "Tribunal"). This page introduces the Insurance Claims Process and describes how it is related to the Global Settlement reached in the Holocaust Victim Assets class action litigation in the United States.

The Insurance Claims Resolution Process and the Global Settlement

The insurance claims resolution process derives from three important documents: (1) the Settlement Agreement in the Holocaust Victim Assets class action litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Chief Judge Edward R. Korman presiding (the "Court"); (2) the Final Order and Judgment of the Court approving the Settlement Agreement of July 26, 2000 (as corrected on August 2, 2000); and (3) the Plan of Allocation and Distribution proposed by Special Master Judah Gribetz and approved by Judge Korman on November 22, 2000. Under this Agreement, up to $50 million has been set aside for the payment of unpaid Holocaust-era Swiss insurance claims. For a list of the Participating Insurance Carriers, please click here.

How Insurance Claims are Processed

The Court has charged Special Masters Paul Volcker and Michael Bradfield, with administering the Swiss Bank Settlement Insurance Claims Resolution Process. The forum for the processing of insurance claims is the CRT. The Settlement Agreement provides relief to Claimants who can demonstrate that they are the legitimate owners of or heirs to unpaid insurance policies issued prior to or during the Second World War by the Participating Companies. Claimants are also required to demonstrate that policyholders or policyholders' heirs were Victims or Targets of Nazi persecution. A Victim or Target of Nazi Persecution is defined as any individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, unincorporated association, community, congregation, group, organization, or other entity persecuted or targeted for persecution by the Nazi Regime because they were or were believed to be Jewish, Romani, Jehovah's Witness, homosexual, or physically or mentally disabled or handicapped.

Once the claim has been evaluated, the Tribunal decides whether the record before the Tribunal supports a monetary award. Awards are based on either the net cash surrender value of the policy (the value of the policy adjusted to reflect the amount for which the policy could have been redeemed at the relevant time) or death benefit of the policy, whichever is greater. The value of policies is adjusted by a standard factor to make them equivalent to present-day values.