BILL REQ. #:  S-3026.2 


State of Washington58th Legislature2003 Regular Session

By Senators Kline, Jacobsen, Horn, Benton, West, Regala, Kohl-Welles, Prentice, Rasmussen and McAuliffe

Read first time 04/15/2003.   Referred to Committee on Financial Services, Insurance & Housing.

     WHEREAS, The Holocaust was a tragedy of proportions the world has never before witnessed; and
     WHEREAS, More than sixty years have passed since the tragic events we call the Holocaust transpired in which Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews as a part of a systematic program of genocide known as "the Final Solution"; and
     WHEREAS, There are as many as 145,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States, many of whom are elderly and infirm and some of whom are living in abject poverty and lacking basic needs including food, shelter, and medical care; and
     WHEREAS, Many Holocaust survivors are currently suffering from a lack of resources to provide themselves adequate health care, prescription medication, and a satisfactory quality of life; and
     WHEREAS, There are an estimated 200 Holocaust survivors living in Washington state, with an average age of 80 years; and
     WHEREAS, The International Commission of Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) was established in 1998 and charged with establishing a just process that will expeditiously address the issue of unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust; and
     WHEREAS, The first priority of the ICHEIC must be to publish all available information relating to victim's insurance policies to secure payment of claims expeditiously, and to publicly account for all the actions occurring under its auspices; and
     WHEREAS, Claimants who are not satisfied with the ICHEIC retain the right to pursue their claims in a court of law; and
     WHEREAS, In 1999 the Washington Legislature unanimously passed the Holocaust Victims Insurance Relief Act which established the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Office in the Office of the Insurance Commissioner; and
     WHEREAS, Since March 2000, over 150 Washington State residents have filed Holocaust-era insurance claims with the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Office and more than 300 Holocaust-era insurance claims have been submitted to the ICHEIC; and
     WHEREAS, As a result of an agreement between the ICHEIC, the Federal Republic of Germany, and other parties, a Humanitarian Fund of one hundred sixty-five million dollars has been created to assist needy Holocaust survivors; and
     WHEREAS, The Washington State Insurance Commissioner holds a seat on the International Holocaust Task Force of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC);
     NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that, in as much as there continue to be Holocaust survivors living anywhere in the world who lack basic needs, including food, shelter, and medical care and other things essential to allow them to live out the remainder of their lives in basic dignity, the ICHEIC promptly disburse any and all humanitarian and insurance funds obtained to, or on behalf of, Holocaust survivors in order to meet the basic needs of the survivors; and
     Your Memorialists further pray that the funds be disbursed to the numbers of Holocaust survivors in order to meet the basic needs in fair proportion to their numbers worldwide based on accurate population data, with full and transparent accounting for the use of funds disbursed; and
     Your Memorialists further pray that the Washington State Insurance Commissioner utilize his position on the NAIC International Holocaust Commission Task Force to further the intent of this Memorial.
     BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Chair of the ICHEIC, the ICHEIC member insurance companies: Allianz AG, AXA, Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., Winterthur Swiss Insurance Company, and Zurich Financial Services, and the Washington State Insurance Commissioner.

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