Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company

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"Mutual Benefit" redirects here. For other uses, see Mutual aid.
For the band Mutual Benefit, see Mutual Benefit (band).
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company
Industry insurance
Fate dissolved
Founded 1845[1]
Defunct June 14, 2001
Headquarters Newark, New Jersey
Key people Frederick Frelinghuysen (1848–1924)
Mutual Benefit Life Building
Mutual Benefit Life Bldg-Newark.jpg
General information
Type Office
Location 520 Broad Street
Newark, New Jersey
Completed 1957
Height
Roof 75 m (246 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 20
Design and construction
Structural engineer George A. Fuller Company
References
[2]

The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company was a life insurance company that was chartered in 1845 and based in Newark in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. The company was headed by Frederick Frelinghuysen (1848–1924).[3][4] The company was known as the "Tiffany" of insurance companies, a reference to its reputation as the life insurance company to the upper classes.

Mutual Benefit Life was taken into receivership for rehabilitation by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance on July 16, 1991, after losses in an overheated real estate market led to a run by policyholders. As with all life insurance carrier liabilities, the policy cash values and death benefits were taken over by stronger and larger carriers in the U.S. and all policyholders were kept whole.

Transfer of policies[edit]

The following was posted to the New Jersey commissioner's website: Inquiry to Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company

This will respond to inquiries regarding policies originally issued by The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company .

Mutual Benefit was placed in rehabilitation under the supervision of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance on July 16, 1991. Mutual Benefit's in-force policies were transferred to MBL Life Assurance Corporation ("MBL Life"), effective May 1, 1994. Mutual Benefit was ultimately liquidated and dissolved, effective June 14, 2001.

Subsequent to 1994, all former Mutual Benefit policies were administered by MBL Life pursuant to a Plan of Rehabilitation approved by the Superior Court of New Jersey (the "Court"). In 1998, MBL Life entered into various transactions under which policy liabilities were transferred to other insurers. Each transaction was duly approved by the Court and filed with governing State Insurance Departments. Ultimately, an Order For Liquidation of MBL Life was entered, effective January 12, 2000. An Order For Dissolution was ordered by the court on October 22, 2004.

If the policy referenced in the inquiry was in force at the time of the applicable 1998 transaction, it was automatically transferred to one of the following insurers (depending on the type of policy):

Individual Life Insurance Contracts:
AIG SunAmerica Life Assurance Company (formerly, Anchor National Life Insurance Company) (Non-New York State Policyholders)
First SunAmerica Life Insurance Company (New York State Policyholders)
c/o Liberty Insurance Services
Telephone: 800-821-7887

Individual Annuity Contracts:
AIG SunAmerica Life Assurance Company (formerly, Anchor National Life Insurance Company) (Non-New York State Policyholders)
First SunAmerica Life Insurance Company (New York State Policyholders) c/o AIG Annuity
Telephone: 888-333-2349

Group Annuity (Pension) Contracts:
c/o SunAmerica Financial Services
Telephone: 888-502-0600

Disability Insurance Contracts:
Reassure America Life Insurance Company (Non-New York State Policyholders)
Life Reassurance Corporation of America (New York State Policyholders)
c/o Insurance Servicing Center
Telephone: 800-743-0122

Please contact the applicable insurer for a response to the inquiry. (With regard to Group Annuity Contracts, participants inquiring about contracts issued under a pension plan may also seek additional information from either the Company personnel department or the Plan Administrator.)

If the policy or contract was not in force on the date of the applicable transaction, either (i) it had lapsed, (ii) it was surrendered for value, (iii) the proceeds had been previously distributed pursuant to the terms of the policy or (iv) the proceeds had been transferred to another insurer at the election of the contractholder. If any of these listed events occurred, the policy has terminated and there are no available records which will provide additional information.

In addition, a small number of active policies (e.g. Variable Annuity and 401(k) Contracts) were not transferred to the above-listed insurers and, pursuant to an Order entered by the Court, were either (i) terminated with the cash value paid to the contractholder or (ii) replaced by another insurer at the election of the policyowner. If the policy was thus terminated or replaced, there are no available records.

Finally, if the inquiry relates to a former group life or group health insurance policy, all such contracts were transferred to affiliates of the Fortis, Inc. Group in 1991. For further information, contact:

Fortis Benefits Insurance Company
2323 Grand Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64108
Telephone: (816) 556-7770

[5] At the time, the collapse was the largest ever of an American insurer. Effective June 14, 2001, Mutual Benefit was liquidated and dissolved.[6]

Landmark buildings[edit]

Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company building in Newark, New Jersey in 1915.jpg
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company building at 300 Broadway in 1915
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company is located in Essex County, New Jersey
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company
Location 300 Broadway and 2nd St., Newark, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°45′40″N 74°10′10″W / 40.76111°N 74.16944°W / 40.76111; -74.16944Coordinates: 40°45′40″N 74°10′10″W / 40.76111°N 74.16944°W / 40.76111; -74.16944
Area 3.9 acres (1.6 ha)
Built 1925
Architect John H. & Wilson C. Ely[8]
Architectural style Other, Civic Renaissance
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 83004031[7]
Added to NRHP November 17, 1983

The company's original headquarters building at 300 Broadway in Newark is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The building was sold to the Archdiocese of Newark and served as home to Essex Catholic High School until 1979. The building was again sold, and today serves as a nursing home.

The company moved to larger headquarters at 520 Broad Street in 1957, a modern structure that was built in the International Style as part of the New Newark movement and centered to the north of traditional downtown at Washington Park.[9] As of December 2012 there were plans to convert the building to residentiual and retail space marketed to the city's student population[10]'

The Mutual Benefit Life Building in Philadelphia is another structure associated with the firm.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/86/THE-MUTUAL-BENEFIT-LIFE-INSURANCE-COMPANY.html History of Mutual Benefit Life
  2. ^ http://www.emporis.com/application/?nav=building&lng=3&id=520broadstreet-newark-nj-usa%7C520 Broad
  3. ^ "Frederick Frelinghuysen. Ex-President of Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company Dies.". New York Times. January 2, 1924. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  4. ^ International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 3. St. James Press, 1991
  5. ^ Mutual Benefit Seized By New Jersey Officials
  6. ^ Re: Inquiry to Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, Updated December 8, 2005. Accessed May 31, 2007.
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  8. ^ Lurie, Maxine N; Mappen, Marc (2004), Encyclopedia of New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 0-8135-3325-2, John H. Ely and Wilson C. Ely formed a well- known father-and-son Newark ... were responsible for the East Orange City Hall, the Morristown Memorial Hospital.... 
  9. ^ Depalma, Anthony (January 1, 1984). "In Newark, Greening Of A Sick Park". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ De Poto, Tom (December 19, 2012). "Newark OKs early plan to revitalize the Four Corners downtown district". Retrieved 2012-12-20. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Derdak, Thomas (editor) (1991). International Directory of Company Histories (Vol. 3). St. James Press. ASIN B000MBNTF0.  Article on Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company at fundinguniverse.com:[1]
  • Stone, Mildred F. (1957). Since 1845: A History of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. Rutgers University Press. p. 237. ASIN B0007DVJKA. 
  • Answers.com Mutual Benefit Life

External links[edit]