I don't think ANYONE will go out on a limb and give specific advice to an
organization unless they are retained legally by that organization.

I think *IF* the organization has done it's due diligence, the concern in
the case of life insurance would be related to the payee, or their estate
or survivors, coming back at some point in time and saying they never
received payment.

Maybe one alternative would be to image both sides of the cancelled checks,
retain the images (for some set time period) and have those images offline
on microfilm/microfiche or another media available to produce in the event
of a late claim.

I'd assume they would need to assess how many times they've had people come
back after a payment had been made to make subsequent claims, and if they
ever had to make payments as a result of not being able to provide evidence
of payment, or that they've AVOIDED making a payment as a result of showing
evidence of a payment to determine the cost/benefit of retaining or NOT
retaining the cancelled checks.

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On Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM, Stakhov, Gene <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Dear List,
> Can anyone offer guidance on retention periods for cancelled checks -
> specifically in the life insurance industry, as it relates to paid claims?
> Assuming that an insurance organization retains accounting ledger records
> indefinitely, is there any compelling reason why they might want to keep
> their cancelled checks around indefinitely as well?  I would advocate for
> an expiry date triggered by the same parameters that dictate retention
> requirements for other financial or claims-related records.  Again, the
> ledger is a permanent record should the need arise to audit historical
> financial transactions.
> I could certainly see a case where specific claims (or claim-related
> records such as cancelled checks) might warrant an extended retention
> period that surpasses IRS retention requirements and/or relevant statutes
> of limitations for insurance claims-related actions (say 15 years as
> opposed to 7) ... but come on, INDEFINITE??  Is there something insurance
> industry-specific that I might be overlooking?
> Any feedback appreciated!
> Eugene Stakhov, CRM, CDIA+

*Lawrence J. Medina
Danville, CA
RIM Professional since 1972*

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