|Submitted||July 11, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, and on behalf of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Reclaim The Records, I hereby request a copy of the database that is available on your website, the California "Life Insurance Settlement Search". The URL is:
This part of your website allows members of the public to search for unclaimed life insurance policies for deceased people who had addresses in California. However, your website is unfortunately set up so that the public must input the exact surname (with the exactly correct spelling) in order to even browse the data. This means that the public cannot currently do a search of the database by other fields, such as a search for all people who lived in a specific town, or for all people with certain first name. It also means that the public cannot do a search for slightly misspelled surnames or common phonetic matches to surnames -- and these are the kinds of problems which may have been the reason for these policies going unclaimed in the first place.
Other types of unclaimed property on the California State Controller website do have the ability for people to download the raw files for offline searches. For example, here is the link to the downloadable files of the unclaimed California property records, which you update weekly:
But those are only the data sets for unclaimed *property* (real estate, bank accounts, settlement checks, etc.). I am requesting the data sets for unclaimed life insurance policies, which do not appear to be downloadable yet.
I am requesting this database be provided to the public as the raw underlying data, whether it is a MySQL data dump, a CSV text file, or some other common data export format. The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request be filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or USB thumb drive if not.
I would also ask that you please consider adding this unclaimed life insurance policy data set as a new type of download on your website, so that other people may use it too.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires, as required by the law.
Reclaim The Records
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following California Public Records Act request, copied below, and originally submitted on July 11, 2019. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
This is in reply to your public records act request in which you seek information regarding the insurance settlements entered into by this office.
This information is presently available to the requestor and other members of the public within the very Download Unclaimed Property Records web link from our website that you reference in your request, https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fsco.ca.gov%2Fupd_download_property_records.html&data=02%7C01%7Crchivaro%40sco.ca.gov%7Cb85dd85a2dda4601482c08d70f8e2596%7C86356b47d2834daca51687a294f20e12%7C1%7C0%7C636994975504541417&sdata=1ar964q652i4DjNBluGxHqcjuEHkH2JHlpVsbZ67RCk%3D&reserved=0p;reserved=0.
The same life insurance properties in the Life Insurance Settlement Search database are included in the Download Unclaimed Property Records database. This can be downloaded and searched offline. A sort of the second column of the data titled " PROPERTY_TYPE" can be done and then codes starting with "IN" or with the word "insurance" can be searched for.
We have found that the Life Insurance Settlement Search webpage that shows just unclaimed properties from life insurance settlement property reports is duplicative of information we already provide elsewhere and that it is confusing to the public and, for that reason, that particular website will be taken down shortly.
I hope this response is sufficient and that it satisfies your request without further time, effort, or cost.
Richard J. Chivaro | Chief Counsel
Office of State Controller Betty T. Yee
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1850
Sacramento, CA 95814 | (916) 445-6854
Dear Mr. Chivaro,
Thank you for your timely and helpful response!
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