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The Boston Globe

Business

$665m in unclaimed benefits found

ALBANY, N.Y. — More than 89,000 people nationwide are getting shares of over $665 million in life insurance benefits that many didn’t know they were entitled to receive.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the payments are a result of a measure signed into law last year that requires insurance companies to try to find beneficiaries rather than wait for recipients to file claims.

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Many didn’t know they were named as beneficiaries by relatives or friends and so would have likely never filed a claim.

‘‘It is only fair for families and individuals who lost loved ones to receive the life insurance benefits to which they are entitled,’’ Cuomo said.

A probe involving New York-based companies turned up more than 18,000 New Yorkers who will now get $206 million in life insurance payouts.

The state and insurance companies have developed a ‘‘lost policy finder’’ system on the state Financial Services Department website at www.dfs.ny.gov.

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