Portion of benefits to be redirected to victims
HARRISBURG – A recent terror attack on police at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex prompted state Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) today to unveil new legislation, which would limit life insurance payouts of individuals who die committing acts of terrorism.
The proposal also calls for a portion of the terrorist’s life insurance benefits to be redirected to victims.
“I don’t believe you deserve to keep your life insurance benefits if you intentionally steal the lives of innocent Americans,” Bernstine said. “We shouldn’t allow terrorism to be rewarded.”
House Bill 1996
would allow insurance companies to limit payouts to beneficiaries named on life insurance policies to only the amount of premium paid if the insured died while committing an act of terrorism.
Additionally, the proposal would direct a portion of the proceeds from the terrorist’s life insurance policy to the Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to crime victims and their families.
“Currently, a terrorist can take out a large life insurance policy during the planning process of their horrific crimes to benefit their heirs or their families, such was the case with the 2015 San Bernardino attack,” Bernstine said. “To me, it’s a no-brainer that victims and their families are the ones who should be getting that money.”
Bernstine noted that while he has been circulating his proposal for co-sponsorship, the incident involving the Capitol Police on Dec. 22 motivated him to introduce the bill immediately.
“I am grateful for our exceptional Capitol Police and all of the men and women in uniform who quickly got that situation under control in Harrisburg,” Bernstine said. “While state government might not be able to stop these types of events from taking place, we can certainly make sure there are no financial incentives available for terrorism.”
Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam