If the laws of physics hold that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, then the laws of business hold that for every reaction, there can be unexpected consequences.An unexpected consequence of the recent spate of insurance company demutualizations is the renewed interest by state governments in newly revealed unclaimed property. At first blush, states would seem to have limited interest in how a mutual insurance company chooses to structure its capitalization.

However, since 2002, 18 states have passed or are currently considering unclaimed property legislation because of the billions of dollars it could mean to state treasuries, which have been taking it on the chin.

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