|January 30, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the Florida Department of Financial Services today announced a $1.5 million life claim settlement agreement reached with subsidiaries of the Ameriprise Group, RiverSource Life Insurance Company and RiverSource Life Insurance Company of New York.
The settlement agreement focuses on the one-sided use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to stop paying a deceased person’s annuity, but not using the same information to find and begin paying the deceased’s family or other beneficiaries for life insurance policies. Florida, California, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Pennsylvania conducted the examination into the companies that led to this agreement.
Florida’s allocation of the multi-state settlement payment by Ameriprise is more than $111,000, which covers the costs of the investigations and future compliance monitoring. To date, state insurance regulators have either reached settlements or concluded the investigation of 28 of the top 40 companies constituting 80 percent of the total market. Efforts continue to be focused on the examination of the remaining 12 insurers.
Florida’s joint state agency effort led to the development of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life and Annuities Claim Settlements Practices Task Force, which had been coordinating the national multi-state examinations of the top 40 life and annuity insurance companies since 2011. In the five years since these efforts began, more than $7 billion in unknown or lost policy proceeds to beneficiaries have been returned directly by the companies and more than $2.8 billion delivered to the states’ unclaimed property programs.
Effective July 1, 2016, Florida implemented comprehensive legislation requiring life insurance companies to search the DMF and compare the records of both current life insurance policies and those going back to Jan. 1, 1992, when trying to find beneficiaries of a life insurance benefit. This legislation strengthens the state’s unclaimed property laws for the protection of Florida consumers and provides life insurance companies with a standardized methodology for locating beneficiaries.
To view the settlement agreement, click here.
For more information, visit the Office of Insurance Regulation’s Life Claim Settlement Practices webpage.