Florida Signs a $1.5 Million Life Claim Settlement Agreement with Ameriprise Subsidiaries
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office), Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS), and the Florida Office of the Attorney General (AG) today announced that a $1.5 million life claim settlement agreement has been 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 (DMF) 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. The multi-state examination was conducted by California, which served as the managing lead state, Florida, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.
Florida’s allocation of the multi-state settlement payment by Ameriprise is over $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% of the total market. Efforts continue to be focused on the examination of the remaining 12 insurers.
Florida’s joint state agency effort was the catalyst for the development of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life/Annuities Claim Settlements Practices Task Force, which had been coordinating the national multi-state examinations of the top 40 life/annuity insurance companies since 2011. In the years since these efforts began, more than $7.3 billion in unknown or lost policy proceeds to beneficiaries have been returned directly by the companies and over $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 January 1, 1992, when trying to find beneficiaries of a life insurance benefit. Senate Bill 966, championed by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater (DFS) and signed by Governor Scott, 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.