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Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones accuses RiverSource of unfair claims handling

September 22, 2011 |  7:45 pm

Dave jones katiefalkenberg4thetimes

 California insurance regulators have filed an administrative enforcement action against a Minnesota life insurer, accusing it of unfair handling of claims from customers with long-term-care policies.

The complaint by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones alleges that RiverSource Life Insurance Co., a unit of Amerprise Financial Inc., "failed to adopt practices to assure that long-term care and other policy benefits were paid."

The long-term-care claims mainly involved policyholders in their 70s, 80s and 90s, including people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the Department of Insurance said.

The complaint alleged that RiverSource employed antiquated policy language as an excuse for denying payments to care facilities on behalf of policyholders.

RiverSource did not respond to requests for a response to the allegations.

Regulators said they took action against RiverSource after conducting an examination of the company's claims handling files. The complaint seeks penalties of up to $10,000 for each willful claims handling violation, $10,000 for each willful violation of long-term-care laws and $500,000 for each long-term-care general business practice in violation of state law.

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-- Marc Lifsher

Photo: California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

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