DCBS Media Release
February 21, 1997
Prudential customers to receive applications for claims
(Salem) Are you one of The Prudential Insurance Company of America's 50,000 life insurance policyholders in Oregon? If you are, and you do not receive a notice from the insurer this month, with new information about a multi-state settlement for fraudulent sales practices, you should call the company's toll free hotline (below) to see if you may be eligible to participate. The notice is the second sent to affected policyholders in connection with the settlement, which was originally announced last summer.
The first notice, mailed in November of 1996, outlined the restitution program and policyholders' rights and options under the settlement. The new mailing includes an "election form" to begin the process of examining each policyholder's claim that she or he was harmed, and determining the type and amount of remediation Prudential will offer in each case.
The new notice also fully explains the remediation process, the relief offered, and the implications of policyholders' choices regarding restitution and future legal action. Policyholders will have until June 1, 1997 to choose the type of remediation they wish to seek.
Prudential's restitution program is actually the result of merging two separate but related settlements with the insurer. The first was negotiated with regulators in 45 states, including Oregon, and included a record-breaking penalty as well as full remediation for Prudential life insurance customers who may have been harmed by the company's sales practices between January 1, 1982 and December 31, 1995. The fine in Oregon came to $250,000.
The second settlement involves a class action lawsuit. That proposed settlement is currently before the Federal District Court in Newark, New Jersey, and has not yet been approved.
In the next step of the process, policyholders will receive actual claim forms, based on the type of remediation they chose with the "election form" in the current mailing. The information collected in the claim form will help determine relief under both the state regulators' settlement and, if approved by the court, the class action lawsuit.
Oregon policyholders who do not receive the notice this month and believe they may be eligible for remediation should call Prudential for more information at 1-800-736-8913.