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Adventures in Life Insurance

I started at this company just a few months ago after a move, dealing with handling account details of life insurance policies and sending out forms to get things changed like beneficiaries, the actual owner of the policies, even cashing out the policies completely.

Naturally, our security process is somewhat involved. Name, policy number, date of birth, address, with the social security number being a fallback in the event the date of birth isn’t on there. You can probably imagine how much moaning and groaning our callers do when they have to go through this process.

What I’ve grown to resent the most, surprisingly, are the agents. These are the folks who have advising certifications, the rights to sell insurance to people, and the ability to assist with policy maintenance in person.

So, what do they do with their incredible certifications? Just this past month I’ve seen agents neglect to send in forms they helped clients fill out, agents signing people up for policies they didn’t ask for, lying about the new policy’s coverage, and, most surprising of all, I’ve seen an agent refuse to help a longtime client because that client had us send the agent a message asking them to call the client back. We’re talking the agent going full on Willy Wonka “Good DAY, sir!” on this poor guy who just wanted some clarification.

Not to say that there are some very special clients who wind up on my line. People complaining about the IVR, the security check, why their policy from 1945 is only worth $500 after all this time… but, this call takes the cake.

Immediately after I identify myself, I can hear the anger in the client’s voice. To her credit she lets me get through security, and proceeds to lay into me about how I’m the fourth person she’s spoken with regarding this issue: she keeps getting her beneficiary change forms sent back, with a letter saying that she didn’t sign the signature form. She was under the impression she never received this portion, and has spent a month trying to get the changes done.

I check it out, find that the paperwork set (three pages in total) came through just fine, and had her look at the forms she received. She had three copies of the signature form sitting around on her end, she just never bothered actually looking before scattering them to the winds.

I hope my expert paperwork advice will be enough to ensure the next call from her will end in a “Yes, your beneficiaries are set…”

Bonus round! A real gem I just had. Client says, “OK, I need a name change done, I’m getting divorced.” I respond, “Sure thing! You’ll just need to fill the form out and send us proof of divorce.” She then objects, “Why do I need that? Can’t you just do it for me?”

If I could just do it for you I wouldn’t be sending the form…

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