Life Insurance Woes
One of the call centres I used to work at was as a life insurance rep for a major Canada/US company. It is frustrating to have to give someone bad news when someone in their family recently died, but luckily, many of them are simply greedy people that are way more concerned about a free payday than the loss of a loved one. I do have a lot of sympathy for someone losing a loved one, but not for someone trying to use a death as a way to get one over on the insurance company, there is a line. The three most common kinds of frustrating calls I had, naturally, all had to do with money, no surprise there: (all of these have been approximated to the average question from them and average responses by me)
1) “My (relative) died a little while ago, and in their things, I found this life insurance policy from 1963, how do I go about claiming this?”
Well, yes they took one out in 1963, but then they stopped paying for it in 1966. No, I don’t care that you have a physical policy in your hand that says you’re entitled to money. We don’t just come and break in your house and punch you until you give it back. It isn’t worth anything unless you follow all the parts of the policy until they pass away, including paying us. No, I don’t care that you think they did. I know they didn’t, so unless you can find me some proof of that. No, I don’t care that you’ll sue us because you’re holding a policy. This will not make it to court, that’s a contract which they stopped following 50 years ago, not an IOU.
2) “My (relative) is in the hospital, they’re not going to make it, how do I claim this policy?
(Disclaimer, if this were a five, ten thousand dollar policy that the caller was worried about because it was the only way they were going to pay for a funeral, I would have some sympathy to the issue in that situation, for sure. This was virtually never the case. This was virtually always an entitled-sounding grandkid with a very expensive policy.) Um, first they actually have to pass away. No, being sick and close is not good enough. No, I don’t want to talk to the doctor. No, you need a death certificate first. No, you can’t fill out most of the form right now and send that in later. NO WE CAN’T TAKE YOUR WORD THAT THIS IS “CLOSE ENOUGH”
3) “I’m cancelling my policy. Since I never used it, how do I get back all that money I put into it?”
(Disclaimer #2, there are certain kinds of policies where you do get money back when you cancel it, depending on circumstances and type, I’m not going to get into those. Suffice it to say, these calls were never those kinds of policy.) “Yeah, I do realize that you didn’t use it. Life insurance is rather cut and dried that way. But, uh, no, you don’t get back the money you put into it because you didn’t use it. That’s how insurance works. Yes, really. Yes, really, like your car, or like your house. You don’t get your money back if they didn’t get damaged in the last year, do you? We wouldn’t make a profit that way. No, it’s not a scam, I promise. No, this isn’t illegal. Yes, I’m really really sure. Oh? You aren’t going to use our company next time? What exactly do you picture the “next time” being?
I’m sure I could think of more too. If I do, and you liked these, I’ll be sure to post them. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, while some of this stuff varies by area, most of the important parts are the same or very close to it everywhere. Thanks for reading!