Typical day at an insurance company call centre.
Customer: My mother just passed away, and I found policy papers with her things.
Me: I am so sorry to hear that. How can I assist you today?
Customer: It says here that I’m the beneficiary of this policy. I’d like to know how to claim the money.
Me: Absolutely! What’s the insured’s name and policy number, as well as your name? (Gets the info and looks up the policy).
Me: I do see your mother’s policy here, but it looks like it lapsed with no value.
Customer: What the (expletive) are you talking about? My mother took this policy out 10 years ago and told me I’d be getting money when she died.
Me: I’m sure she did, however, your mother stopped paying the premiums on this policy five months after she took it out. After another three months of no payments on the premiums, and no contact with your mother, the policy was cancelled by the company.
Customer: You (expletive) liars. My mother didn’t stop paying on this. She would have told me. You (expletive) scammers! You just don’t want to pay out the money. (Expletive) crooks.
Me: If you can provide bank statements proving your mother’s premiums were paid these past 10 years, we will gladly pay the claim. She was set up with pre-authorized debits from such-and-such Bank. After five months, a stop-payment was put on her premium withdrawals. We reached out by phone, letter and email with no response. If you’re telling me some grand mistake was made, and your mother did, in fact, continue to make premium payments and keep her policy in good standing, we will accept proof by way of bank statements showing her monthly premiums being drafted from her account until her passing.
Customer: (Long Pause). (Expletive) you! Then hung up on me.
Later in the day, I was perusing one of our social media pages, and I noticed a long rant from someone with the same name as the caller saying our company was a scam. Took their mother’s money for years and refused to pay out her policy.
I wanted to respond so badly with the facts, but obviously, due to privacy laws, I can’t. What I wanted to say was, “Yes, your mother paid our company a total of $150, then stopped paying for 10 years. We should then totally give you $200,000 cause that’s how we stay in business.”
Insurance…please, people. Make sure you pay your premiums, and make sure you know what you’re buying. Know what your options are if something happens and you can’t afford it anymore. There are different types of products that accumulate value in different ways. And if you’ve told your kids they’re getting money when you die, tell them you’ve let the policy lapse so they’re still not expecting it!