Read up on your Insurance policy. The terms and conditions as well as the fine print. It’s actually very very important.
Yes. This Life Lesson is on:
#1 Your insurance doesn’t care about you. They care about taking your money, and hoping nothing bad happens to you. That is the only way you’ll get money out of them.
#2 When they sold you the policy. They only cared for highlighting the best points that suck you in. & just like Apple (MacBook, Ipad) terms & conditions. Almost no one reads the tiny words and scrolling through the T&Cs.
#3 If something bad happens with your policy, they’re authorities in the respective countries to contact if something like this happens.
Some of you may say, No… My Insurance does care about me. I’m a agent, or my friend is my agent. That may be so. But what I mean is the organization. Not the person. So don’t get offended. YET. Lol. I may be insulting your company.
We encountered this issue with Great Eastern who will be referred to as GE.
Story Time in Bullet Point for Efficient Transfer:
- Received a Bill. It was a premium payment notice. This time my mother noticed a interest accrued. FYI. This premium payment is done once a year.
- The problem is, my mom missed a few payments in between. She had this policy since the 90s. In the early 00s when she worked overseas, she overlooked these payments. As normally she makes payment via cheque. Somehow we didn’t receive the statements for payment etc. Completely due to oversight, not due to inability to pay. So once she failed to make payment after 30 days GE began charging APL (Automated Premium Loan) & Interest.
- What is APL you ask? The proper definition: Automatic premium loan. An optional provision in life insurance that authorizes the insurer to pay from the cash value any premium due at the end of the grace period. This provision is useful in preventing inadvertent lapse of the policy.Its when your policy has some value in it. The moment you miss a payment, 30 days later. They will charge to APL. For instance if your Insurance Policy has a value of 50k. Your premium is 2k, they will use what value you have in your policy to pay for your policy and continue your policy. By the way. This includes a 6% interest per annum calculated daily. (Remember this point, I’m going to come back to it) So lets say you missed 10 years of payments. Something unfortunately happens to you. You would’ve gotten 100k, but due to missed payments and interests accrued, you’ll only get a payout of 70k. These are all hypothetical figures. Just to get the understanding there.
- Called GE, not reachable late 2015. My mother had to return overseas for work. So she left the Insurance agent an e-mail and exchanged quite a few till Feb 2016. The whole e-mailing back and forth was just a tedious unfruitful thing. “Can you help me?” “No, I can’t do shit” was the gist of it. Whilst all this was happening in an attempt to find out what was going on. Interest was hiking up day by day.
- Got a meeting with the Customer Service. Another waste of time. The guy was completely incapable and unsympathetic. He showed us papers etc, this and that. Like you signed this policy, it has this mentioned. We send three notices per year, how could you not notice. Another point to note, ALL NOTICES ARE SENT AUTOMATICALLY. The computer does this job not the human. Asked his boss, came back, :”We can only offset 100 dollars from the bill out of goodwill.” But you still gotta pay a few thousand dollars worth of interests. Side note. WTF. If you can offset to begin with, at least make a dent. It’s like laughing at you rather than helping you. Plus 100 dollars doesn’t even cover interest accrued from late 2015- Feb 2016. Where we tried to resolve issue, but was unable to due to GE’s own limitations.
- We weren’t asking for a discount or anything. My mother was ready to pay all premiums missed. But she just didn’t want to pay the exorbitant amounts of interest. Some at this point may say: :Dumb Bitch, had you paid there would not be an issue, don’t turn around and blame your insurance company.” True. True. But as I say, this was completely an oversight on my mothers part, WHY DID NO ONE BOTHER TO MAKE CONTACT? She paid consistently for almost 10 years, went AWOL for 4 or 5 years, then started paying again! This is for life insurance btw. SO WHAT IF SHE WAS DEAD? NO ONE BOTHERED TO CHECK? Isn’t there something fishy. So we asked the CSA (Customer Service Agent), why did no one bother to call her, I mean, letters get lost in the mail, misplaced, overlooked. So many things. His response, “Oh, this is the Agents responsibility to contact the customer.” Agent responded:”I’m not the one that made you sign the policy, I took over from someone else that has left the company. So I’m not aware either.” CSA:”The computer will automatically send notices to the Agent to notify if a client has not paid etc.” Agent:”I’ve received no such thing.” Once again, the computers are working harder than the humans.
- So I asked the Agent one simple question. If a first year policy holder stops paying will you make contact with them. Agent:” Of course, they don’t have enough value in their policy yet, can’t use APL.” SO ONLY IF THEY CAN’T SQUEEZE MONEY OUT OF YOU. THEN THEY WILL CONTACT YOU. Another thing she said was in the past the practice amount Insurance agents was that they’d tell their clients to default on their premium payments after a period of time. According to her, you still get bonuses for and your insurance value was able to sustain itself. So at first she was saying, I didn’t know you wanted it by the book, it was common practice in the past. DON’T ASSUME. PICK UP A DAMN PHONE & CONTACT YOUR CLIENT. How bout that? Either way she denied receiving any notice about my mothers missed payments and CSA was insisting the computer would’ve automatically sent her a notice. All in all just sounded like a blame game and failed communication between the departments.
- Why we expect a call? I mean you’re going to start taking money out of my premium allegedly to pay for what I failed to pay for. As a service provider, shouldn’t GE have the decency to at least notify me that this APL was in effect? Rather than sneak by, and start charging interest. My mother who didn’t know what APL was at the time. When she saw the statements, it was just one sentence at the bottom that said APL: $…… So not knowing what it was she didn’t think anything of it. It didn’t indicate any interests or anything. She just saw premium amount to be paid. So she paid it.
- Conclusion did we get what we want. No we didn’t. Not yet anyway. So we’re filing complaints with the respective authorities that may be able to provide some assistance.
Reading this, it may sound all so stupid. Had you been more careful. Had you been more mindful. Etc etc. True. But sometimes in our busy lives, things get overlooked. A lot of time, we only learn from dropping into the pool of shit. But imagine if you purchased a policy for over 20 years, how could they expect you to remember every term and condition stated. As a customer of GE, I would’ve expected some Customer Service. Keyword SERVICE. But the only Service I’ve constantly received from them, is them asking for my money. That was that. After all it is their job to remember whats in the policies and look after their clients is it not?
Why you’re fucked if you’re not mindful? Well. Because you can’t pull out of a life insurance plan. In certain cases you may, but expect to not make a penny out of it. That’s for sure. So helping you is not entirely their priority. Helping you doesn’t make them more money. Helping you doesn’t get you to pay crazy loanshark like interest rates. So what do you think they’ll do? Help you? Go figure.
Anyway anyway. Yes, this is a rant, yes I’m blaming GE for 99% of all this crap. Because I’m human. Yes. I acknowledge the fact my mother made a booboo.
What was the point of all this?
For you guys to be mindful and learn from my mothers mistakes. Don’t fall into a situation that you’d have to be in a position like us. Of course now we’re fighting it, and we may win or lose this battle. But guys. Best not to even be in the battle. It’s time consuming, its infuriating and most of all it’s exhausting. So if you have any insurance policies or anything like that, give it a look see, make sure you know what you’re in. Make sure you’re premiums are paid. List out all of them, and ensure that they’re paid when they’re due. If you don’t receive a statement when you normally do, you gotta call. They didn’t forget you. They hope you forgot about them though. Lol.
Till next time. I’ll update if anything happens with this.