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May 2016 Archives

Are you Really "In Good Hands" when it comes to Your Life Insurance Company?

Stories about unfair and what can often be described as despicable behavior by insurance companies are not all that uncommon. A recent segment on the CBS news show 60 Minutes, titled "Not Paid", exposed the unethical practice of many life insurance companies in which they purposely fail to contact life insurance beneficiaries in order to avoid paying them the life insurance benefits to which they are entitled. Go to http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-life-insurance-investigation-lesley-stahl/ for the full story. As part of a settlement, approximately 25 life insurance companies, including well-known companies like MetLife and Prudential, agreed to pay more than $7.5 billion dollars in back death benefits. More than 35 other life insurance companies have not settled and remain under investigation. In many of these cases, the beneficiary was unaware they were named in the policy and entitled to benefits. While many of the unpaid benefits were in the $10,000.00 range (although there were several very large payouts that were not made) this was money the deceased purposely left to a loved one, family member, or friend and most certainly would have been of some benefit to the intended beneficiary. By paying the premiums on the policy the insured relied on their insurance company to do the right thing and contact the beneficiary upon notice of death. In these cases, the insurance company made no effort to locate the beneficiary; and instead chose to keep the funds. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not atypical for many insurance companies whose actions strongly suggest that their own bottom line is more important than the rights of the insureds to whom they collected premiums and made promises.

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