I had a gentleman call me the other day to see what he could do about the mess his life insurance had ended up in. 10 years ago his agent converted his term insurance policy, at that time a Kemper policy and now a Protective Life policy. This man explained to the agent exactly what he needed. Not wanted, but needed.
He had a much younger wife with a debilitating disease and needed his life insurance to stay in force forever. With very little in the asset column he couldn’t afford to have a policy run out on him and leave his disabled wife with no way to be taken care of. The agent told him he could convert to a guaranteed permanent universal life that would be paid up in 20 years. So he converted $205,000 of his policy. Kemper was then sold to Chase and they were then sold to Protective. Even though this was a universal life policy that requires an annual statement of cost and benefits, he never received one until Protective took the policy over. He actually didn’t pay any attention to them because he had never received one before and was very clear in his mind what his policy was and when it would be paid up.
Until this year when his annual statement said that, at best, his policy would remain in force two more years. I just want to tell you that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of you out there that just haven’t received the letter yet. This 79 year old man with a sick 65 year old wife has just been slapped in the face by the fact that the agent was a lying dirt ball and sold him a policy based on assumptions and not guarantees. If the last 10 years had been perfect he would still be on track for a paid up policy. If the agent hadn’t lied to him he could have paid the additional cost to guarantee the policy. I highly recommended he take this to his Ohio state insurance commission.
Agents and companies have to be held accountable for this kind of gross negligence, fraud and misrepresentation. I wish this was an isolated case but this poor guy is not in this sinking ship alone. “If not millions!” And you won’t know until that letter comes because most of you, like this gentleman, have been abandoned by their agents and left to try to understand an annual statement if they even get one.
My new friend has sent a letter to the Ohio Insurance Commissioner. He has consented to allow me to post the letter in this forum and will keep me updated on how this is handled. While this man is very intelligent and has a far better ability than I to recall past events, he was clearly duped by an unscrupulous agent at age 70. For life insurance purposes that means that the transaction took place when he was a senior adult which would now require several layers of protection against what happened. 10 years ago the insurance commissioners allowed seniors to be hosed like this with absolutely no oversight.
Bottom line. As I share his letter in my next post you will see that the man is clearly not trying to get something for nothing. He was dismembered by one of the low lifes in our industry and all he wants is to be made whole again. I hope those of you who follow this post will not only hang in there through this as it plays out, but will invite people you know who have traditional universal life insurance policies to follow as well. If you have any questions or have an annual statement that you can’t make sense of, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.