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I am and always will be all about guarantees in life insurance. The job it is purchased for is simply far to important to leave up to the whims of the economy or the company.

In the absence of contractually guaranteed rates, the company has the right to change your premium to a higher one at any point.

I’ve often talked about the necessity of guarantees in both term insurance and permanent products. I’ve also talked plenty about the term conversion option. It is that conversion option that can keep insurability alive even when your health no longer warrants it. I can’t begin to tell you how valuable and comforting the ability to convert
“without evidence of insurability” has been to so many clients whose term guarantees, in the face of cancer or other life changing health events, have suddenly become too short.

It’s with those thoughts in mind that I sent the following email to a vice president of West Coast Life after they recently changed their conversion option to a product that isn’t guaranteed beyond 10 years.

“As I work with client on a potential conversion I am really struck with the blow that West Coast has taken in the area of being a 100 year old trusted life insurance company, part of the Protective Life group.

Conversion has always been that golden egg hidden in term policies, the savior of insurance and insurabilty for families. And, let’s be honest. It’s been a cash cow for companies like West Coast.

For West Coast to now offer only non guaranteed (no, I’m not impressed with a 10 year guarantee) options is a slap in the face to loyal customers. When the company continues to offer lifetime guarantees on new issues and relegates loyal customers to second hand products, well, it’s just wrong.

Whether it is a more expensive product is not the issue, although I fail to see how the company can break trust with current contract holders by offering better prices for new business. The issue is guarantees. I simply keep coming up short of a word other than immoral to describe how I feel the company is treating the clients that have made and kept West Coast alive and viable for so long.

I know we’ve never talked but the amount of WCL business on my books, I believe, puts me in a position to voice my outrage on behalf of my clients, and ask that someone respond, preferably someone as high up in the company as you can shove my concern. Thanks in advance.”

Bottom line. Their response will be shared and will determine whether I recommend them in the future.