Every industry and business makes its errors. Some have a track record for many more mistakes than others, but on the whole you would like to believe that the company you are doing business with is at least making a concerted effort to be honest and above board. Instead, as many have found out the hard way, many insurance companies will do everything in their power to avoid covering their own clients and helping them in their darkest time.
Take life insurance claims, for example. When a family is in need of making up for a lost income and dealing with the death of a major part of their life, their life insurance policy should be sacrosanct. Instead, what many families are finding out at the worst point is that their carriers will not honor the contract as written.
Part of the reason for this is the lack of exposure regarding bad faith claims. Many people simply do not realize the sheer amount of poor practices that these companies undertake. Many remember the friendly faces of insurance salesmen from the 1950s and 1960s that sold them or their parents life insurance. Many of those older claims had been honored and led to a sense of false trust. Many families entrusted their child’s life insurance policy to these salesmen and have found that more recent policies have no such weight.
Part of the reason for this was a sea change in how life insurance function starting in the late 1970s. Many of these policies changed over into Universal or Flexible Premium Life policies. These policies were not actuarially as sound as the older Whole or Traditional policies, leading to reduced benefits. Many policy holders did not even realize the change. Many purchased these policies with the understanding that they could withdraw from them later, being promised higher rates of return than putting their money into the bank. Instead, they found policies with almost no value and their agent retired or gone. Take the recent case of MassMutual being sued for manipulating an investment, as reported by the Triangle Business Journal.
This can be seen in similar practices not uncommon to the industry. Some policy holders are convinced to “churn” or turn over the value of their policy into a new one that is of reduced value. Many insurance companies have also been found lying about vanishing premiums and the value of the policy. By 2000, a full four-fifths of life insurance companies were cited for such practice. The SEC reported recently about MassMutual being fined after manipulating an annuity program. Companies have also been found to misdirect premiums, or manipulate the value of an account by convincing a policy holder to take another then jacking up the price on the original. There have even been cases where the company will forge your own signature on a policy to artificially create a new one.
All of these and other similar cases paint a stark picture of insurance companies’ desperation for a profit. They have been willing to cheat and swindle their own policy holders after years of faithfully paying premiums and shorting their families when they need it the most. A legal expert specialized in life insurance bad faith, Michael Ehline has seen it all before. Contact him 24/7 for more information or for a free, no-pressure consultation to discuss how you and your family can fight back. Please call or email today.