Insurance - can they do this???

patrice607February 15, 2011

I bought a life insurance policy years ago for my husband and myself thru Zurich. It has been passed around to different insurers like a hot potato. First Chase and now Protective Life insurance out of Nashville. While reviewing our bills, I discovered that they changed our billing term from yearly to quarterly which netted them an additional $208 per year for the two policies. Each time the policy was switched to a new owner, I had to fill out a form with cc info and payment term. I clearly elected yearly payment. They refuse to refund me the $624.00 overcharge. Also, they are no longer accepting credit cards. IMHO this is another change in the contract terms. They said they sent me a letter in August of 2010 saying they would no longer accept credit cards and that they would go to a quarterly billing system. I don't recall every receiving this letter. Even if they did send it, the overcharges go back 3 years. Attorney General's office?

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andrelaplume2

you think ins co are bad...try moving your retirement savings from one company to another....

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 1:28PM
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sushipup1

We found it extremely easy to move our IRAs from Schwab to Vanguard, so I don't know what your troubles are. We also closed a 401K at the end of a job and moved that to an IRA.

To the OP, yes, they can probably do whatever they want. You might want to check with your state's Insurance Commissioner's office.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

They refuse to refund me the $624.00 overcharge.
It took you 3 years to discover you were being billed extra because of it going to quarterly billing?

Attorney General's office?
I doubt if they would be able to help with something that has gone on for 3 years.

Also, they are no longer accepting credit cards. IMHO this is another change in the contract terms. They said they sent me a letter in August of 2010 saying they would no longer accept credit cards and that they would go to a quarterly billing system.
So you had been paying yearly before that? Was it the next statement then that noticed the charges for being billed quarterly? I'm sort of confused about what all transpired and when.

Sue

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 9:39PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

"They said they sent me a letter in August of 2010 saying they would no longer accept credit cards and that they would go to a quarterly billing system."

If they just switched to quarterly billing in 2010, there really can't be three years of 'back charges"?
Maybe the amount payable just increased....

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 10:02PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

Also, they are no longer accepting credit cards. IMHO this is another change in the contract terms.

To the best of my knowledge there no law that specifies what form of payment a company may accept, including being required to accept U.S. currency. My guess is that since credit card companies charge a fee to the merchant, your insurance company is trimming costs.

Could the $208 be some kind of discount for prepaying the year in advance?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 7:03AM
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azzalea

Your best bet, for getting your questions answered AND for filing any legitimate complaints, if you have any, would be to call your state's Insurance Commission. That would be the first place for you to start. Even if it's a national company, they HAVE to answer to your state's insurance commissioner if they do business in your state.

And don't forget--in future, when deciding whether or not to do business with an insurance company, check to see if they're allowed to write policies in NY and NJ--they have tough requirements and it's a good way to weed out the less reliable companies.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 2:09PM
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patrice607

Sue & Luane

The first notice that they claim to have sent me was in
August of 2010. The quarterly billing and overcharges started 3 years ago. Yes, I admit to not paying attention - our credit card was being auto billed and I did not pull out the original policy to see what we should have been paying until recently.

Mike - The $208 was exorbitantly high interest on the yearly premium.

Thanks for the suggestion to contact the Insurance Commission. I'll give that a try.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 1:15AM
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