Because the letter was in a very plain, unofficial, innocuous looking envelope, I nearly pitched it. However, I decided to give it a look. Good thing! Here it is:
In accordance with the terms of your policy, there will be a premium increase effective on the policy anniversary date.
We are informing you in advance that starting with the pre-authorized check withdrawal on May 1, 2012, we will be withdrawing the new premium amount of $1,566.87 from your account.
If you have any questions regarding this letter, please feel free to contact our office at the number below.
Customer Service Department
Translation: “Your 10 year term life policy is about to expire, so if you don’t contact us pronto, we are going to jump your monthly premium of $78.30 by 2000%. By using this nondescript envelope, we hope to sneak this letter under your radar and thus legally rip you off.”
What did I do?
I called the “number below” as fast as my trembling fingers would do so and told the nice lady who answered that I wanted to cancel my policy immediately so I wouldn’t be paying out $1,566.87. She was quite pleasant to deal with (I had the feeling that I wasn’t the first person who had ever called with that request), asking me to fax my cancellation request. I did so and, in a few days, received a confirmation letter from the company. I also contacted my bank who assured me that if the payment somehow goes through anyway, they will work with me to make sure I get my money back.
What about my cancelled life insurance?
I knew that my term was near expiration, but I just wasn’t sure when. Although my wife and I have no debt, a paid for house and a decent investment portfolio, her survivor’s share of my pensions would only be about 60% of what we receive today. We have more talking to do, but we are leaning toward a 20 year term (which will cover me until I am 85) for ten times that annual shortfall. This gives Jan the security I want her to have and even though my premiums will go up, we will be able to easily afford them.
I know this: I am glad I opened that letter.
Readers: Do you always open those plain envelope letters?
How do you determine the size and type of life insurance you purchase?