Not all insurance offers are valid in Washington



Posted on May 15, 2014 at 4:53 AM

Rob Nuccio is a frustrated New Yorker whose feelings are focused and targeted at an insurance company.

“I don’t feel too right about that now.  I think it was a setup,” said Nuccio.

Rob is 65 years old and planning for the future.  He wanted to get a life insurance policy to help his family when he passes.   He’s 6’7”, weighs 390 pounds and has health issues, including a bout with cancer a few years ago.  But he thought he’d found the answer when he saw a Colonial Penn Life commercial that promised he wouldn’t be denied for health reasons.  So he sent in his application and a few weeks later got a response.

“I had this letter that they sent me turning me down for height, weight and medical,” explained Nuccio.  “How can they turn you down for something that they said they can’t turn you down for?”

The policy Rob saw is not offered in Washington.  In fact, those policies are against state law.
Why? Stephanie Marquis from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner says these types of policies from any insurer aren’t good for consumers.

“As you pay your premium plus interest, in the end it may not be a good deal.  If it’s a death benefit, someone has to die in order for it to pay out,” explained Marquis.

The law dates back 20 years and was based on complaints from senior citizens and their children.

“They’d paid thousands of dollars for a policy, let’s say up to $8,000 in premium every year plus the interest, and then in the end the policy was only ever worth say $5,000,” said Marquis.

In Rob’s case Colonial Penn Life says it was operating within the law by immediately offering him an underwritten policy.  The company also sent him an application for it in the mail.
The lesson here is if you see an insurance offer on television, it may not be valid in our state.  If you need details, call the insurance commissioner.  It may save you money and disappointment.