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Question on Checking Account Access
Old 01-23-2019, 02:01 PM   #1
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Question on Checking Account Access

We decided to compare our insurance coverage with another company. One of the biggest. All went well except for the means of payment. I opted for credit card, which they would accept, but.... the other means was direct payment from our bank/checking account.
The agent insisted that in order to complete the agreement that I give him the banking information. Could go no further without that.
This is the second largest insurance firm in the US...

I am leery... is there any reason I should give this info to the company? Doesn't make sense to me. Help!.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
We decided to compare our insurance coverage with another company. One of the biggest. All went well except for the means of payment. I opted for credit card, which they would accept, but.... the other means was direct payment from our bank/checking account.
The agent insisted that in order to complete the agreement that I give him the banking information. Could go no further without that.
This is the second largest insurance firm in the US...

I am leery... is there any reason I should give this info to the company? Doesn't make sense to me. Help!.

Why didn't you just use the Credit Card ?..............


-- Generally I will use Banking Info for direct payment, for things like Property Taxes and Utilities that are Government Regulated like Gas and Electric... Comcast is not one of them..... I use my credit card for my Insurance payment (American Family)


Mostly I prefer a Credit Card.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
We decided to compare our insurance coverage with another company. One of the biggest. All went well except for the means of payment. I opted for credit card, which they would accept, but.... the other means was direct payment from our bank/checking account.
The agent insisted that in order to complete the agreement that I give him the banking information. Could go no further without that.
I would not do it, I would tell them thanks but no thanks and go no further.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:42 PM   #4
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The agent insisted that in order to complete the agreement that I give him the banking information. Could go no further without that.
I would (politely, of course) tell him to pound sand.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:31 PM   #5
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Give him all zeros to fill in his electronic form. If that doesn't work, all ones. If he won't take either, make one up while studying your checkbook so you get the number of digits right for routing and account #s.

There are occasional cases where I am asked for a number that I don't know or that I don't want to provide. The low-friction route is to make one up or to transpose a few digits of a correct number(so you can claim dyslexia if anyone ever comes back to you on it.)

I did have to do some explaining one time to a young gate guard at Wright-Patterson AFB, but everything worked out.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
We decided to compare our insurance coverage with another company. One of the biggest. All went well except for the means of payment. I opted for credit card, which they would accept, but.... the other means was direct payment from our bank/checking account.
The agent insisted that in order to complete the agreement that I give him the banking information. Could go no further without that.
This is the second largest insurance firm in the US...

I am leery... is there any reason I should give this info to the company? Doesn't make sense to me. Help!.
Complete what "agreement"?
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:48 PM   #7
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Complete what "agreement"?
Maybe the wrong word... the insurance policy that we were working on. Between me and the insurance company. I think the idea was to okay future automatic billing.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:03 PM   #8
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I always avoid providing my account info to vendors if at all possible. I prefer to "push" the payments by using the billpay feature at my bank. Of course if you give them a check they have all your account info anyway...

I believe the very large insurance companies have embarked on a campaign of hiding the total premium they are charging. They do this by emphasizing the monthly payment option (which may in fact include a convenience fee) which they prefer to draw from a checking/savings account. It puts everything on autopilot and at renewal time and many customers will just look at the monthly increase which seems more reasonable than the 12x that amount. I had this issue with State Farm so I left them. Their bill invoice would always show just the amount needed to keep the policy in force. I had to log onto the website and drill down if I wanted to pay the policy in full which I almost always did, but sometimes I made two payments of 50% ( plus 2 convenience fees).
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:18 PM   #9
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Of course if you give them a check they have all your account info anyway...
True enough, but what they do NOT have is your authorization to make withdrawals from your account. Nobody gets that from me.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:18 PM   #10
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I always avoid providing my account info to vendors if at all possible. I prefer to "push" the payments by using the billpay feature at my bank. Of course if you give them a check they have all your account info anyway...

I believe the very large insurance companies have embarked on a campaign of hiding the total premium they are charging. They do this by emphasizing the monthly payment option (which may in fact include a convenience fee) which they prefer to draw from a checking/savings account. It puts everything on autopilot and at renewal time and many customers will just look at the monthly increase which seems more reasonable than the 12x that amount. I had this issue with State Farm so I left them. Their bill invoice would always show just the amount needed to keep the policy in force. I had to log onto the website and drill down if I wanted to pay the policy in full which I almost always did, but sometimes I made two payments of 50% ( plus 2 convenience fees).
Thank you. Now I am looking over some of my auto pay accounts that were (out of sight, out of mind) I see some small add ons, fees, inflation and in one case, a small fee for a booklet that they thought I'd need.

The funny thing (if anything about this is funny), House ins. car.ins, health ins. and pharma insurance, each send a huge legal disclaimer... one is 80 pages of 2pt. type... and... the notice on the outside of the envelope,,,
"Open and Read Immediately... Changes to policy included".

Ah me... I wonder if my folks went though this as they aged.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:27 PM   #11
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I would not make up a number, if it could potentially result in someone else getting charged for your bills, although I'd think it extremely unlikely that you'd actually get someone else's bank information exactly right.

Last year, I'd been getting collection calls and texts from a car title loan place I'd never heard of. Why did I care? Because they were calling and texting several times a day. I didn't have to answer the calls, but each text (prepaid cell plan) was costing me money. It took a visit in person to convince them to delete my number from a total stranger's account. My guess is the deadbeat just made up a number, intending to default on the loan from the start.

I already know what a hassle it is to have fraudulent charges on a credit card. I can't imagine how much more hassle it would be to have my bank account being debited to pay a total stranger's bills because someone "made up" a number that happened to be real.

FYI, I've not had to provide bank account information to pay an insurance bill. Credit cards have been accepted with any insurance company I've been with. I was with Allstate decades ago, then State Farm, now with Farmers the last few years. What insurance company is this?
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:40 PM   #12
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Thank you. Now I am looking over some of my auto pay accounts that were (out of sight, out of mind) I see some small add ons, fees, inflation and in one case, a small fee for a booklet that they thought I'd need.

The funny thing (if anything about this is funny), House ins. car.ins, health ins. and pharma insurance, each send a huge legal disclaimer... one is 80 pages of 2pt. type... and... the notice on the outside of the envelope,,,
"Open and Read Immediately... Changes to policy included".

Ah me... I wonder if my folks went though this as they aged.
I'm a little younger than you and I have the same issues. I think the danger comes from not realizing that every vendor changes something. It's a sad game they play.

DirecTV called me and said they were adding a few new "free" movie channels. They're free for 3 months, call to cancel! The representative quickly got the idea where they could put the free channels.

It's a great idea to check and get competitive prices. We had a long time car insurance agent and after discovery found out he flat out lied about an accident in order to keep his rate cheaper. When I fought it, I won and saved a grand yearly.

I'm not sure companies were as aggressive in our parents era. I'd like to think not.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:44 PM   #13
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I just received a request for account number and routing number to pay an ongoing insurance company bill. I do have the option to pay by mail, which is somewhat onerous. I will probably go ahead and do this although not from my primary bank account.
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:10 PM   #14
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my insurance did not mandate the bank info, but there is a nice discount if you have pay in full and direct pay (bank link). I just to in a little before they would pull from the bank account and use my credit card with cash back.

I could have skipped the discounts and kept my bank info out. But I want the discount.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:00 AM   #15
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I would not make up a number, if it could potentially result in someone else getting charged for your bills, although I'd think it extremely unlikely that you'd actually get someone else's bank information exactly right.
I would worry that any fraudulent data provided on the application could be used to dispute the validity of the contract when a claim is filed. I suspect that in a major case the lawyers could argue the bogus numbers away as not germane, but who knows? We used to hear about all sorts of bogus claims about undisclosed pre-existing conditions from sketchy health insurance companies.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:14 PM   #16
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I would worry that any fraudulent data provided on the application could be used to dispute the validity of the contract when a claim is filed. I suspect that in a major case the lawyers could argue the bogus numbers away as not germane, but who knows? We used to hear about all sorts of bogus claims about undisclosed pre-existing conditions from sketchy health insurance companies.
IMO life is too short to worry about near-zero-probability and highly-theoretical events. There are too many of them. Obviously YMMV.
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