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Life Insurance...
Old 04-17-2006, 02:50 PM   #1
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Life Insurance...

I'm in the middle of a life insurance quandry, and thought I'd get your collective two cents (or more I hope!).* Dh and I recently took on a larger mortgage to pay for a barn to house his vintage car repair business.* Because of this new responsibility, we decided to get term life insurance, so if anything happens, one of us can pay off the mortgage.* Both applications took forever to process (the insurance group estimated 6-8 weeks, and it took four months).* Mine went through cheaply and without a hitch, except that it took a long time.*

Last week, the insurance group called dh and said that his tests came back positive for nicotine - he quit smoking six years ago.* After four months of the insurance company hanging onto the tests, we find this out at the very end of the application process.* It crossed my mind that addicts will lie and cheat and steal for their addictions, and that maybe he didn't really quit.* But dh has a lot of integrity, and he hasn't smelled smoky.* He firmly states he isn't smoking, although he'd often like to.* His test results show that he's smoking between 1/2 - 1 pack a day.* Now THAT is something that would be obvious!*

It seems to me that after hanging onto the test samples for four months, ANYTHING could have happened in the lab.* And with life insurance they will not retest .* In my research, I've found that between 5%-17% of nicotine tests will show a false positive.* Apparently we can write a letter to dispute the findings of the insurance company, and these letters can be successful...*

Any other suggestions?*
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-17-2006, 02:57 PM   #2
 
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Re: Life Insurance...

Hold on. If it's his car repair business and he dies, there's no reason to keep the barn, so there's no point in having life insurance on him for the sake of that mortgage. If he dies, you sell the barn and the business -- no need for life insurance.

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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-17-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: Life Insurance...

Assuming that the mortgage is on your home and you actually do need the coverage, I would write the letter and contest the results. I would also contact your state's insurance department because they will be the primary regulator and therefore have the biggest stick to swing (insurers are not federally regulated).
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-17-2006, 03:15 PM   #4
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Re: Life Insurance...

TromboneAl: The business is at our house. I'd hate to have to leave in a hurry because of dh's demise...

Brewer: Thanks for the suggestion! I got the address for NY and I will be practicing my letter writing skills shortly...
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-17-2006, 03:54 PM   #5
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Re: Life Insurance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamboogrrrl
Brewer: Thanks for the suggestion!* I got the address for NY and I will be practicing my letter writing skills shortly...
Ooh, NY. Probably tied with California for the most hated and feared (among insurers) insurance department in the country. I would check their website and call first.
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-18-2006, 11:58 AM   #6
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Re: Life Insurance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Hold on. If it's his car repair business and he dies, there's no reason to keep the barn, so there's no point in having life insurance on him for the sake of that mortgage. If he dies, you sell the barn and the business -- no need for life insurance.

Al, have you ever tried selling a business (or the RE attached to it) when the owner dies? The bids aren't exactly fair. Most likely she would get soaked.

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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-21-2006, 11:01 AM   #7
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Re: Life Insurance...

As an update, I wrote the letter to the insurance company, and cc-ed it to our State Insurance Department, and our esteemed Attorney General.

DH thinks it's pretty hopeless to fight an insurance company, even if they're wrong.*

My hope is that maybe the response will be interesting...*

Thanks folks!
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-21-2006, 09:24 PM   #8
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Re: Life Insurance...

I don't understand why you don't just go with another insurance company. Do they share the results of nicotine tests with each other? There are tons of insurance companmies out there.

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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-21-2006, 09:48 PM   #9
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Re: Life Insurance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
I don't understand why you don't just go with another insurance company. Do they share the results of nicotine tests with each other? There are tons of insurance companmies out there.
They share.

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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-22-2006, 08:30 AM   #10
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Re: Life Insurance...

Maybe he is chewing the gum. Or Copenhagen.
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-24-2006, 08:16 AM   #11
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Re: Life Insurance...

Martha: Nope, he's not chewing the gum, and he's not chewing tobacco. I'm wondering if insurance companies do this to everyone who admits to ever having smoked a cigarette. If half of the "I-used-to-smoke-folks" DON'T dispute the findings, more $$$ for the insurance company... Not that we've actually even SEEN a copy of the results.

Sanclem: Not only do the insurance companies share test results, but they will allow only ONE test per 12 month period.
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-24-2006, 09:48 AM   #12
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Re: Life Insurance...

Would it be worth having the test done yourself from another testing lab? Hopefully they results would be different than the original test and you'd have something with which to fight.
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 04-24-2006, 11:24 AM   #13
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Re: Life Insurance...

Outtahere: Yes, we could get a lab to do another test, but the insurance company will not recognize another test done within a 12 month period. It's a totally closed system...
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 05-23-2006, 11:03 AM   #14
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Re: Life Insurance...

Update: We finally got a reponse from the insurance agent in this debacle.* As a result of CCing the NYS Insurance Department (thanks Brewer!) in our correspondance and their opening a case to check this out further, the insurance agent has written a letter to the carrier urging them to consider a nicotine retest and/or reunderwriting the policy based on dh's statement that he hasn't smoked in 6 years.

And we've gotten absolutely NOTHING back from the company in terms of test results, even tho we asked...
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 05-23-2006, 12:54 PM   #15
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Re: Life Insurance...

That's wacky. When I got my term policy, the insurer asked if I wanted a copy of the bloodwork results. Something is awfully screwy.

Keep at them and follow up with the NYS department. They actually take their "consumer's advocate" role seriously.

BTW, would you be willing to say which company this is? I'd even take a PM and promise not to squeal, if that makes you comfy. I don't want to be recommending any insurer that treats applicants so poorly.
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 05-23-2006, 01:00 PM   #16
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Re: Life Insurance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Keep at them and follow up with the NYS department.* They actually take their "consumer's advocate" role seriously.
BTW, would you be willing to say which company this is?* I'd even take a PM and promise not to squeal, if that makes you comfy.* I don't want to be recommending any insurer that treats applicants so poorly.
Bamboogrrl, if this insurance company is a publicly-listed corporation, then in addition to telling Brewer you should also tell the insurance company that you've been contacted by the media and by financial analysts...
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 05-24-2006, 02:57 PM   #17
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Re: Life Insurance...

Nords, that made me snort out loud at work!
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Re: Life Insurance...
Old 05-25-2006, 07:15 AM   #18
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Re: Life Insurance...

Nords, that made me snort out loud at work!

Careful what you say, the insurance company might be reading this and take "snort" in the wrong context!
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:04 AM   #19
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Re: Life Insurance...

Andre: Apparently "breathing" and "having a pulse" are also big no-nos with insurance companies...

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Old 08-04-2007, 02:55 AM   #20
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What about second hand smoke?

I have read where casino workers that are non smokers would test the same as smokers because of breathing in second hand smoke all day.

Jim
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