Here we go again. I called New York Life this morning to see if I could be assigned a permanent contact to call when beneficiaries are getting the run around on death claims. I ended up talking to the executive assistant for NYL Executive Vice President Michael Sproule who took my information and promised she would have someone get back to me. So far that hasn’t happened.
At issue is a blog comment I received today that stated, “On December 21, 2013, my brother died in a house fire of smoke inhalation. He had a small AARP life insurance policy to use for his burial. He died a month and a half before the two year limit. I notified AARP of his death along with supplying death certificate, form with his family doctor listed and waited for them to settle. As of today, February 26, 2013, they have yet to settle because they didn’t have enough medical information. The doctor sent the info and because my brother didn’t visit the doctor regularly they have not paid the claim. I told them he lived in a very rural area with one doctor and that was it for information. If he had no medical problem he did not go to the doctor. I was told they would decide if they would pay and how much and would be back in touch. What now??? When the coroner ruled it an accidental death how can the insurance company argue the point???”
I can’t even begin to tell you how extraordinary it is that this claim hasn’t been settled. This is exactly the kind of claim, even in the contestability period, that companies pay and pay quickly. AARP/New York Life has an engrained habit of dragging their feet even when the answer is obvious.
When I called Mr Sproule’s assistant this morning she said she found it highly unusual that an agent that doesn’t represent New York Life would be calling and highly unusual that the beneficiary didn’t address their questions to customer service. I explained that I seem to have become an advocate for people that are truly getting a run around on death claims and that when I do call they seem to suddenly get settled. All I was asking for was a person that I could call with each of these problem cases so I didn’t have to go through the same nightmare customer service junk that these people who have lost a loved one are going through.
But, no response. The last time I couldn’t get an answer I wrote about it in a blog post and a person from New York Life called and we were able to get the issue resolved and the claim paid. I just wish for the sake of this person and the others I’ve come in touch with that New York Life would just clean up that one area of their company, a bastard stepchild of a partnership with AARP and start treating people the way they would like us to believe they do.
Bottom line. Arghh. I really get tired of taking on AARP, but until they break down and start treating seniors with respect and decency I guess it’s my lot. If you have any questions or need help with an unfair decision by AARP/New York Life insurance, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.