After months of debating just how badly West Coast Life was treating its’ long time term insurance customers I was finally told that I wasn’t able to represent them anymore. That was last year.
During those months Greg Zabel, some kind of a vice president of something for West Coast, assured me that they were working to resolve the issue of no longer providing a guaranteed lifetime conversion option on their term insurance. West Coast Life finally got rid of their term insurance and went to a term/ul product, their answer for new customers. The problem with the fix for new customers is that there is a guaranteed level term period and then a guaranteed level UL period. Unfortunately they pulled the pricing for the UL period from some life insurance horror movie, coming in at about twice the price of a competitive no lapse guarantee UL at the same age.
And Greg Zabel lied. They didn’t do anything for the current and long time term insurance customers. They gave them (unadvertised) a few months to convert to the old lifetime product and then pulled the rug out from under them. This fortunately happened right about the time West Coast was considering reinstating my appointment. One of the things they had demanded as a condition of my reinstatement was a nearly 10 month time period of not mentioning them in my blog. When they pulled the rug out from under my customers I offered a post that may have been rather unflattering to West Coast. After 10 months of monitoring my blog, their legal department saw the post and refused to reinstate me.
I’m Ok with that. I really don’t have a need to represent a company that clearly doesn’t care about their customers, a company that works harder at acquiring new business than maintaining old relationships. I am helping all of my West Coast Life customers obtain new coverage with more stable companies.
Oh wait. This was about West Coast Life coming clean on their conversion products. In a West Coast conversionsample illustration you can see how the product simply loses all guarantees after 10 years, but they bolster your confidence stating at the bottom of page 6 “Current, Specified and Midpoint assumptions are not guaranteed. They assume that scales for interest and cost of insurance rates will continue unchanged by the company for all years shown. THIS IS NOT LIKELY TO OCCUR because interest and cost of insurance rates are subject to change by the Company based on various factors such as claims and investment experience, persistency, expenses, taxes and the overall economic environment. Actual results may be more of less favorable than those shown.”
I’m not a pessimist but after a company has unleashed a screwing of the proportions that West Coast Life has on it’s “valued customers”, do you really think results going forward are going to be more favorable? I would be surprised to see them selling life insurance at all in 5 years.
Bottom line. If you have West Coast Life insurance in force and you’re still in good health, I highly recommend replacing it with insurance from a company with stability. If your health has changed you may still want to weigh the possible higher cost of insurance now in relation to having a conversion option that is worth something to you in the future.