This article appears in the 91st Carnival of Money Stories at Greener Pastures. If you came from the carnival - welcome! I hope you will consider subscribing via RSS feed or e-mail.
A few months ago I decided that it would be a good idea to purchase some term life insurance. I’ve had a small whole-life policy for many years, which will cover my funeral costs but not much else. I thought purchasing a $100,000 20-year term policy would be a nice thing to do for my son. It looked like it was going to be about $25 a month. Many years ago I spent a few months working as an office administrator in an insurance office so I know a tiny bit about life insurance. Who can’t get term life insurance? It’s easy and cheap and would be a sort of gift to my son in the hopefully far future.
Three months later I still have not been approved and am beginning to wonder if I will be. A couple of years ago I was in my doctor’s office having my annual visit and I mentioned to her that I had a mole on my back that was getting itchy and had grown a bit. She took a look at it and said she thought it was nothing but, if I liked, she would make an appointment for me with another doctor. On the day of that appointment I had to go out of town and, by that time, the mole had shrunk back. I ended up cancelling the appointment and never gave it another thought. My doctor evidently made a note about it in my file. Fast forward two years and the insurance underwriters want the results of that visit to the other doctor. Evidently they don’t believe the story I’m telling them. I suppose they believe I just don’t want them to know about the dire results I must have received.
I understand that, after my summer of cancer nearly ten years ago, I’m more of a risk and they are taking a closer look at me and my history. Still, I’m getting very impatient with the whole process. There is a woman who contacts me periodically to keep me up-to-date. The last news I had from her was that the underwriters were waiting until after an appointment I have in January before they make a decision. I told her I was getting pretty annoyed and was about to chuck it in. Two weeks later I received a letter from ING Insurance telling me I had been declined. A couple of weeks after that I got a call from the insurance agent, who clearly wanted to jolly me along so I wouldn’t give up. When I told him about the letter he seemed to feel that it didn’t actually mean I’d been declined, just that they were waiting until January. He also seemed to think that my January appointment had something to do with the mole, which it doesn’t. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I’m tired of messing with it.
When I decided to get a term life policy I did not give the current economic environment any thought. It makes sense, though, that that the hard hit insurance companies would have tightened up their guidelines on writing new policies. I suppose I’ll let this play out. If it doesn’t work, I’m going to let it go for a couple of years. What do you think? Has anyone else had a similar experience to mine? My health issues are pretty far in the past and I did not expect them to come back and bite me. Have you applied for a life insurance policy in the last six months? Are you planning to apply any time soon?
I have a guest post up today at Living Almost Large on “Financial Mistakes Couples Should Avoid”. I hope you’ll go over there and check it out and consider subscribing to LAL’s feed. If you’ve come from her site, welcome! I hope you will consider subscribing to mine via RSS feed or e-mail.