Cyclist death sends insurer scrambling

by 03 Jul 2015
A Minnesota man was riding his bike to work this past February when he was struck by a car and sent to hospital in a coma.
As if things couldn’t get worse for Robert Williams’ wife Adina, who was married to her husband for more than 50 years, it sure did. Mrs. Williams received a letter stating that her husband’s life insurance policy had been cancelled due to non-payment of premiums.
“Please be advised that your insurance has lapsed due to non-payment of premium and is no longer in force,” said the letter from Minnesota Life. “Your coverage terminated at the end of the period for which the premium was paid.”
Within a week of receiving this letter Robert Williams passed away forcing the family to take out a loan in order to have him buried. It didn’t matter that the Williams family had always kept up with the premiums, the company was adamant the policy was cancelled.
Lawyers for the family took months to get Minnesota life to change its position,
“It’s one of these things that’s quite shocking that insurance companies have no problem collecting premiums as they did in this case for years and years and years,” said attorney Trey Lytal, “and then when it comes time to pay somebody what they’re due on their policy, they instead send a canceled notice to their insured.”
Three months later the insurance company recognized that a mistake had been made by a third-party, the Affinion Group, and paid Adina Williams the amount she was owed from her husband’s insurance policy, more than $158,000.
This type of situation is generally rare in the life insurance business but nonetheless highlights the importance of quality advice from an independent insurance advisor.
“I would encourage anyone that suffers a loss of someone in their family that has a life insurance policy, and the company is not forthright with payment, it would be a good thing to let somebody look at it,” Lytal said.
Somebody, like a quality insurance advisor, being the operative words.


  • by Lynda Weinrib 2015-07-03 3:24:03 PM

    Given that the insurer erred, and that the widow had to borrow money to bury her husband, and the widow had to hire a lawyer to collect insurance that was rightfully due to her, I wonder why the lawyer did not sue for interest on the loan plus for his fee plus for emotional pain and suffering.....