Life insurer didn't know her son had died

DEAR HARRY: I would like to report a crime. My son died 11 years ago. The life-insurance company never paid anything. I was so fouled up after his death that I didn't do anything. I always paid my premiums as required until I discovered the problem last month. The insurance company was collecting premiums from my paycheck for 11 years to which they were not entitled.

They are still investigating the authenticity of the death certificate and won't pay me the principal until that's done to their satisfaction. He was 34. What gives with these rich companies stealing from us poor working Janes and giving us the runaround? Help!

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Now, just a darn minute! The company did not know of your son's death until now. How could they have paid out the death benefit?

At 11 years after the death, the company is certainly right in wanting to be assured that you're not pulling off some kind of scam. Wouldn't you wonder about a claim delayed so long?

As to the premiums paid after he died, the company in no way did anything wrong. I'm sure you'll get them back - and you might even get interest on the overpayment. I think you were too quick in your condemnation. Most businesses are honest and try to do the best they can for their customers.


Email Harry Gross at, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.