Life insurance is one thing that should help you sleep at night. Feeling assured that if anything ever would happen to you or your spouse, that the family would be taken care of. Melissa Amschwand-Bellinger was having a tough time already coping with her 30 year old husband’s struggle with cancer and then eventually losing him, before learning that the $426,000 life insurance policy that was taken out on her husband’s life through his employer would not be going to her. Does that really happen? Sadly enough it does and it did for Melissa.
Could it happen to you?
You would like to think not, but I’m sure that Melissa never thought that she would have to take her case to the Supreme Court in an effort to collect the life insurance that her husband had paid premiums on throughout his employment. The quick version of the story is that the husband worked for a staffing company named Spherion Corp. The husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer right after Spherion changed insurance carriers. With the change, the policy did not take effect until the employee worked one day, which he never did. What makes it worse was that the couple repeatedly asked their employer if there was anything they needed to do with the new insurance, and were told there was not. So it all comes down to one day. One 8 hour shift was the difference in the wife receiving the life insurance amount that she was expecting.
I think this story is a valuable lesson to all those who feel that they have planned for the worse. It pays to check and double check to make sure things will do what you are told they will do. Whether it be life, health or disability insurance policies, read the fine print and inquire. It never hurts to double check a policy that will have a significant impact on your family once you are gone.
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