Not only is having life insurance vital, but knowing the exact details of your policy are also just as imperative.
For some people such as Joan Settje, the specifics (or non-existence) of her husband’s life insurance plan were not unveiled until after his untimely death at the age of 72.
After her husband Lon Settje retired from his career, he decided to take on a part-time job at the popular convenience store Target near their home in St. Charles, Minnesota. Lon didn’t take on the job for the money; rather, as opportunities to still feel connected to the real world. He enjoyed the customers, the respect, and overall just being helpful in his community.
For over six years, Lon was a signature at the Target Superstore. He wouldn’t work many hours. In fact, during his last year he even cut down to just eight hours per-week.
Regardless, Settje loved his job and enjoyed the wonderful benefits he reaped from working for such a substantial company like Target.
After passing away in September, Lon’s wife Joan received a letter from Target with information regarding his 401(k) plan, pension, and other benefits including his life insurance plan.
Because of his limited hours, the company explained that Lon was enrolled in a basic company life insurance plan that would provide his wife with a year’s worth of Lon’s salary.
Target urged Joan to call Minnesota Life Insurance to begin the process of initiating a claim. Unfortunately for Joan, it wasn’t that easy.
During that exact phone call Joan was informed that Target had not submitted any documents in order to process her late husband’s claim. When Joan confronted Target about the issue, they told her that a mistake had been made and her husband actually never had a life insurance policy through their company to begin with.
Needless to say, after dealing with the death of her husband and all of the grief that already comes with such a tragic event, this was the last bit of information Joan wanted to hear.
Joan decided to write a letter to Target in order to find out why she was ever told her husband had life insurance in the first place. Target was very passive about the issue, by simply writing back weeks later with a blank complaint form, basically telling Joan to take her problem elsewhere.
After being dismissed by Target, Joan decided to write in to “What’s Your Problem?” At this time she was unaware of the exact price of her husband’s policy, but that was not even the main source of Joan’s frustration.
When she found out that it had in fact been a minimal amount, Joan was even more frustrated.
“That’s part of what makes me so darn mad, because he worked overtime a lot… he came in early when they called him and stayed late when they needed him,” said Settje. So mostly, this was a respect issue for Joan.
“The last call I made to them they just said, ‘He didn’t have one,’ and hung up on me,” she said.
“The Problem Solver”, an employee at “What’s Your Problem”, contacted Target spokeswoman Kay Rubbelke, who simply stated she couldn’t talk about the issue, but promised to look into it.
As promised, Target contacted Settje saying that because her husband worked under 20 hours in the weeks leading up to his death, they were forced to drop his policy.
Settje felt that this didn’t sound right to her, but was through with fighting the issue. Luckily, “The Problem Solver” was not.
The company contacted Target again, asking why the original letter was sent in the first place stating that Lon did have life insurance if he really did not. “The Problem Solver” then faxed a copy to Rubbelke.
Within hours, Joan Settje received a very uplifting phone call saying that the company had changed its mind.
“They said they looked into it further and, yes, he had been enrolled in a company policy,” Settje said. “They apologized for not getting back to me and straightening out this matter. They said they were glad I contacted you because it brought to light a lot of problems they were having in the office.”
The Target spokespeople also told Joan that her husband’s annual salary for his final year was $3,600, but they would send her a check for a solid $4,000. When the check arrived it was made out for $4,079.11 ($4,000 plus interest). Also attached, was a letter of apology.
“All these months, I was just going to let it go,” she said. “I just can’t believe it.”
Lesson learned? KNOW YOUR POLICY. You don’t want to end up in a situation similar to Joan’s, especially if it is for a significant-life changing amount of money.
If you do not have life insurance currently set up for you and your family, now is the perfect time. If you live in the states of Arizona or California and are looking for affordable life insurance please contact ASJ Insurance & Financial Services Inc. at (602) 212-1048 or (877) 275-2201 or visit their website www.asjtermlifeinsurance.com to get an instant accurate quote for your needs. ASJ Insurance & Financial Services Inc. represent many nationally reputed insurance companies like The Hartford, MetLife, ING, Lincoln Benefit Life, Lincoln National Life, Ohio National and many other companies.