Kevin Sorenson – MLA Crowfoot, Minister of State (Finance) July 28, 2014
I am passing along a copy of my recent financial article in the Stettler Independent’s Weekender edition paper, published on July 25th 2014. It’s time that both the federal government and our provincial government took a stand against banks being allowed to sell mortgage life, disability and critical illness insurance in their branches. I am aware of numerous client situations, both when a farm equipment dealer and these seventeen years that I have worked as a financial advisor, that death claims were denied by banks on flimsy technicalities. But these same banks have no qualms collecting the monthly premiums from their customers, only to deny payment at the worst possible time, when someone is grieving over the death of a loved one!
I have paid out over $1.5 million so far this year in death claims, with most life companies settling the claims within 30 days of receiving the claim paperwork. In seventeen years I have never had a death claim denied; I have had the odd one held up due to some administrative snafu. As the major responsibility of independent advisors like me is to help our clients through this most traumatic of events in their lives, to make sure their claim is settled and a cheque delivered as soon as possible.
There is a big push on by the regulators to stop financial advisors like me being paid by commission and to move to a fee for service model. Considering most death claims involve a day or more working with the grieving family, getting paperwork signed and sent in, following up and ensuring the cheque gets couriered back as quickly as possible. In addition, for long term clients attending their funerals, visiting with their families, contributing to memorial funds set up for the departed loved ones, etc.etc. None of which we are paid to do or expect to get paid for and light years ahead of what the banks do at the time of a death claim. They’re too busy investigating the deceased person’s medical history at this time, to see if they can find any possible reason to deny payment of the claim.
I am a member of ADVOCIS and also of a financial advisor forum group across Canada called “For Advisors Only” and I am going to make it my mission to make sure every denied bank death, disability and critical illness claim is made public. So that Canadians can judge for themselves’ how ethically and morally wrong is what our chartered banks are currently allowed to get away with!
They have unlicensed people in the bank coercing mortgage and loan applicants into buying a product that they don’t get a policy for, that they don’t own or control and have no guarantee of payment at the time of claim. The irony of this is that selling these products is one of the most profitable things that banks do, more so considering that life insurance companies pay out over twice the percentage of premiums collected as compared to the banks, to cover their client’s death claims.
Peter Boys CAFA
CC: ADVOCIS, Independent Financial Brokers of Canada, MDRT, For Advisor’s Only, Rick Strankman MLA