Senior citizens are routinely swamped by mail. Their mailboxes can be stuffed with solicitations and invitations to events, products, or services they may or may not need. The elderly are sharp, and most of these third-class letters end up in the circular file in the kitchen. Vendors understand this and will try to make the message seem urgent or protected by the government. In this article, we will discuss the pitfalls of State Regulated Insurance.
Anyone who receives mail that says “State Regulated Insurance” might think that the contents are safe and worth reviewing. Neither is necessarily true. Indeed, the phrase, caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), ought to be running through a person’s mind as he or she opens the envelope.
What Is State Regulated Insurance?
State-regulated insurance is a leads generator for insurance agents. The recipient is told that he or she may qualify for a state-regulated program that will cover funeral expenses. The critical word is “may.” There is no mention that a person is automatically eligible for any program, and the vendor wants the recipient to complete a small form with personal information and send it back in. The idea is to convince a person that returning the information is harmless and will be used to determine eligibility.
That is not really what is going to happen. The unsuspecting recipient, who returns requested information, is handing over marketing data. This is shared with other insurance agents. What happens next can be incredibly annoying.
The Hard-Pressed Sales Pitch
The unsuspecting innocents who complete the request information and send it back have opened the door of their privacy to any number of sales agents who want to sell final expense insurance policies. These agents are not going to be subtle in their approach to selling insurance. The agents will use telephone calls, direct mail, and whatever other means they have two get in touch with these victims. They will use firm sales pitches to persuade consumers to buy a policy.
Elderly parents do not want to burden their children with significant funeral expenses. Agents will play on that parental empathy. They will point out to senior citizens the cost of a funeral and how it is going to impact the estate left behind. It is no coincidence that some of the more startling pieces of information are in bold type.
Those mailers do not have any problem with applying a guilt trip to the unsuspecting recipient. These marketing professionals will, without hesitation, remind parents of their responsibilities to the survivors. It is a process of gradually weakening a consumer’s opposition to a product that a person never wanted in the first place.
What is a State Regulated Insurance Program?
While we cannot say that what the perpetrators are doing is illegal, the ethics of promoting a state-regulated insurance program is questionable. The truth of the matter is that there is no state-regulated insurance program that will cover the cost of an expensive funeral. Social Security does have an end-of-life benefit, but it is only $225, nowhere near the price of a modern funeral.
Those who promote the idea of the state regulated insurance program rely on a disclaimer at the bottom of the information form that says in small print that the sender is not affiliated with a government agency.
Unfortunately, people come to realize that when it is too late. They become the victims of a program that does nothing more than generate leads for insurance agents.
The people doing this mailing can be very clever. The language of the correspondence can intentionally distract the suspicious. The literature may say that the state regulated insurance program is only for residents of the state in which the recipient resides. The language can show a masterful way of using words to cover a deception.
All insurance policies sold within a state are regulated by the various departments of insurance and commissions of that state. Insurance covers are required to submit information regarding rates, coverage, and other matters relating to the issuance of policies. In that sense, the insurance being marketed is state-regulated. Here is where things get frustrating for a consumer.
The mailing is not legally a scam. The mailer has truthfully implied that the insurance is state regulated (just like any other insurance policies sold in a state). The disclaimer also protects the mailer from consumer protection complaints or legal action. The mailing is not fraudulent, but it is annoying.
Understand the Facts About State Regulated Insurance
The state regulated insurance program scheme relies on people who are naïve enough to trust what a marketing piece is claiming. Those who are on Social Security and Medicare implicitly trust the government for their state regulated insurance benefits, because they have received the payments and services promised. They think the contact is from a bonafide public agency but that is not true.
It isn’t worthwhile to contact a lawyer or consumer protection agency about these rascals. They have covered their tracks and, more importantly, all they really have done is supply information and request general facts that insurance companies would ask for when selling a policy. Most important of all, the marketing program has not sold anything to anybody. The whole objective is to generate leads for other agents, and any accusation about an insufficient policy must be directed to the agent who was the seller.
A Consumer Can Defend Against this Type of Underhanded Activity
Skepticism. If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. The attraction of the state regulated insurance program is the idea that the government is going to defray the costs of an individual’s burial. Such a claim should be questioned because it sounds fantastic.
Don’t Call Us, We Will Call You. People who receive the state regulated insurance program information are getting ordinarily unsolicited material. The agent or agents are doing a mass mailing, and a consumer is getting the data even if the material was not requested. Mailing is not the only way to get in touch with a prospect. Telephone calls are quite useful.
These are not always the smile and dial type where the agent makes a direct phone call. Call centers can handle a large volume of telephone solicitations and they set up accounts with insurance agents and make the phone calls based on the contact information. Call center reps are quite persistent. A person can expect numerous attempts in a short period.
There is the best way to stop those calls and is much better than simply hanging up the phone. If a call center rep makes a connection and gives the sales pitch, all you have to do is say, “thank you for calling, but I am not interested. Please do not call back and take me off your call list.” Having your information taken off the list means that there will be no more telephone calls from that call center. You can end the telephone calls with a simple but direct request.
Do Some Hunting Yourself
We want to mention that final expense life insurance is not a faulty product. A good insurance policy can save your family a lot of money when it comes to your funeral. The best way to get the policy you need is to contact an insurance agency yourself after you’ve done some research. Here are some things to keep in mind:
The agency you are approaching must be licensed to sell the insurance products in your state of residence. You can find out by contacting your state department of insurance.
When you are dealing with the Department of Insurance, check to see if there been any complaints or disciplinary actions filed against the insurance agency.
When you contact an insurance agency, ask how many insurance companies that establishment represents. The insurance agency should be representing several companies.
Go online and look at some of the consumer review websites. Yelp! is an excellent source of reviews and comments made by frank and honest people.
You want to be able to identify several agencies that meet the favorable criteria, and you can easily decide which one with whom you will be doing business.
Please Take a Look at Insurance for Final Expense
What we have just mentioned regarding finding the right insurance agency, we ask that you do with us. We are confident you will discover that we will meet your selection criteria, and we welcome your examination of any reviews. Insurance for Final Expense is committed to helping people find the best final expense insurance policy.
People who are claiming they represent a state regulated insurance program are not quite telling the full truth. They are representing agents who are looking for people they can contact for business. Always read carefully any literature you receive. Don’t provide personal information until you are satisfied the contact is legitimate. Nagging agents who are more interested in selling any policy than they are in helping you is the last thing you need.
Gary P. Cubeta
(Serving Americans In All 50 States)