A long-term care insurance company recently cancelled the insurance coverage of an elderly woman who accidentally wrote the wrong amount on her premium check. The case illustrates the need for policyholders to pay attention to the details.
Madeleine Maldonado, of Concord, Massachusetts, had a long-term care insurance policy through AIG. According to an article in the Boston Globe, when Ms. Maldonado wrote a check to pay her $3,399.91 long-term care insurance premium, she put down the correct amount in the number box, but she accidently wrote out “three thousand three hundred and 99/100 dollars.”
Under banking and finance rules, if a check has contradictory terms, the words are considered the correct amount. Therefore, Ms. Maldonado’s premium payment was $98.92 short. AIG sent the 81-year-old Maldonado a past-due invoice for the amount she owed, and when Ms. Maldonado did not respond, they cancelled her policy. Ms. Maldonado’s daughter appealed to the company to accept a late payment, but the company refused. Her mother now has dementia and no long-term care coverage.
This incident illustrates the need to be extra careful when dealing with long-term care insurance companies. You need to make sure all your I’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed because small mistakes can lead to huge problems. It is also important not to ignore letters or notifications for payment from the insurance company.
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Skipton Reynolds, Esq.