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Insurance Carrier: Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
State: Colorado

Consumer Complaint:

In May 2008 I applied for group life insurance with MetLife through my wife's employer during an open enrollment period. By the middle of August they were still underwriting and at that time, I sent them a letter withdrawing my application.

I had obtained a 20 year $50K individual life insurance policy at a standard rate before then. Therefore, I no longer needed the coverage I had applied for through MetLife. Friday September 5th I received a letter from them dated August 28th declining my request for coverage. I called them about how they could decline coverage when I had withdrawn my application. They told me they have no record of my request to withdraw my application and therefore my status will remain as "coverage declined". I do not want to have declination for coverage showing when I withdrew my application prior to their declining coverage and have obtained better life insurance coverage at a standard rate elsewhere. What can be done?

Insurance Expert Answer:

Each company has its own underwriting standards, and very often company one will accept when another will rate (that is, charge a higher premium) or decline. I am not making excuses but can see some issues of timing.

If they sent a letter dated August 28 that took 8 days to arrive (1 was Labor Day), it is conceivable that your letter of "mid-August" (you did not specify when) took a comparable period to get to them. It could have crossed in the mail or been internally on route (very often underwriting may be done at a different location than you wrote to), or in the pile awaiting the underwriting staff's review or input.

In short I readily can see how it can have happened. Why not write a polite personal letter to the head of MetLife's Institutional Business, using specific dates and names, and ask that they revise the records as because you did withdraw, you are concerned that the declination could impact your future insurability. Not sure what they'll do but it can't hurt. And for background, it's not worth getting upset about as a declination usually really has little impact in the future.