An important conversation (life) – OLHI – Free, impartial help with your life & health insurance complaints

An important conversation (life)

Mr. and Mrs. H. applied for life insurance and were approved. When her husband died several months later, Mrs. H. claimed the benefits under the policy. The insurance company denied the claim for failing to disclose information about Mr. H.’s health.

Mrs. H. brought her final position letter to OLHI. She explained to our Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) that a nurse had come to their home on behalf of the insurance company to collect blood and urine samples and fill out a questionnaire. During their conversation, Mr. H. told her about his high iron levels and his visits to a hematologist. The nurse noted “blood work normal” in her report despite his disclosure. Mrs. H. and her husband gathered the high iron was not important since the nurse did not take it into account, nor did the insurance company analyze his blood for this.

After his review of the information from Mrs. H. and the insurance company, the DRO recommended an OmbudService Officer (OSO) investigate further.

The OSO discovered that the company had not contacted the nurse to find out more about her visit with Mr. and Mrs. H. He recommended Mrs. H. contact this nurse, to see if she could validate their conversation. The nurse was unable to recall the specifics of their meeting.

While Mr. H.’s medical records showed he had been diagnosed with a blood condition, it was not disclosed in his insurance application. However, Mr. H. had signed this application, along with the report that the nurse prepared, confirming that all information provided was accurate. For this reason, the OSO recommended that there was no reason to further pursue this complaint.

Disclaimer: Names, places and facts have been modified in order to protect the privacy of the parties involved. This case study is for illustration purposes only. Each complaint OLHI reviews contains different facts and contract wording may vary. As a result, the application of the principles expressed here may lead to different results in different cases.

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