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‘I’ve had this policy since 1987’: Insurance agent says woman’s life insurance policy is automatically terminating. She’s 72 years old

'This is very common.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jan 24, 2024   Updated on Jan 24, 2024, 7:41 am CST

An insurance worker has sparked discussion after recounting a story of a 72-year-old caller who found out her life insurance policy was expiring. According to the insurance worker, this is a common occurrence.

“She starts by saying that she got a letter, and she didn’t understand what the letter meant. But she thinks it’s trying to tell her that her policy’s about to be terminated,” says TikTok user Tanya (@opinionatedtanya). “And the bad thing about it is that she is absolutely correct.”

According to Tanya, the caller’s life insurance policy had run out of cash value. There are a few ways this can happen. As Tanya notes, one of the most common ways is when someone’s premium payments don’t keep up with the cost of their insurance.

“I pretty much explained to [the caller] that your policy is running out of cash value,” Tanya shares. “She says, ‘Well, I’ve had this policy since 1987.’”

“And I say, ‘Yeah, and I understand you have had that policy since 1987. You’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve paid your premiums on time, every month, faithfully,’” the TikToker continues. “‘However, the policy is running out of cash value, because you’ve been paying the same premium every year since 1987. You haven’t increased it, you haven’t put any more money into your cash value. Therefore, there’s not enough money to offset the cost of insurance.’”

Unfortunately, Tanya goes on to state that there’s not much one can do in this situation. They can either get a new life insurance policy quoted to them, go uninsured, or cash out. While the latter option may seem the most appealing, Tanya explains that if one’s policy is running out of cash value, it’s unlikely that there are going to be any funds to cash out in the first place.

“She was like, ‘Well, I just want to cash it out. Just give me the surrender amount, since I’m not going to have a death policy,’” Tanya recalls. “I proceed to tell her we can cash the policy out, but the only thing about it is that [her] surrender amount has dropped down to $70. She only had $70 in her cash surrender amount, because the policy picks at it in order to offset the cost of insurance, so that way her premium doesn’t rise.”

The woman ended up hanging up the phone, Tanya says.

“This type of policy is a universal life policy, and this is very common,” Tanya details. “We get calls like this all the time, where a 72-year-old person, 80-year-old person, even a 60-year-old person who’s had their policy for more than 15 years thinks that just paying the premiums on time every month is going to keep the policy, and it does not.”

@opinionatedtanya #howlifeinsuranceworks #universallifeinsurance #deathbenefitslifeinsurance #terminationlifeinsurance ♬ original sound – Opinionated|Tanya🖱️

Tanya has previously inspired debate after revealing one common mistake that gets many denied life insurance.

In the comments section of this video, users shared their thoughts on the woman’s situation.

“It’s unfortunate this policy was sold without an understanding of how it will function both by the agent and the insured person,” said a user.

“This is why I left my insurance job. It made me too sad,” offered another. “The companies don’t educate the customers enough.”

“My dad had one of those. When he passed we got a check for….$19.23 lmao,” recounted a third.

“My advice to people is to check on your policy at least once a year to see where you stand,” suggested a further commenter. “Change companies if you need to.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Tanya via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jan 24, 2024, 8:00 am CST