Lincoln Benefit Life / Lost My Savings with Whole Life Insurance
I signed up for a term life policy 4 years ago with Lincoln Benefit Life that was supposed to be switched to a "whole life" policy after the first year. The way it was explained to me (because I didn't even want to sign up for the term because it was too expensive - $1200) was that after the first year I could switch to the whole life policy which cost $5000 and get a credit for the $1200 for the first year which is what I did. The insurance broker faxed me over the pages on a rush basis after the first year to switch the policy and I faxed them back to her the same day. What I believe was the terms and conditions page had been recopied so many times that you can't even read it. A few weeks later the policy book was delivered to me by the agent. The way she had described the policy was that my money would only grow so according to what she told me I should have $15000 plus interest. What I have now is nothing. I in theory have $12000 because they deduct "costs" and "expenses" - none of which she told me when she was selling me the policy. She told me the reason is because when she was explaining the policy to me her laptop computer wouldn't allow her to show me the costs and expenses. Another feature she failed to tell me about is that I have to be in the policy for 20 years! If I pull out in advance I forfeit $14300. When I received my last statement I didn't understand the costs and expenses and called up Lincoln Benefit to find out what was going on and I found out then for the first time that Lincoln Benefit (my insurance company) no longer sells whole life policies and I had been signed up for an "adjustable flexible" policy. I explained that I had never even heard my insurance broker utter those words and that she had only referred to the policy as a whole life policy. My agent had never told me about costs and expenses and never explained the $14300 default fee if I pulled out before 20 years. She did a bait and switch on me. Lincon's complaint department did an investigation and have said everything is on the up and up and I have no recourse. I was totally lied to and relied on everything she told me about this policy. I was never informed AT ALL about the $14,300 default fee or about the costs and expenses - she simply described my money growing each and every year so by now I would have the $150000 I've put in plus around 5% interest. Lincoln agreed to give me back $5000 if I terminated my policy. However, they kept my remaining $10,000. DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY IF YOU WISH TO KEEP YOUR MONEY. I've tried everything I can do to get my money back but it appears I would have to sue them and I just don't know what my chances would be. I work with a law firm and even the lawyers here told me they're unable to understand my policy in full. I depended on Lincoln to explain to me what I was buying and by leaving out vital details I was in fact lied to. A partner at my firm (a very intelligent attorney) told me that even he had been the victim of a similar policy so it can't be just me. I honestly don't know how they can get away with this but it appears they can. I work 13 hours a day as a secretary to support my family and the $10,000 they ended up keeping was two years of my bonuses. This was money I thought I could use in the event of an emergency and now it is all gone.