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Protect Yourself from Senior Life Insurance Scams

snl-computerLife insurance for seniors has developed a bit of a bad reputation on the market. Seniors and their children are concerned about scams intent on taking advantage of seniors’ readiness to move on with post-retirement life. Seniors who retire abroad can be especially vulnerable to insurance scams, since it becomes more difficult to deploy and manage your legal team and fight fraud from a foreign country.

Some scammers masquerade as reputable life insurance agents, intent on taking advantage of this vulnerable population segment. However, if you follow good practices when purchasing senior life insurance or burial insurance, you can avoid dishonest practices and enjoy retirement in peace and security. Here are some things that you can do to avoid senior life insurance scams.

Research Your Provider

Many scammers will invent a phony insurance company that will suddenly and mysteriously disappear once they’ve taken your money. In order to prevent this from happening to you, do some serious looking into the company that your agent claims to represent. Companies that really do exist will often have an online presence. This means they’ll have a quality website, some sort of listing on Google and other big search engines, and a presence on trustworthy third party life insurance sites. If no one on the entire internet is talking about this insurance company, then there’s a good chance that it’s completely made up.

Once you’re confident about the company, you should also look at the agent who you’re speaking with. Make sure that this person is really a representative of the company that the claim to work for. Some of the same advice from above still applies: check and see if this person appears online affiliated with the provider. Agents will sometimes have reviews of their personal service available on third party sites and can be listed personally on the official websites of smaller companies. One other way to check company affiliation is by checking the agent’s email address. Personal email accounts that are NOT associated with any company will often have suffixes like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com. Legitimate company emails will end with the site of your provider. For example, @SeniorLifeInsurancePlans.com.

Ask About Rate Changes

Some providers try to sneak in rate changes that creep up on seniors and apply only after the policyholder is beyond the age that it’s practical to mount an aggressive response. By targeting elderly life insurance holders, predatory providers can get away with huge hikes in premiums and oftentimes face little to no repercussions.

Before you sign anything, ask your provider if they ever raise insurance premiums over the course of the policy. If they do, insist that they tell you the reasons that they’ll raise premiums and insure that you are comfortable with that list before moving forward.

Be Wary of Plan Changes

Just like rates, some insurance providers will attempt to switch up plan details many years after the original policy has been signed. It’s not uncommon for these providers to place age barriers on coverage without fully communicating their plans to the policyholder at the time of the plan’s inception.

Providers may also point to things like pre-existing conditions or changes in health to justify altering their coverage. If you’re worried that an insurance company may try to take advantage of your health or lifestyle, you can look for plans with no health questions in your hunt for insurance.

It can be frightening to know that there are scammers out there waiting to prey upon the elderly, but if you and your family go into the insurance market prepared then you have nothing to fear.