Dealing with MetLife? Watch Your Back
DAYTON, OHIO -- MetLife canceled the fire insurance coverage on my deceased father's house in Columbus, Ohio with no advance notice of any kind. My father was the named insured on the subject policy. His house was the property covered by the policy. His automobile insurance was provided by the same company under the same policy. In December 2009, the policy was renewed from February 3, 2010 to February 3, 2011. My father died on December 20, 2010. The house has been vacant ever since. Because of the change in status of the house, I wrote a letter to MetLife on January 15, 2011. In that letter, I requested that the automobile insurance policy be canceled, effective immediately. It continued: "Homeowners Policy - The house is now owned by my father's estate and is listed for sale with a realtor. The insurance coverages related to the house should remain in effect without interruption. The rating and premium probably need to be recalculated, since the house is not occupied and the discount related to the automobile insurance is no longer applicable. * * * If there is any problem complying with these instructions, please contact me." In response to my letter, I received an automobile insurance declarations page dated January 26, 2011 from MetLife indicating that the auto policy had been canceled pursuant to my request, effective January 15, 2011. It identifies the named insured as "Estate of (my father's name)." This demonstrates unequivocally that the company had received my January 15th letter. I also received a notice of policy change dated January 12, 2011 from MetLife which indicated changes had been made to the mailing address and the address of the home on the homeowner's policy. I received this notice because I had directed that my father's mail be forwarded to me. I called MetLife's policy service telephone number on Friday morning, February 4, 2011 at approximately 9:45 A.M. Eastern time. The unfortunate woman who drew the short straw of fielding my call told me that the homeowner's policy had been canceled the previous day - February 3, 2011. In response to my direct question, she said that there was no coverage on my father's house as of the moment of our conversation. I received no notice in any form - written, telephonic, e-mail - of the impending cancellation of the homeowner's policy. My January 15th letter provided MetLife with all of my contact information. They knew how to use my mailing address for notices directed to my father's estate, as evidenced by the notice of cancellation of the auto policy. Even if a notice of cancellation had been mailed to my father's prior address, it would have been forwarded to me. The policy was canceled without advance notice. From the information available on the Ohio Department of Insurance website, I understand that this is a violation of applicable Ohio law or regulation.