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Has Anyone Been Denied Life Insurance for Themselves/Their Child Based Solely on PA?

35 replies [Last post]
By on Sat, 03-24-01, 22:56

Of course there is always a method to my madness, or a reason for my maddening questions [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

This week I received in the mail, two different mailings from Gerber Life Insurance Company for their Grow-Up insurance for children (companies have three different last names to choose from so I often get duplicates or triplicates!).

Jesse does have insurance through school for any accidents, etc. You buy the package at the beginning of each school year, but it does not have any medical questions.

I looked at the application and the cost to insure both children is minimal. Also, I remember a friend of mine whose Mother had taken insurance out on her when she was a child. As it turned out, it was a good thing that her Mother had, because the insurance continued into her adulthood. She contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion which makes her uninsurable (except through Norwich Union). So, because of her Mother having taken out this policy when she was a child, she still has a life insurance policy in place that she would now not be able to get.

On the application, there is this question.
Do any Proposed Insureds have any existing impairments, diseases, health or medical conditions?

As soon as I saw that question, I recognized that Jesse may be considered uninsurable because of his PA. I am going to put it down because you HAVE to (i.e., I know about the "condition" when I am applying for the insurance). I am also going to put down that both him and his sister have asthma (Ember's is very slight and it is a "diagnosis" that I am beginning to question strongly).

However, for the basis of this application in particular, I want to put both children down as asthmatic (Ember is on asthma medication and it is only me that is questioning the diagnosis at this point - at the point of application). Therefore, the only difference between the two children would be that Jesse is PA.

Also, I would like to point out that I was simply going to throw the applications in the garbage. I wasn't even considering getting the insurance (not clear why), but when I saw THAT question, I wanted to see if this would be, in fact, the case. I have always had a strange feeling about having life insurance for your children (probably not too many people share this thinking). What I'm trying to say is that I wasn't interested in purchasing life insurance for them right now, but once I saw the question I almost felt I HAD to to see if PA did enter into their decision to ensure my son or not. I hope someone can see what point I'm trying to make and make sense of it.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I just have this really sinking feeling in my heart/stomach that I will complete the application and Jesse will be denied because of his PA.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited March 24, 2001).]

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By jawar on Sat, 03-24-01, 23:28

I signed my son up for that Gerber insurance, but at the time we did not know about his peanut and egg allergy. Should I contact them about this do you think?
Don't think they would care, but I might be wrong.

Cindy, make sure and let me know their reply.

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By on Sun, 03-25-01, 01:04

jawar, I'm fairly sure that you DON'T have to notify Gerber of your child's allergies now.
I believe it's when the insurance comes up for renewal when your child is 21 or 28 (can't remember which age it was now), when the policy is actually turned over to your child and they then choose what they want done with it, that new medical things would be taken into consideration.

But, no, I don't believe you have to notify an insurance company once they insure you should you develop any conditions, even ones that might have made you otherwise uninsurable.

Actually, if it turns out that Jesse does get turned down because of his PA, you might be quite pleased that you got the insurance before you knew.

I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything.
I'll be filling the application out over the week-end and they have to let you know within a month whether you have been approved or not.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited March 24, 2001).]

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By katiee on Sun, 03-25-01, 17:01

Cindy,

I could be wrong, but based on our experience with life insurance, your son shoul be covered.

My DH has epilepsy (has had 4 sezures of unknown cause) and is on medication. We applied for morgatge insurance when we bought our new house 2 1/2 years ago. They sent an RN to the house who filled out forms and we had a number of questions to answer about my dh's condition. We were given the insurance.

Hopefully the same will happen for you! I know these are 2 very different conditions but since both can be serious I think the same should apply.

Regards,

Katiee (Wade's mom)

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By Mich on Tue, 03-27-01, 01:49

It was never an issue with our insurance company, I mentioned it but they were only concerned with the severity of my asthma(very minimal) and never questioned the peanut allergy at all.

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By BENSMOM on Tue, 03-27-01, 19:33

Hi,

I'm just wondering why anyone would buy life insurance for their child. The point of life insurance is to replace income when a person dies. A child is not providing income, so there is no need for money when the child dies. I was licensed to sell life insurance at one time in my life, so I will tell you what I know about it.

There are 2 basic kinds of life insurance: term life, and cash value (whole life, universal life, etc.)

Term life is straight life insurance for some fixed amount of time. My husband and I have term insurance for 10 or 15 years. Some are for one year and are renewable each year. The idea is that after some amount of time, you will be "self-insured". You will have enough money saved, or will be in retirement on a pension etc, that you don't need extra money when your spouse dies. Term insurance is much cheaper because you are only paying for the insurance.

Whole life and all the others offer a savings aspect. I'm pretty sure that's what the Gerber insurance is. You pay a premium for life insurance, and part of that goes to savings. There are 2 problems with this. First of all, you don't get the insurance AND the savings. If you die, you get the insurance, but not the savings. If you live, and "cash out" you get the cash value (the savings) but not the face value (the inurance). So it's either/or. The second problem is that you could get a much better savings rate just sticking your money in a mutual fund or probably even a basic savings account. Cash value life insurance is basically a scam and a rip-off. If you want your child to have some money, just put it in the bank, not in a cash value policy.

If you put it in the bank, then in the unlikely and tragic event that your child dies, you will have the money saved for the funeral, which is the other reason people buy life insurance on their kids. Please don't waste money on insuring your kids.

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By on Wed, 03-28-01, 03:54

Bensmom, thank-you for your post although I think you may have missed my point. First of all, I was NOT considering applying for life insurance for my children until that particular question on the application struck me. It is a test case to see if my son will be denied life insurance at the age of 5 because of PA. Does that make sense?

Also, I do believe people purchase life insurance for more than to simply make up for loss of income.

There are people that purchase life insurance policies for their children, as posted above.
Also, I posted the very excellent example of how a parent purchasing life insurance for their child (my friend) worked out in my friend's favour when she later, as an adult, became uninsurable.

I did not mean for this to be a discussion on whether or not people should purchase life insurance for their children or not or the validity of life insurance over investing in mutual funds for our children.

I am using my application to Gerber as a test case to see if my son will be denied life insurance on the basis of PA. I think this is important for me to know, as his parent, and for other PA parents/people to be made aware of.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By BENSMOM on Wed, 03-28-01, 13:33

Cindy, I did understand your test case, but there were others who had purchased insurance and it had not come up at all what the reasons or pros and cons were, so I wanted to put my 2 cents in. As for your friend, I don't know the details, but my guess would be that the amount of the policy is not enough to do much good as an adult. It's probably on the order of $10,000 or so, when as an adult, you might need $500,000 or more.

I will be interested to know how the application for Jesse turns out. I know that airplane pilots sometimes have to pay more because the have a life-threatening hobby or occupation, so a life-threatening allergy might come into play. Keep us posted.

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By Nick on Wed, 03-28-01, 13:52

I don't know about the rules in other countries, but in the UK, Insurance Companies had a condition in the policies which says that you must notify them of any "material changes which could affect the insurance". Developing an allergy during the currency of the policy is a material fact which could affect it and should be declared, else the policy could be declared void if you come to call it in.

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By on Wed, 03-28-01, 15:39

Bensmom, I'm sorry, I see that you do understand where I was coming from with this one.

Nick, you don't have to answer this, as it is very personal, but do you have life insurance? Have you notified them since your development of PA?

From what I read about the insurance I am applying for, it does not say anything about having to notify Gerber if you do develop a condition, so someone such as jawar, above, would be okay, finding out about PA and other allergies after having applied and been approved for insurance for her child.

Actually, I'm not clear that we have to notify insurance companies here if you do develop a condition. It actually kinda doesn't make sense because then wouldn't be all suddenly become uninsurable at some point and have wasted all of the money paid into the insurance?

I am extremely interested in what response I get from Gerber.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By katiee on Wed, 03-28-01, 18:05

Cindy,

I just thought I would mention something that appeared in Dave Brown's Ottawa Citizen colum sometime last year.

In the story, 2 widows had recently been denied "morgtage insurance" after their respective spouces deaths as a result of "non-disclosure" of a medical condition which arose after the original coverage was invoked.

In other words, their husbands became ill with a condition after they were accepted in to the particular morgtage insurance plan and because the insurance company was not informed of the change in medical status, the policy was nul and void. I'm not farmiliar with the in's and out's of the insurance industry here in Canada, but it's something that you might want to look in to.

Regards,

Katiee (Wade's mom)

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By on Tue, 04-24-01, 18:41

I received an envelope from Gerber to-day. Upon opening it, I find that they have sent me questionnaires for both children re their asthma.

Out of the two children, Jesse's asthma is worse and that is indicated by how I answered the questions for him as compared to Ember (remember that I am questioning the diagnosis of asthma with Ember anyway).

Then, on the form, there is the question: Any other medical conditions?

On Jesse's, I have put severe peanut allergy.

I will send these forms off to-day once I find my doctor's address to write down on them and then I'll see what happens next in my trial application for insurance for Jesse.

Because his asthma is worse than Ember's, I'm wondering if they could potentially deny him on solely that. I'm also wondering if and when he is denied if we will be given an EXACT reason (either it's the asthma or the PA, or combo of both).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Mir on Wed, 04-25-01, 20:01

I am a day late and a dollar short to this thread, and what I have to say is somewhat off-topic, but that's not going to stop me. LOL! Aren't you all so glad that I'm around?? Anyway... in answer to the question WHY insure a minor:

I have heard 2 answers to this question. The first is that an existing policy, once the child reaches adulthood, can be useful in helping them secure more insurance in the future (this has already been brought up). In my opinion, with a lot of the recent changes in laws about pre-existing conditions and such, this is no longer a very compelling argument.

The second answer to this question came from my in-laws, when I discovered that my husband and his siblings all have these Gerber plans. When I asked why on earth his parents had purchased them, given how poor they were when the kids were little, my mother-in-law said that was exactly why they bought them. She said that if any of the kids had died, they wouldn't have had enough money for a funeral. The insurance would have been enough to cover a casket, plot, and burial. How's that for morbid? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] But I can see their point, and I suppose it was good planning on their parts. (Before anyone gets too upset, none of them died!)

Anyway, thought I'd share that. I, too, would love to hear other reasons that people elect insurance for their kids.

Miriam

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By sillyfeline on Wed, 04-25-01, 21:04

Arguments about age aside, does pa render a person's life uninsurable altogether? Forget age 5; what about age 25, 50, 75? Is pa a condition considered exclusion criterion?! Eek!

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By on Wed, 04-25-01, 23:30

sillyfeline (again, I love your UserName, and get a giggle when I type it, sick woman that I am [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ), that is precisely why I am submitting the application for insurance for both of my children. I really have the need to know if my PA child is uninsurable. Once I get an answer, hopefully it will help other people determine if they, themselves are uninsurable or their children are.

Now, someone did post above that it did not matter that PA was involved.

I think I've stated it enough, but the ONLY reason I am applying for this insurance is as a test case to see if Jesse will be denied based on his PA.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By sillyfeline on Thu, 04-26-01, 00:38

I know. I was trying to get off the age issue and back to the original question. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but the life insurance issue had never even occured to me (I'm 26 & have no children). It is comforting to know that it isn't (at least universally) an issue. Interesting question. Glad someone looked into it.

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By Molly on Thu, 04-26-01, 16:40

I haven't posted here before. I do have universal plans for my children, but maybe my logic if faulty. My husband as a heriditary condition that made getting life insurance for him very difficult and very expensive. So when my sons were born, before they are diagnosed with any conditions we purchased a guarranteed policy for $10,000 that can be increased at certain ages. Supposedly they can't be denied these increases even if they do develope the disease (there is no test for it, only syptomatic diagnoses). But maybe I need to re-read the fine print on this - I only want the insurance if it provides some guarrantee of insurability when they are adults.

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By on Thu, 04-26-01, 17:30

Molly, welcome! It would appear from the discussion in this thread that you may need to check the fine print of your children's policies.

sillyfeline (sorry, there I go LOL again), I do think this is a really important question to know the answer to, even if it ends up being one I don't want to hear.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By ARI on Wed, 05-02-01, 03:43

Cindy:

I think this is a great way to obtain information especially if you are denied they have to give you a reason in writing. Since we are on the subject of being denied things for being PA. I have often wondered if my son would be exempt from the military for PA??????????

Any thought or knowledge...

Ari

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By on Wed, 05-02-01, 04:47

ARI, that is a VERY interesting question. Of course, me being Canadian, I never even think military. You may want to get that question out of this thread and have it posted separately. If PA is covered under the ADA, doesn't that mean, in some way your son is considered by the government as disabled and therefore wouldn't be eligible? I'm really not clear. As I said, I think you should take the question right out of here and post it separately.

If the world worked logically, I would think that it would be a reason to not be able to enlist because who knows where the person may have to travel to and would the military want the responsibility of dealing with a person with PA in countries where it may not be as controllable or even on a helicopter flight.
Do you know what I mean?

Again, get it out of this thread, and post it separately! It deserves an answer!

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By KIM I on Wed, 05-02-01, 18:04

ARI I too, have had the same thought about the military. I would think they would be excluded. I'm not a military expert but I thought I heard if you have a life threatening bee sting allergy you would not be accepted.

We are considering life insurance for the boys. My husband also has a medical condition that can be hereditary. I want to apply and get coverage before they have their test, so they have something when they are older incase they also have the heart condition. My insurance guy said he thought we wouldn't be denied for the peanut allergy. Depends on the underwriter. Kim

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By on Thu, 05-24-01, 01:56

WE GOT IT! I am SO pleased. The PA and the asthma did NOT factor into it at all. Since this was a test case for me, I feel really great, like it was a minor victory or something even though there had been every indication from people here that we should be able to get it.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sat, 01-04-03, 23:37

Simply re-raising to compliment Momma Bear's thread running under Main Discussion.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Jazz It Up on Sun, 01-05-03, 00:57

Cindy, I am so glad you re-raised this thread. I was just about to go hunting for it and you saved me a great deal of time. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I missed this thread completely because of the title and we have never been denied Life Insurance; therefore, I never ventured in on this topic. I wish I had as I would have read what BENSMOM had posted re: Life insurance policies for children and thought about another option.

Like I posted in Mommabears thread on the MD board, we obtained polices on our children as infants, God forbid something happened to them, we could afford to bury them. We purchased them *prior* to knowing our son had a peanut allergy and have not notified our insurance company of any changes, i.e. his allergy. I guess this is something hubby and I need to look into.

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Stay Safe!

Connie

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By MommaBear on Sun, 01-05-03, 01:18

Wow! (I say that a lot???) Thanks, Cindy!

And to Jazz it Up: I don't believe your insurance company can drop your children for unforseen developments. Or change its value or rates. That is why we buy life insurance, no? I don't think it is their business, anyway. I would think it would only be an issue if you had deliberately withheld the information when you bought the policies. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Codyman on Sun, 01-05-03, 16:01

We live in Canada and last year (oops it is a new year .. the summer of 2001) we travelled to Colorado. I wanted to purchase insurance for my children -- mainly my daughter b/c of her asthma and peanut allergy. Due to the fact that my daughter's medication for her asthma had change within the last 3 months of our application the rates were outrageous for our 21 day stay --around $350 for my daughter ONLY. Her peanut allergy was not an issue only that her medication had changed was a concern for the insurance company.

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By samirosenjacken on Thu, 01-09-03, 21:38

Quote:Originally posted by KIM I:
[b]ARI I too, have had the same thought about the military. I would think they would be excluded. I'm not a military expert but I thought I heard if you have a life threatening bee sting allergy you would not be accepted.

We are considering life insurance for the boys. My husband also has a medical condition that can be hereditary. I want to apply and get coverage before they have their test, so they have something when they are older incase they also have the heart condition. My insurance guy said he thought we wouldn't be denied for the peanut allergy. Depends on the underwriter. Kim[/b]

Kim....

I think some insurance companies may have a military exclusion. That would mean they could get life insurance but if they died while doing something in the military, the claim would not be paid.

I have also spoken to a superintendent at State Farm since I was a life underwriter there. Food allergies are not a problem and my guess would be bee stings aren't either.

AS for your husband's medical problem, you would need to disclose all information regarding it on any application for your kids if it is a problem for them. I don't know what the condition is, but if it is something they will be tested for soon or something their doctor is following, you will need to disclose that. If not and something terrible happens to your boys, the insurance company could refuse to pay the claim. just an FYI for you!

Lisa

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By samirosenjacken on Thu, 01-09-03, 21:41

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]Wow! (I say that a lot???) Thanks, Cindy!

And to Jazz it Up: I don't believe your insurance company can drop your children for unforseen developments. Or change its value or rates. That is why we buy life insurance, no? I don't think it is their business, anyway. I would think it would only be an issue if you had deliberately withheld the information when you bought the policies. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] [/b]

Actually, there are instances where it can be an issue. Don't quote me, but if I remember correctly a condition like polycystic kidney disease is one of these. If there is a family history of it, a person can be denied or given a highly rated policy even if that person does not have the disease at the current time. It's one of those conditions that are extremely hereditary and serious so the insurance company takes family history into account. There weren't many of those that I can remember though!

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By on Mon, 02-17-03, 05:45

[url="http://www.gerberlife.com"]www.gerberlife.com[/url]

I just re-applied for both children on-line.
Let's see if anything has changed since I applied a couple of years ago.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sat, 11-22-03, 22:58

Based on Helen being denied travel insurance, which I do recognize as being different than life insurance, I thought I would re-raise this thread.

However, what I do find puzzling is that Helen was denied travel insurance which is for a short, very specific time frame usually, or was in the case that Geoff posted about.

Life insurance is, on the other hand, for life.

At any rate, I found their denial outrageous and enangering.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By cathlina on Sat, 11-22-03, 23:50

Life insurance has much more value than replacing income when someone dies.

First, if you buy whole life, it is a good retirement investment. My life insurance, if needed, could be cashed in when I retire and will be worth a substantial amount of money especially if I wait until I am 70.

Second, the return on investment in dividends, is better than a money market or savings account right now.

Third, a life insurance policy for a child will pay for funeral expenses and if there is any left over...any remaining doctor bills or other expenses related to the child's death can be paid.

Fourth, if you buy an insurance policy for a child right afterit is born, the child will not be rated for health problems.

Fifth, you can take out a loan in an emergency against your cash value on a whole life policy.

We purchased a life insurance policy for our grandson. It is a $15,000 policy. When he turns 21, he can increase it to $40,000 with no health questions and not being rated for health problems.

We purchased life insurance for all five of our kids 30 days after their birth.

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By ajinnj on Sun, 11-23-03, 01:06

My mom applied for life insurance for me when I was sixteen and the price was MUCH higher because I have severe asthma. However, nothing was said about my PA.

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By MommaBear on Sun, 11-23-03, 05:38

Quote:Originally posted by samirosenjacken:
[b]
Actually, there are instances where it can be an issue. Don't quote me, but if I remember correctly a condition like polycystic kidney disease is one of these. If there is a family history of it, a person can be denied or given a highly rated policy even if that person does not have the disease at the current time. It's one of those conditions that are extremely hereditary and serious so the insurance company takes family history into account. There weren't many of those that I can remember though![/b]

My reply was in reference to [i]after the policy is granted[/i] and rates are determined. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Maybe you misunderstood my response.

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By Timmysmom on Sat, 12-27-03, 15:53

Someone raised a question very early on in this thread that I find upsetting. Why would you want to insure your child's life? My answer is simply to, god forbid, in the event of their death, to SOLEY cover funeral expenses. We have a policy for each one of our kids, $10,000. We got their policies early on as infants. It's paid up at 18 nad then it becomes their own to do with what they wish. At only $5 and change a month for each child it's a no brainer, and my husband and I have their best interest at heart. By no means will we EVER benefit from this and I find EXTREME offense for those who think as parents we do.

Sorry to get off your topic Cindy, however, that question was raised here several times!

Also, another question was raised that if we should notify our insurance companies about the later diagnosis about PA. My 4 year old Pa was diagnosed at 2 years. We got his policy when he was approx 3 months old. So obviously we never knew. You are not required to tell them! It's like you have a policy in full force, and say you get cancer. God forbid, you pass away. That's what the insurance is for, the event of your death. If you knew about your cancer when you got your policy, than that's a different story. Medical records would most likely disapprove the death claim after researching, finding out that the diagnosis was made at the time of the policy, which is basically insurance fraud. In that case, all premiums would/should be refunded. A lot of people don't know this, however there is a credit-type reporting agency for insurance companies that basically sends red-flags if a person is not insurable. I took an insurance training class several years ago. I was only licensed for a short time as I stopped working after my third child.

Thanks for re-raising this, Cindy! I found this topic very interesting! Glad you got your policies! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by Timmysmom (edited December 27, 2003).]

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By on Wed, 01-04-06, 23:15

Simply re-raising for SpudBerry. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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"That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

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By on Tue, 02-07-06, 17:27

Simply re-raising for kkeene. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Which reminds me, I did receive my application from Gerber last week to fill out for the kids. I applied for the package on-line.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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"That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

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