Insurer wrongly canceled life insurance policy, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Aug. 5, 2009, 5:18am

A man and the beneficiary of his trust agreement claim an insurance company wrongly canceled the man's life insurance policy.

Fred and Terry Widman filed a lawsuit July 29 in Madison County Circuit Court against Connecticut General Life Insurance Company.

The Widmans claim Connecticut General issued a life insurance policy to Fred Widman on March 15, 1991.

On Dec. 8, 2006, the Widmans received a letter from Lincoln Financial Group that asked for $4,331.39 in order to maintain the policy, according to the complaint. The Widmans were given until Jan. 15, 2007, to pay the money, the suit states.

So, on Jan. 9, 2007, Terry Widman called the insurance office to obtain the correct address for mailing the money, which he explained he planned to send out the following day, the complaint says.

"Said representative assured Plaintiff Terry Widman that mailing the premium payment on January 10, 2007 would be sufficiently timely to avoid a lapse of the policy," the suit states.

Even though Terry Widman claims he sent the letter on Jan. 10, 2007, Fred Widman says he received a letter in the mail dated Feb. 1, 2007, that explained Connecticut General could not apply the premium payment to his life insurance because the policy lapsed on Jan. 19.

"The proper and timely mailing of a document raises a rebuttable presumption that the document has been received by the addressee in the usual time," the suit states.

In the two-count suit, the Widmans are seeking a judgment of more than $110,000, plus attorney's fees, costs, interest and other relief the court deems just.

Jane Unsell of Unsell and Schattnik in East Alton will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-787.

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