For a long time, I have been planning to write this article because of its importance to the general Filipino public but I did not have time to sit down and write. Lately, I have been receiving a lot of questions from people on how they could cancel their life insurance policy which they got from an insurance company who hire salespeople to perform aggressive and “deceptive” selling and marketing strategies in malls (Starmall, SM North, SM Fairview to name a few). I don’t want to mention these life insurance companies because I don’t want to be called biased as I work in an insurance company myself. There are at least three life insurance companies that I know of that do this aggressive type of insurance selling inside malls. There have been many blogs and facebook pages created voicing the anger of customers who felt they have been scammed because of the way the life insurance agents sold the products.
The three life insurance companies rent space or unit inside malls so they can legitimately offer their products to people. They hire salespeople (girls and gays most of the time) to randomly ask people to join a special promo for free or get freebies (examples: win a trip abroad; win a car; win cash prizes, get free insurance, etc). The salespeople say all you have to do is to go to their office and fill up some forms to be eligible to the promos. The office is also located inside the mall where “highly” persuasive smiling agents are ready to welcome you. The agents will offer you refreshments to make you feel welcome and important. They even congratulate you without any reason at all. It is just like they are congratulating you in advance because you are going to get something very important to your life. In order to sell insurance plans, these agents resort to deceptive selling techniques that I really frown of. I do believe that there is ethical and professional way of selling insurance to the public.
ATM and Credit Card Deception
The agents will even ask your debit/ATM or credit card. If you ask why, they say that they want to check your eligibility for the promo. That is a red flag already. I think the real reason why they ask you to swipe your debit or credit card is to check your ATM Balance and your credit card limit. This way, they know how much money you have in order to provide the product that suits your budget. If you happen to have high ATM balance or high credit card limit, they will offer you big plans. I read customer complaints that their atm or credit cards have been charged with 4K, 20K or 60K pesos. If your debit card has very small balance or your credit card has very small limit or maxed out, they will “let” you go and just let you fill out the promo forms. If you don’t have money, they don’t waste their saliva. I believe that every Filipino deserves free financial advise from financial/insurance advisers irregardless of income level. As a financial advisor, I speak to minimum wage earners, janitors, farmers, drivers, contractual workers, government employees, etc.
The reason why the salespeople ask you whether you have atm or credit card is to learn your capacity to pay within that day because their objective is to close the sale within the day. They really don’t expect people to return back after few days of decision making and go on with the plan. They don’t accept answers like “pag-iisipan ko muna,” “kakausapin ko muna asawa/parents ko,” “hindi ako interisado,” etc etc. I read some complaints online that they were not released inside the room unless you get a plan even the smallest plan. The agents try all their best to let you decide within those moments on their favor and let your debit or credit card swiped. There have been instances that the customers complain that they don’t know that their cards have been deducted already. They just realized it few hours or days after the transaction happened. Because of the unauthorized deduction of atm or credit cards, customers began to distrust not only the agents but the insurance company as well. There are customers who use the internet and social media to voice out their bad experience with the agents. Because of this, many customers begin to think that they have been scammed as well even though they liked or understood the product they got. These customers are worried about their money so they just ask for cancellation and refund.
The products and the life insurance companies are legitimate. There is no doubt with that. The companies are authorized by the Insurance Commission to sell life insurance policies to the public. The products were also approved by the Insurance Commission. By the way, the Insurance Commission is the government agency that regulate the business of insurance in the Philippines. The agency has the power to revoke the license of insurance companies and agents if they violate government laws including the Insurance Code of the Philippines.
What is really wrong is the deceptive way life insurance agents sell and market their products inside shopping malls. They don’t explain the products very well to the customers. They misrepresent the benefits of the plan. They don’t divulge important aspects of the insurance policy like insurance fees and cost that will be deducted every time you pay your premium. They don’t tell you about the refund policy including the policy that you may not get all the money you paid even after few years of paying. Take note that the a life insurance policy is not the same as bank savings account. Not all the money you pay will be saved for your future use; there are fees and charges to be collected. There are plans that don’t accumulate savings until your 3rd year of paying the plan. Meaning, your plan will begin to accumulate cash values only after 2 years. Your first 2 years of your payment will be used to pay the commission of the agents who sold the product to you and other administrative and insurance charges.
Why there are charges involved in getting a life insurance policy? Why they cannot just give all the money back easily? Remember, a life insurance company is like any other company that needs money to operate. They have agents and employees, they have bills to pay and most importantly they have obligations to pay. These obligations include paying the beneficiaries of dead policy holders, paying the endowment benefits of existing customers and providing policy loans to existing clients. Life insurance products are not scam. They provide death and living benefits. Death benefits include providing your beneficiaries lump sum amount (example 1 Million) when you die. Living benefits include getting dividends from the company and the ability to loan against your accumulated cash value. Life insurance products can also provide decent amount of retirement money like the Sun Maxilink Prime plan I got from Sun Life. This Sun Maxilink Prime will give me about 8 Million pesos at age 60 by just paying affordable premium for 10 years. SSS or GSIS cannot provide that amount so I am happy with this plan. I was not forced to get this plan at all. I got this plan because of its insurance, disability and retirement benefits. I was given enough time to think whether this plan is for me or not. I studied the plan thoroughly before I paid the initial premium. There are plans that pay lump sum amount (example 500K-1 Million) in case of critical illness diagnosis (such as cancer, stroke, organ transplant, paralysis, blindness, deafness, hear attack, etc). Example of these plans is the Sun Life Assure and the Sun Flexilink plan.
Why the Insurance Companies are not Disciplining the Agents
I really believe that the management of insurance companies involved know the unscrupulous activities that their agents do in the field. They are earning from it, that is why they are deaf and blind on customer complaints. Many people don’t ask for a refund and just let their insurance contracts lapse. Many think it is hassle to complain and ask for a refund; they just set it as painful and expensive lesson. Many complainants are set to believe by agents and company representatives that it is difficult to refund and you may need to hire a lawyer. (WTH, who will hire a lawyer for a 20K refund? – the attorney’s fee is even more expensive). Many just forego the money spent and just ask the company to cancel any further deduction to their debit and credit cards. I feel sad for the complainants. I hope they will be enlightened with their rights.
How To Cancel Your Life Insurance Policy
You have the right to cancel your life insurance policy within 15 days from the day you signed up for the plan. This is called Cooling off Period. Within this period, you can cancel your plan and ask for full refund. Variable life plans or life insurance plans linked with investment funds are guaranteed to have this cooling off period (see http://www.insurance.gov.ph/htm/..%5C_@dmin%5Cupload%5Cservices%5CGuidelines%20on%20Variable%20Life%20Insurance%20Contracts.pdff) Unfortunately, traditional plans which are the usual plans sold by agents inside malls may not have this cooling off period. Traditional plans are plans with life insurance benefits and cash savings or cash values. However, even if you bought a traditional plan, you may still ask for a refund if you can prove that unethical and deceptive practices has been used by agents to sell you their products. The refund request or complaint must be filed immediately after you have been sold the life insurance plan. Filing complaint few months after the sale may make it very difficult to ask for a refund.
An important step in the cancellation process is to write a cancellation letter. Make 2 copies (0ne for you, one for the company) of the cancellation letter. Don’t forget to put the date in the letter and affix your name and signature. Important things to put in the cancellation letter is your reason(s) why you want to cancel the plan, the location of the branch/office where you got the plan (ex. SM Megamall, SM North), the date when you got the plan, the amount deducted from your credit/debit card. Also include in the letter that you are demanding full refund in accordance with the 15 days free look up period or cooling off period of the Insurance Commission.
Submit the cancellation letter preferably in the head office of the company (Google the head office address). You may also submit the cancellation letter to the branch where you met the agents but according to what I read from complainants, they got better treatment in the head office. Don’t forget to submit copies of the documents the agents gave you as proof of purchase/transaction (photocopy them in case the company get the original). Let the receiver of the cancellation letter sign both copies of the cancellation letter with date. Take note of the name and designation of the receiver of the cancellation letter. This is to prevent the company from saying that they did not receive your cancellation letter because you have evidence. Submit photocopy of your valid ID too. The employees may persuade you to continue the plan or tell you that you cannot refund anything. Do not believe them, state the Insurance Commission’s policy regarding the free look up period or the cooling off period. If they don’t know this policy, you are allowed to get angry because of their ignorance.
Submitting cancellation letter is the best option for complainants whose ATM cards have been deducted and those who paid cash. Calling your bank to reverse the deduction may not be allowed by the bank itself.The bank will tell you to talk to the merchant (the insurance company) directly for the reversal. I know it’s a hassle!
For those who paid via credit card, you may file a dispute immediately to the credit card company because of unauthorized transaction by the agents. Depending on the feedback of the credit card company, you may be successful in getting a reversal but if not, the best option is to submit a cancellation letter to the insurance company within 15 days. It may take time for the credit card company to investigate your dispute. It may take longer than 15 days so the best option is still to file a cancellation letter. You may do both: submitting a cancellation letter and filing a dispute by calling your credit card company. I heard that agents swipe the full amount to your credit card, even though they said that the plan is in monthly or quarterly mode. If you cannot pay the whole amount in your next due date, you will be charged with finance interest or penalties. I know it sucks! Just pray that the refund/reversal will be done immediately. It helps to follow up every few days, again it sucks!
There is a hope for full refund. I read that many complainants are able to refund their full payment by following the steps I mentioned to you.
You Deserve Better
Life insurance product is a very important financial tool but it should be sold in a way that is both professional and ethical. There should be no deception and marketing gimmicks. Life insurance is important to Filipino families. Bread winners need it to provide comfortable life to their dependents when the good Lord call them early. Life insurance can also be used for retirement needs and educational funding needs. Life insurance has many uses now as it answers different needs like income protection, estate tax planning, retirement planning, college funding, critical illness funding, business insurance, and many more. You don’t deserve agents selling insurance plans deceptively inside shopping malls, you deserve professional and licensed insurance advisers to help you with your insurance needs. You should be informed of your rights as policy holders.
You can get the assistance of the Insurance Commission by filing a formal complaint. Follow the instructions here: http://philippinesinsurance.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-to-file-your-complaint-with.html . You can email your complaint to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Good PM sir ,gusto ko po apply fire insurance para sa content ng shop ko. Nagrerent po ako. Ano po bang pinakamagandang fire insurance na Pwede ko kunin. Nasa 7.5 ang estimated ko sa value.
Raymund Camat says
Hi Maam, I emailed you.
sir pumunta po ako sa branch ng pplic para mag pacancel nsa free look period pa po ako pero sabi po ng manager kung icancel daw po nila di ko daw po makukuha ang initial deposit ko kasi zero pa daw ang cash value ko. kung after two years daw po pwede daw marefund pero ung cash value na 7k nlng… last january 26, 2016 lng po ako kumuha. january 28, 2016 po ako bumalik at kinausap ang manager. dahil di po ako satisfied sa advice ng manager, tumawag po ako sa Cust service nila, at pinasend po ako ng cancellation letter sa email na binigay niya sa akin. kaso ung reply po ng email incharge is pabalikin ako sa gensan as soon as possible at sila na daw po ang mag forward ng request ko sa branch ng SM Gensan kasi sila parin po daw ang mag settle ng concern ko, inform ko lng daw po ulit sila sa main office kung ano ang outcome. January 29 na po ngaun at ayaw ko sayangin ang araw na maprocess ang cancellation, kaso worried po ako baka iinsist parin po ng manager na di ako pwede mag refund. ano po ba maganda ko gawin? maraming salamat po… malaki po ung premium ko 52k worried po ako na baka hanggang initial deposit lng ako makabayad kasi di na man po stable job ko so kung di ako makabayad ng succeeding premium ung insurance benefit ko is mawala daw po, at ung cash value dun icharge ang bayad sa premium. eh di kung di ka na maka afford mag bayad uubusin niya cash value ko hanggang sa wala na matira… sana sa sun life ko nlng inisvest kasi mas malaki ang cash value nila… hahay! tulong please!
fatima usman says
sir please help me to cancel my life insurance in manila banker. They charged the insurance in my credit card as a straight payment different from what they said. They said it is installment but i called my credit card company it was indicated as straight payment. They said it was for approval then they already charged it. I just realized now im screwed the agent. please help me..thansks
Raymund Camat says
Fire a dispute the credit card company. Then block your existing credit card so they can no longer charge it.
This post that you made is really a great help for me.
I really thank God that he led me to browse and search for possible way out of unintentional plan. I really thank God that the bank honored my request to file for a dispute and they blocked the card now. This is really a lesson for me.
BTW, I can now make my mind at peace and will be more careful with wisdom the next time.
May God continually bless you and use you as a financial advisor to many.
Much thanks! Be a blessing in your workplace always!
Sir advice naman po.. kumuha ako ng finacial saving premuim sa cocolife last september 6,2015. And sabi ng agent i have to pay the 1st 6 month and the succeding months is payable on monthly basis. Nagulat n lang ako this month n auto debit nila yung atm ko.. so i call the hotline to inquire kung paano i cancel yung policy ko but they say kung iccancel ko wala daw ako makukuhang refund.. wala po ba akong magagawang paraan para makuha yung perang binayad ko..
Raymund Camat says
Unfortunately, wala pa cash values yung plan nyo kasi last year nyo lang nakuha, Totoo po sinabi nila sa inyo.
Pumirma po ang husband ko ng life insurance policy sa manila bankers last year at payable for ang premium ng 5 years. naka bgay din po kami ng auto-debit para sa pag charge sa credit card every year. Ngayong pong mag du due nanaman kami for the 2nd year premium, gusto na po namin itong icancel. Meron po ba kaming marerefund don sa first premium na binayad namin?
I myself had been a victim of this inside a mall more than 3 yrs ago! I was with a friend and both of us really felt deceived after we were talked into applying for an insurance. Sad thing was we were just fresh graduates, and had no jobs yet. The little money that we had in our debit cards were earned from part-time/freelance jobs during college. The agents were very persistent and wouldn’t allow us to leave even though we were already hesitating. They even told us that we will only have to attend a forty-minute seminar, but we actually ended up staying for more than an hour! After that incident, I finally learned how to say NO to selling agents inside malls.
vixchelle villacorta says
Good Afternoon po sir Raymund Camat,nakapagpurchased po ako sa MB LIFE INSURANCRE kagabi, gusto ko po ipacancelled,then as per sa bank ako daw po yung makipag coordinate sa merchant ng MB LIFE INSURANCE pero kasi napakahirap nila icoordinate pasa pasahan lang po ng phone ang nangyayari, naiswipe po sa credit card ko kagabi worth of 25,200.00 ..panu po ang gagawin ko para maipacancelled ko..
Thank you po.
Kay Cortes says
Hello Sir, I just want to ask kung pwede ko pa po ipa cancel yung insurance ko dito sa amin sa CDO kung sa Cebu branch po ako pinakuha nung insurance? Pwede po ba yun sir? Wala pa po 15 days and I didn’t yet receive the policy. Thank you sir. I hope to hear from you. 🙂
i would to seek your advice regarding the cancellation of my life insurance policy with MB life corporation last March 27, 2016.
I want to cancel the insurance policy from MB life. They said they will just check or verify my credit card if qualified or not. During the process they already charged a straight one full year payment in my card without my approval. I already coordinated this with my bank and block my previous card and also file a dispute for this amount.
But, as per my bank, the said amount was already charged in my bill and need to get a cancellation memo from MB life for a reversal charging of payment.
My next step is to send a cancellation letter to reach the grace period states in IC.
I am worried if they will not grant me this cancellation memo I cannot get my money back.
Please advise me the next action that I will do next.
Patulong nmn po.
Thank you for this article sir, it is very helpful. I just wanted to ask what are the valid reasons that can be stated in the cancellation letter?
Pwede po bang makahingi ng link ng info about sa look up period? I am currently investigating a complaint about sa mall marketing ng isang insurance company. It would be a great help if makakuha ako ng copy for reference. Binasa ko na po yung insurance code pero wala po akong nabasa about free lookup period.
Hoping for your reply.
Vanessa Olivar says
Hello sir. Please help me. I’m 18 yrs old. I was deceived to buy this insurance of PPLIC. It’s worth 4,500. And now I want my money back. It was effective on july 29, 2016. I am now planning to send cancellation letter both in the branch and to the head office but I don’t know what courier. And please explain to me what will happen or its processes. I badly need help. Thank you so much. Please reply as soon as you can.
I just had the same issue today and my God I gave 200k away! Just because of how they marketed their product and I was at that point where I was looking for a new investment for my 2-yr old son so their timing was perfect. But after I left I felt deceived! So now I googled and found your blog and it helped mo so much to make the letter and will immediately bring it to them tomorrow. I felt sorry for the agents but I also felt stupid I fell for it. You are right that because of this, I again went back to my old self where I dont want to get near insurance companies and the likes. I have stocks and mutual funds specficically for the these reasons and yet when I was ready to trust again they did this to me and I was so stupid to fell for it just because they kept mentioning that it is for my son’s future! Just to ask, how soon can I get a refund? I used my credit card and had already tried to blocked it but they cannot reverse the abovementioned transaction until I file a dispute which I cannot do now as I am here. I am afraid that even after I go back to work, the refund is not yet done. They will just charge it back to the card right? Many thanks for your help and I am hoping that tomorrow I can file the cancellation (hopefully they send it to Manila asap, otherwise I will travel to their Head Office just to give it in person). Btw, this happened at SM Baguio. So people, beware.
Ako po ay isang biktima din nila at kasalukuyang naghihitay ng tugon after submitting my cancellation request. Kumusta po ang naging proseso nyo sa kanila?
Hi sir ,ask ko LNG kung pwede kopa marefund ung pera ko kaka sign kolng po kanina s MB life .pano ko po mkukuha ung pera ko ?.asap
Rey Ayinv says
Gud day sir . Na scam din ako ng agent ng cocolife sa sm north edsa..sabi nung agent next year ako mag bayad ng premium basta mag sign lang daw pero nag auto debit.pwede po ba i cancel ko na.para next month di ako mag bayad ng finance charge bago ako mag file ng complaint.thanks po
Rey Aying says
Na charge agad yung credit card ng 25k.nag penalty na po ako ng finane charge..kala ko natulungan ako.yun pala naisahan ako
John Paul Cachapero says
Sir How can i terminate my insurance contract and have a full refund? they have said that i cant because i do have an existing salary loan to them… In fact noong nag loan ako sa kanila( PhilLife Financial formerly known as Asian Life) my agent didn’t tell me or explain that there was an insurance that will be deducted on my pay slip… only to find out on the first month where they deducted and appeared that apart from my salary loan to them there was an insurance of 500pesos deduction … I received only the policy 2 and a half years after when i apply for the renewal of loan… Is there any chance or possibility that i can terminate my insurance and have a full refund???
Sir I need your favorable reponse…exactly 4 years na po ako nagbabayad
Sherymae Cosca says
hi sir, i have an insurance from cocolife..i just wanted to ask if this process will be okay if i had the insurance for a year? coz actually i wanted to cancel the insurance a wk after i have purchased or paid for the insurance but the agent said that if i cancel the insurance on that day it would mean i wouldn’t be able to get a refund instead he suggested to wait for 2 years so that i would be able to cancel the said insurance and get a full refund without even paying for the monthly dues. The problem came when an agent called me today saying that if i did not pay for my monthly due today then my money will be forfeited and so i told them what my agent told me and got angry with the approach of the caller and hang up and went to SM CEBU Cocolife to clarify everything, apparently the agent i had before had already been let go of the company so i was handled by their “manager” saying that the information of cancellation i was informed by my former agent was wrong, so i told the manager what i should do to cancel my insurance and get my money back, and then she fucking said that it as been a year and that i had already used the benefits for a year and wont be able to get a refund at all, then i told the agent what fucking benefits your talking i haven’t even receive anything from your fucking benifit where i was offered that i could use it on as a fucking health insurance that was again a fucking lie from your fucking agent (this was the reason i got attracted to the fucking insurance in the first place with promise of using health insurance because at that time i have been going through series of test because of my hypertension) . I guess what im trying to ask is if i can still get a refund after cancelling my insurance or if the “managers” words are correct? im freaking 25 y.o and they got 63k on me and i want my money back.. please help me..
Jellen Merjudio says
Isa ako sa mga napakuha ng insurance ng wala sa oras,same scheme sa example niyo..feeling ko that time na scam ako and wala n chance mabalik pera sakin.Thank you, dahil sa inyo nagkaroon ako ng idea on how to get my money back. Nawalan na talaga ako pag-asa nun and then hindi ako mapakali until mabasa ko to. Ang laking tulong talaga,I followed your instructions and ngayon nakabalik na sa bank account ko yung pera after a month amounting to 32,100 . Nagbayad ako ng 200 peaos cancellation fee..pero ok lang yun,ang mahalaga napanatag na loob ko. Thank you very much sir.
hi jellen! ask ko lang kung gumawa ka rin ba ng letter addressed to the insurance’s head office? if yes, ilang araw bago sila nag-send ng written confirmation that the cancellation has been put into an effect? napakuha rin kasi ako ng insrance ng wala sa oras and same scheme as the one stated above.
sir posible bang macancel ko ang policy plan ko as soon as possible at pwede bang i refund yung una kong binayad tru swiping my atm card?.oct 7 2016 po yung transaction ko sa cocolife. thanks po sa advice niyo.
Sir, Is it possible to make a full refund though may logbook sila na nagsulat aq na no withdrawal or no refund? last Nov 11, 2016 lang po to nangyari. I felt scam by cocolife agent. keso may makukuha daw ako 2M after 10 years for the FUTURE SAVINGS PLAN. Sila nag fill up ng mga form and I signed it without even hesitation. Pero pagdating ko sa bahay endowment insurance lang pala. Tapos they let me sign and note na no refund daw tapos with video. Pwede ko pa po ba yung ma refund ng full? I wanted to cancel it. Please help..
Raymund Camat says
Mahirap may evidence sila against you.
Hello, sir, thank you for this informative article. You’re right that the methods of said insurance agents are borderline unethical. I, too, have experienced this very recently. I am aware that the insurance company I dealt with is a legitimate one and so I availed of their Future Savings Platinum (you may be aware which company sells this). I’m still well within the 15 day grace period, but I don’t have the policy yet. After reviewing the summary of their product on their confirmation document (which they gave me), I’ve decided to cancel the policy. It’s supposed to be a savings plan, but even after 10 years, what I can get from them simply isn’t enough. It doesn’t answer my needs nor does it address any future concerns I may have. All it does is add yet another financial obligation at present.
I’m going to cancel it, but my question is, do I need the policy to do so? Even in their confirmation document, they stated that I have 15 days to look it over (15 days which will take effect upon claiming the policy). I’ve been researching, and there are many people who posted their experience saying there’s no need to have the policy to cancel.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I appreciate any help you can give.